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17th Feb

Another breezy day with frequent heavy downpours with thunder and lightning at times. A visit to the feeding station produced two Long-tailed Tits. There was very little passage offshore but in the afternoon huge numbers of gulls were feeding along the shoreline and included a juvenile Glaucous Gull, three Caspian Gulls, six Yellow-legged Gulls and three Mediterranean Gulls. There were also 57 Turnstones on the beach.


Just a small part of the huge flock of gulls feeding offshore



Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus   juvenile   Dungeness    17th February 2020

Caspian GulLarus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   17th February 2020


Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis   second-winter   Dungeness   17th February 2020 

16th Feb

Another thoroughly miserable day with Storm Dennis arriving with a vengeance in the early hours and then heavy rain all day. The only bird of note was a single adult Mediterranean Gull among the large numbers of birds feeding along the tideline.
Thankfully the Seawatch and Patch hides survived the storm but another tile came of the Observatory roof.

15th Feb

The wind was blowing again and increased to gale force by late evening. The only birds of note were offshore with 260 Brent Geese, four Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Skua of note.

14th Feb

A quiet day both bird- and weatherwise. Two Snipe, two Water Rails, six Long-tailed Tits and a Goldfinch were about the best on the land and not much offshore other than a few auks.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the drake Smew remains on the RSPB Reserve and at least two Water Pipits were of note in the hayfields.

13th Feb

Still windy and thousands of gulls offshore including a first-winter Caspian Gull, three Yellow-legged Gulls and six Mediterranean Gulls but no sign of the Iceland Gull. Four Gadwall, 13 Fulmars, 600 Kittiwakes and 400 Guillemots also flew west.
Five Long-tailed Tits were seen at the feeding station.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

12th Feb

Still breezy but not nearly as bad as the last few days and mainly bright and sunny. Gulls remain the main interest with large numbers feeding on the shellfish washing up onto the beach. The juvenile Iceland Gull reappeared this afternoon and seven Mediterranean Gulls were also seen.
Quiet on the land with just a couple of Long-tailed Tits at the feeders of note.


Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   juvenile   Dungeness   12th February 2020
A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

11th Feb

Despite plenty of effort in the tough conditions there was not a great deal for it. The Iceland Gull saved the day late in the afternoon and six Long-tailed Tits were once again visiting the feeding station.

10th Feb

Although the worst of the storm has now passed through it is still extremely windy and was decidedly unpleasant for most of the day. There was very little movement offshore with a Velvet Scoter and a Great Skua being about the best but there was a considerable increase in gull numbers feeding along the shore and roosting on the beach. These eventually produced the obvious highlight of the day in the form of a juvenile Iceland Gull this afternoon. Conditions were such that getting good images of the bird proved impossible so below are a few very definite record shots of it. 


Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides    juvenile   Dungeness    10th February 2020
Yesterdays measures to save the seawatch hide were successful and a check of the Observatory roof for lost tiles first thing this morning was reassuring so it was disappointing to discover a couple of tiles dislodged and on the ground as the wind increased again just before midday. 

9th Feb

A day which started with near unbirdable conditions and then got progressively worst as Storm Ciara arrived bringing 70+ mph winds and heavy rain with it. A couple of hardy souls saw the best birds of the day in the form of a Pochard and a drake Goosander passing offshore but there was little else to be seen other than a westerly trickle of Kittiwakes and a a Great Skua.
The seawatch hide looked to be in serious danger of being blown away but hopefully some hastily concocted measures will have saved it.

8th Feb

Seawatching this morning produced four Teal, a party of four Scaup passing west, four Fulmars, 231 Gannets, a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and an early (or wintering?) Sandwich Tern lingering offshore.
Six Long-tailed Tits were around the feeding station again but there was little else to be seen on the land.

Elsewhere, 41 Bewick's Swans were still feeding near Midley and four Long-tailed Ducks were seen at Scotney again. Six Great White Egrets came in to roost at ARC this evening.

By late evening the wind was strengthening rapidly and tomorrow looks set to be a pretty horrendous day of severe winds and heavy rain.