18th March

A return to wintry weather with frequent light snow showers in a cold and strong easterly wind. There was not much to report from the area with a drake Scaup passing the Point, the regular Glaucous Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch and two Firecrests and a Mistle Thrush on the land.

One Porpoise was seen offshore.

The biggest surprise of the day was at Dengemarsh Gully where not one but two male White-spotted Bluethroats were found and often gave outstanding views to their admirers. (Images to follow)

17th Mar

A complete change in the weather today, compared to what we have become used to recently. It was a rather quiet sea watch this morning, the highlights being 54 Sandwich Terns, four Bar-tailed Godwit and four Fulmar. It also produced no Brent Geese, although by the afternoon they had once again started moving, with a total of 510 seen. 51 of these geese settled briefly on the beach by the fishing boats. Surprisingly, one of the birds was colour-ringed! So hopefully it won't be too long until we get the details.

Brent Geese Branta bernicla  Dungeness 17th March 2018 (Jacques Turner-Moss)
On the land, the bad weather meant that many of the birds were hunkered down in bushes. The Wheatear was still up by the Lifeboat Station this morning. Two Black Redstarts were seen today, one is frequenting the area around the Lifeboat Station and the other was along the Power Station Fence. Only three Firecrest were seen today, with one heard in the trapping area and two being particularly showy by the Lighthouse Garden, often being very confiding and coming within a few feet.

Three Porpoise were also seen this morning in front of the Power Station.

16th Mar

It was a clear and warm day today, causing considerable haze to form over the shingle. The Brent Geese were again moving in number, with 636 passing during a two hour sea watch this morning. The counts of other species passing were much lower than yesterday. Only 31 Gannets, 15 Common Scoter, 13 Auks and three Sandwich Terns were counted with low numbers of other common species.

A Merlin was seen at the Fishing Boats early this morning, where the Glaucous Gull was also seen later in the morning in the gull flock. Two Sandwich Terns also flew noisily overhead.

There were still large numbers of Firecrests about, with at least four in the Old Lighthouse Garden. Several could be seen in patches of gorse towards the observatory and five in the Moat along with a single Goldcrest and two Chiffchaffs. There were also good numbers of Black Redstarts seen today. Three were present at the Old lighthouse and four were seen at the Lifeboat Station, along with the single but still present Wheatear.

Three Porpoise were also seen offshore this morning in front of the Power Station.

15th Mar

The first couple of hours of this mornings were comparatively quiet compared with yesterday. It started with only large numbers of Gannets, Auks and Red-Throated Divers seen but by 10 am the Brent Geese had started moving again with 421 noted. Common Scoter were slightly down on yesterdays count with 101 counted. Good numbers of Eider were seen with 31 this morning as well as 12 Shelduck and two Pintail. Also of note were 23 Sandwich Terns, a single Little Gull and a Razorbill in a flock of Guillemots. 

The Glaucous Gull was seen flying east and settled at the Fishing Boats joining the Gull flock there.

The real star bird was the first Wheatear of the year which was down by the Lifeboat Station. A male Black Redstart was also frequenting the gorse bushes nearby. A pair were also seen at the Experimental Station. Firecrests were again seen in high numbers and could be seen in many of the gorse thickets on the point. Five were present in the Old Lighthouse Garden and two were seen in the Observatory garden with a pair of Goldcrests. Chiffchaffs were fewer in number today, with a single bird seen in the trapping area and several birds singing up at the end of the Long Pits. 

14th Mar

The fine weather and south east winds continued the movement of Brent Geese up the coast today, with 752 counted over a three hour period. Other waterfowl were also on the move with counts of 255 Common Scoter,  28 Shoveler, 19 Teal, 18 Wigeon, four Pintail and single Mallard and Shelduck.

Also moving offshore were 52 Kittiwakes, 27 Sandwich Terns and a small number of Fulmar and Mediterranean Gulls. The Glaucous Gull was also seen this afternoon from the point.

Plenty of Firecrests were present today with up to five within the Lighthouse Garden, four around the observatory and three feeding on flies in the Aspen at the end of the Long Pits with  two Goldcrests and seven Chiffchaffs. Black Redstarts could be seen in the usual spots with a male by the Lifeboat Station and another along the Power Station fence.

13th Mar

The Brent Geese were continuing to move today despite the north west winds. A total of 486 passed east in a two hour period this morning including a single pale bellied bird in one of skeins.

A few other ducks were also moving up the coast including low numbers of Pintail, Shoveler, Teal, WigeonEider and Mergansers. 15 Sandwich Terns also flew east. The Glaucous Gull was again seen flying towards the Patch and three Merlins were also seen flying in off the sea.

On land there were good numbers of migrants. Up to six Firecrests and a Chiffchaff were seen in the Lighthouse Garden and a single Firecrest was regularly seen in the Observatory garden. Up at the end of the Long Pits there were good numbers of  Chiffchaffs singing in the willows and a few Goldcrests and Firecrests. 

A pair of Black Redstarts were seen at the Lifeboat Station and a single bird was seen along the Power Station fence.

12th Mar

A rather wet and blustery day today with the wind blowing from the south east this morning. Which provided a good opportunity for some sea watching, even if visibility was a tad poor from time to time.

A total of 648 Brent Geese passed east this morning, along with 72 Common Scoter, 126 Gannets, 18 Fulmar and 6 Sandwich Terns. Notable highlights included a single Slavonian Grebe and an Arctic Skua heading east offshore. The Iceland Gull also made an appearance again this morning, as did a Glaucous Gull, both were heading towards the Patch.

Onshore seven Firecrests were seen today, most of which were near the Lighthouse Garden and two were in a private garden at the point.

A single Porpoise was seen from the point and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert this afternoon.

11th Mar

The two Glaucous Gulls were seen again today, together offshore at the fishing boats. A good offshore passage of Brent Geese with 694 recorded.

On land migration is still a little slow with just three Black Redstarts being seen today.

Three Porpoises were also seen just offshore from the Fishing Boats this morning.

10th Mar

A day of mixed weather but producing some good gulls. At least two first year Glaucous Gulls were present today, the regular bird was seen at the Patch and a darker bird at the fishing boats. Two Caspian Gulls, an adult and a 2nd winter along with a 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull were also at the fishing boats. Six Sandwich Terns and 367 Brent Geese were also noted.

A Black Redstart was present opposite the Lifeboat Station and a single Chiffchaff was singing in a private garden at the point.

Seven Porpoise were also seen offshore.

9th Mar

Still quiet but the Glaucous Gull was present at the fishing boats this afternoon. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach at the Patch with large numbers of Great Crested Grebes, Guillemots and Cormorants feeding offshore.

A handful of birds passing overhead included 35 Chaffinches and two Siskins. A Dartford Warbler was seen in a private garden at the Point.