22nd Jan

The two Iceland Gulls were still feeding at the Patch along with two Mediterranean Gulls and the drake Common Eider. A Great Skua and a first-winter Little Gull were feeding off the fishing boats and a Pochard flew by.
The trapping area was very quiet and the Long Pits were almost frozen over but two small patches of open water held two Little Grebes and two Gadwall.
Of interest, yesterdays colour-ringed Caspian Gull was seen previously at Dungeness on 25th November 2016.

A Porpoise was also seen.

21st Jan

I didn't do much in the Observatory area today but at least one of the Iceland Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull were still at the Patch and a colour-ringed first-winter Caspian Gull was seen at the fishing boats in the afternoon. A Great Skua flew east in the morning and a Grey Wagtail was feeding at the sewage treatment unit inside the power station.

The Bird Observatories Council has just published its third Annual Newsletter with a variety of reports for 2016. It is an excellent read with lots of photographs and other information about the Bird Observatories and the work they carry out. Click here   

Elsewhere around Dungeness the Ring-necked Duck was showing at Cooke's Pool on the RSPB Reserve and Slavonian Grebes were seen on New Diggings and at Lade. Scotney continues to be very productive with six Pink-footed and four Tundra Bean Geese, a Black-necked Grebe and also two Lapland Buntings showing along the track behind the farm. There was also an arrival of Goosanders with up to 11 being seen together on ARC and on other pits at various times during the day.

20th Jan

Limited coverage today but a check of the Patch this afternoon revealed even more gulls feeding there and including the regular two Iceland Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a first-winter Little Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gulls.
A short video (click here) of the gull frenzy at the Patch. Finding a Vega Gull is proving impossible! 

19th Jan

There were huge numbers of gulls at the Patch again today but still no real change with the two Iceland Gulls and also two Mediterranean Gulls still present. The first hour of daylight saw over 100 Red-throated Divers, a Great Skua and 500 auks move east.
The most significant records today though involved two flocks of White-fronted Geese totaling 146 birds which flew over the area.
Four Goldcrests were seen in the trapping area.

The Observatory has recently published its Annual Report for 2015. In addition to the usual contents it also contains accounts of the first British record of Acadian Flycatcher and the discovery of breeding populations of Tree Crickets and Sickle-bearing Bush Crickets. It is excellent value at just £8 (£1.25 for postage).


18th Jan

Another calm, bright and cold day with most of the coverage concentrated at the Patch where there were huge numbers of gulls. However, nothing new could be found but the two first-winter Iceland Gulls were still feeding there along with the drake Eider and an adult Mediterranean Gull.
Masses of gulls at the Patch

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   juvenile/first-winter   Dungeness   18th January 2017 

17th Jan

The two juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gulls and the drake Eider spent the day at the Patch again. Two Little Grebes and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen at the Long Pits and 15 Chaffinches passed overhead. 

16th Jan

The two juv/first-winter Iceland Gulls, an adult Mediterranean Gull and the drake Eider were feeding at the Patch again and good numbers of Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and auks were also seen. The regular first-winter Caspian Gull was seen at the fishing boats and at least one Great Skua was marauding up and down the beach. Two Mute Swans also arrived from the east.

A Grey Seal was seen.