30th Apr

A Turtle Dove was the best bird that could be found on the land although nowadays this could almost count as a major rarity. A Firecrest and a Tree Pipit were also seen.
With a fresh south-easterly blowing the shore was the place to be and it didn't disappoint with a superb movement of Pomarine Skuas and lots of back up as well.
After 13.5hrs of watching the final total for Pomarine Skuas was 129 - the fourth best-ever day total. In addition there were plenty of other skuas with 44 Arctic and 19 Great Skuas. Large numbers of Common Scoters (1284) moved through with 20 Velvet Scoters mixed in with them and other ducks included a Pintail, six Shoveler, ten Gadwall, an Eider and three Red-breasted Mergansers. Good numbers of waders also move through wih 151 Grey Plovers, 121 Sanderlings, 76 Knot, 160 Bar-tailed Godwits and 48 Whimbrels and along with 31 Little Gulls. Terns were also a major feature of the watch with 54 Little Terns, 34 Black Terns and large numbers of Sandwich (233) and Common./Arctic Terns(1200). A few other notable bits and pieces seen during included five Black-throated Divers and a flock of five Avocets. A Peregrine Falcon and a Hobby were also seen offshore.

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta   Dungeness 30th April 2017

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus   Dungeness   30th April 2017

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus   Dungeness   30th April 2017

Dungeness Skua Festival

A Brown Hare was seen at the north end of the recording area and singles of Grey and Common Seals and five Porpoises were feeding offshore. This Fox spent most of the day foraging along thetideline and was even hunting out fisherman for titbits.

Fox Vulpes vulpes   Dungeness   30th April 2017

29th Apr

The wind stayed in the south for most of the day and produced an excellent movement of birds offshore with coverage from dark till almost dark. Notable totals included 1267 Common Scoters, 614 Bar-tailed Godwits, 48 Whimbrels, an excellent 84 Great Skuas, 25 Arctic Skuas and a near record day count of 9416 Common/Arctic Terns. Less usual bits and pieces included seven Velvet Scoters, four Black-throated Divers, a Shag, a Little Egret, 25 Grey Plovers, nine Knot, a Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank and nine Mediterranean Gulls. Perhaps surprisingly given the overall numbers of terns passing there were only 15 Little Terns and three Black Terns seen and only 13 Little Gulls.

It was a bit disappointing on the land but a Spotted Flycatcher at the Long Pits was new for the year and two Buzzards also flew over and even spent some displaying over the area.

The warm weather brought out a few butterflies with at least six Grizzled Skippers being found. It was also the first decent day for dragonflies with the first Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies being seen at the Long Pits for the first time this year.

Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans   Dungeness   29th April 2017

Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas   Dungeness   29th April 2017

Offshore, six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding whilst a Weasel was watched at the Long Pits where in the space of 20 minutes or so it manged to catch and presumably eat three Common Lizards.
Weasel Mustela nivalis   Dungeness   29th April 2017 (Gill Hollamby)

28th Apr

Another cold morning but with a bit of a cloud around there was a small arrival of migrants. In the afternoon the wind backed into the south and almost immediately induced a decent movement of birds offshore.

The scatter of migrants on the land was dominated by Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs as expected but other bits and pieces included a Nightingale in a private garden and two Ring Ouzels at the north end of the recording area. Two Tree Pipits, three Yellow Wagtails and a Redpoll also flew over.

Nightingale Luscinia megarynchos   Dungeness   28th April 2017 (David Bunney)
The morning seawatch was very quiet but things improved considerably in the afternoon as the breeze went into the south and by the end of the afternoon over 5500 "commic" Terns moved through along with 12 Arctic Skuas and six Great Skuas. Also of note were 16 Mediterranean Gulls and the first-winter Iceland Gulls was still at the Patch.

A Grey Seal and six Porpoises were seen offshore.

One Grizzled Skipper was seen.

Elsewhere around Dungeness, the drake Ring-necked Duck remains on Burrowes Pit, Hobbies are being seen regularly at ARC and Dengemarsh and at least one summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebe remains on New Diggings.

27th Apr

A very cold morning with heavy frost and clear skies resulted in another day with very little passage. On the land, a Hobby and two House Martins were new for the year and the seven Ring Ouzels were still on the east side of the Long Pits.Three Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and five Siskins also flew over.
The sea was almost devoid of any movement other than a Great Skua and three Mediterranean Gulls. The Iceland Gull was still at the Patch and two Arctic Terns made a brief visit.

Offshore, the Grey Seal killed and devoured another Porpoise calf and six living Porpoise were also seen.

One Grizzled Skipper was seen.

26th Apr

Another cold and breezy day with not a great deal to be seen and the highlight on the land of seven Ring Ouzels. Almost no movement offshore but Common Terns numbers built up at the Patch where the first-winter Iceland Gull was still present and clocked up its 101st day in the area.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore and three Brown Hares were seen on the land.

25th Apr

A cold day with clear skies saw mainly small numbers of migrants on the land but seven Ring Ouzels, a Whinchat and 57 Wheatears were particularly noteworthy whilst two Egyptian Geese and a Buzzard flew over the area.
There was virtually no movement offshore but the first-winter Iceland Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch.

A Brown Hare, a Stoat and three Porpoises were seen and butterflies included a couple of Grizzled Skippers

24th Apr

There was a thin scatter of migrants across the Point today with a Short-eared Owl at the Long Pits, a Grasshopper Warbler in the trapping area and a Pied Flycatcher at Southview Cottage of note whilst 17 Yellow Wagtails and 40 Swallows also passed overhead.
The sea was generally quiet but two Pomarine Skuas and five Arctic Skuas were of note and the Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch..