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Local weather


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31st December

The regular first-winter Caspian Gull remained at the fishing boats to see the year out and 160 Brent Geese flew east but not much else was seen.

30th December

In gale force  south by south-east winds there was another excellent seawatch. The upchannel passage of Brent Goose gathered strength with 1165 counted along with 14 Shelducks, 24 Wigeon, Most other birds were moving west and included 21 Fulmars, three Sooty Shearwaters, 1163 Gannets, an Arctic Skua, an excellent 17 Great Skuas, 574 Kittiwakes,12 Little Gulls, a Sandwich Tern and 1104 Guillemots.
The first-winter Caspian Gull was still present.
Two Chiffchaffs were seen in the bushes.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

29th December

Single Arctic and Great Skuas flew west whilst 300 Brent Goose flew east. 

28th December

A strong southerly wind was blowing and resulted in an excellent seawatch with three hours of observing producing 408 Brent Goose east, 122 Wigeon, four Teal, 15 Pintail, and two Great Northern Divers, ten Sooty Shearwaters, four Great Skuas, 223 Kittiwakes, 47 Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern passing west.
Two first-winter Caspian Gulls were seen again.

A flock of 14 Siskin flew out to sea.

27th December

Three Velvet Scoters and 399 Guillemots flew west offshore and two first-winter Caspian Gulls were seen on the beach.

26th December

Singles of Velvet Scoter and Great Skua flew west and the regular first-winter Caspian Gull was still present.

25th December

A Sooty Shearwater passing west was the highlight of the day. 

24th December

Seawatching produced six Pintail and a Great Skua passing west.

The first-winter Caspian Gull was still present along with an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

23rd December

A bright and sunny, but still windy, day produced an early morning movement of Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Guillemots and the first-winter Caspian Gull was still present.

Two Firecrests were seen in the trapping area.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

A couple of Eristalis tenax took advantage of the warm sunshine to visit the winter jasmine flowers.
Eristalis tenax

22nd December

Another very windy and frequently wet day restricted observations to sea and gull watching. Two Caspian Gulls were seen with a new second-winter bird and the regular first-winter bird still present.

Offshore there was a steady passage of Gannets and Kittiwakes, a few Fulmars and two Great Skuas west but Brent Geese continue to think it is spring with another 210 birds in small flocks moving east during the day.

21st December

A very windy, and eventually wet day made observations difficult. A couple of looks at the sea were uninspiring and despite several searches at the Point there was no sign of any Caspian Gulls.

20th December

An adult and the regular first-winter Caspian Gull were seen around the Point again.

19th December

Three first-winter Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen around the Point and a few Razorbills and Guillemots were passing westwards offshore.

18th December

Limited coverage today but two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits and the regular first-winter Caspian Gull was in the gull roost again.

17th December

Another two new Caspian Gulls were the highlights of the day with a second-winter bird at the Patch in the morning and a first-winter bird dropping in briefly at the offerings of bread at the fishing boats in the late afternoon. The long-staying first-winter bird was also seen at both the Point and the Patch during the day where an adult Yellow-legged Gull was also present.

Three Chiffchaffs were seen around the northern Long Pit and six Siskins flew over.

Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   first-winters   Dungeness   17th December 2015
Todays new bird (above) and the regular bird (below).

16th December

Extremely quiet offshore but three Caspian Gulls were seen during the day at the Point with new adult and second-winter birds and the first-winter bird first seen on the 10th.

A Kingfisher was seen on the southern Long Pit, a Firecrest was seen in the trapping area and 11 Siskins flew over.

15th December

Limited coverage today but a two-hour seawatch in the morning produced just three Gadwall and a Little Gull of note.

14th December

Seawatching continues to provide most of the interest with 14 Shelducks, a Goosander (a surprisingly scarce bird offshore), nine Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-necked Grebe, a Great Skua, 45 Kittiwakes and a few auks passing west of interest. However, there was almost a spring feel to the day with 140 Brent Geese passing upchannel.

A new second-winter Caspian Gull was seen in the roost in the morning.

13th December

Seawatching this morning produced a Pomarine Skua and a Sandwich Tern. The afternoon gull watching session revealed three Caspian Gulls on the beach, although only one was a new individual, and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

12th December

With a brief spell of calm weather this morning a check of the bushes was in order and produced at least eight Firecrests and six Chiffchaffs in the trapping area and around the Long Pits.

Seawatching was pretty uneventful but in the afternoon the third-winter Caspian Gull (PNXB) was seen again and coming to the offerings of bread.

11th December

A 2.25hr seawatch this morning produced 640 Gannets but not much else other than a drake Eider and a few auks. Yesterdays first-winter Caspian Gull was seen again in the gull roost this afternoon.

10th December

Another stormy day with seawatching and gulling the only reasonable options. Nearly six hours of watching produced five Red-breasted Mergansers, four Fulmars, a Sooty Shearwater, a Snipe, two Great Skuas and singles of Little and Mediterranean Gulls of note and numbers provided by 344 Great Crested Grebes, 1010 Gannets, 53 Kittiwakes and 192 auks (mostly Guillemots). An adult and a first-winter Caspian Gull and three Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding and roosting at the Point.
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   10th December 2015   

9th. December

Very quiet offshore although a new adult Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen at the Patch in the afternoon.
Three Firecrests and two Chiffchaffs were seen in the trapping area and 17 Chaffinches, 60 Goldfinches, 29 Siskins and a Redpoll flew over.

8th December

A Leach's Petrel passing slowly west was the obvious highlight of an otherwise fairly quiet four hour seawatch this morning. Another colour-ringed third-winter Caspian Gull was seen in the gull roost.

7th December

Three Balearic Shearwaters were the highlight of the seawatching which also produced seven Fulmars, a Mediterranean Gull and 100 Razorbills whilst another first-winter Caspian Gull was in the gull roost.

Two Firecrests were seen in the trapping area and eight Siskins flew over.

6th December

Over 500 Gannets flew west during 3.5hrs of watching but very little else was passing on another very windy day. A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull came to bread at the Point.

5th December

With more very strong winds the westerly trickle of Gannets continued this morning along with 11 Fulmars and a few Kittiwakes. The Sandwich Tern was feeding offshore again. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was attracted to the bread offerings.

4th December

A Sandwich Tern was feeding offshore and there was a westerly trickle of Gannets and Kittiwakes during the morning. 

A Firecrest was seen in the trapping area and a few finches continue to pass overhead.

3rd December

A second-winter Caspian Gull and two adult Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the Patch this morning. Nearly four hours of seawatching produced two Black-throated Divers, 730 Gannets and 100 Kittiwakes.

Two Firecrests and a Chiffchaff were seen at the Long Pits and 530 Starlings arrived.

2nd December

Most of the interest today was at the Patch where a new colour-ringed adult Caspian Gull (PKKK) was seen along with a first-winter Little Gull and a third-winter Yellow-legged Gull amongst hordes of commoner gulls. A party of seven Red-breasted Mergansers and two late Sandwich Terns also flew west at the fishing boats.

Four Firecrests and two Chiffchaffs were seen in the trapping area and a Brambling and 18 Siskins flew over whilst 900 Starlings arrived.

1st December

A Lapland Bunting made a brief appearance on the beach at the fishing boats and a Woodcock and four Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits. Finches continue to move through with 130 Goldfinches, 12 Siskins and a Redpoll of note. 

A couple of other pieces of interest. For those of you who generously contributed to the Acadian Flycatcher bucket fund the trustees decided to use this to purchase a digital microscope. This will help with our ongoing and wide-ranging recording of the wildlife of the Dungeness peninsula. Many thanks.

November 2015

1stA day spoilt in the main by thick fog. A short clear spell in mid-morning revealed a fewGoldcrests, five Firecrests, five Blackcaps, six Black Redstarts and a Wheatear on the ground and a Grey Wagtail, two Rock Pipits and a few GoldfinchesSiskins andRedpolls passing overhead. The Dusky Warbler was still present though remains pretty elusive.There was little movement offshore although a juvenile Pomarine Skua and a Little Gull were seen in the afternoon and a new first-winter Caspian Gull came into the offerings at the fishing boats.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   1st November 2015
2ndThe day began and ended with more thick fog and as usual in these conditions there was little evidence of any migration although a Dartford Warbler was seen in the Desert and five Firecrests were scattered around the Point. There was no movement offshore but the Polish-ringed Caspian Gull first seen a few days ago made a reappearance.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans    first-winter   Dungeness   2nd November 2015
Polish-colour-ringed bird Red with White code 65P5.
3rdThe day was dominated by a decent movement of finches during the morning but there was very little in the way of grounded migrants with just four Woodcocks, 30Goldcrests and five Firecrests of interest. Birds passing overhead included sevenBramblings, 1000 Goldfinches, 45 Siskins, 150 Redpolls and a Crossbill.There was no virtually no movement offshore but at least two Mediterranean Gullswere feeding there.
4thAfter overnight and early morning rain there was a decent scatter of grounded migrants with the highlights being a Long-eared Owl in the trapping area and a Woodlark in the Desert. Numbers were provided by 75 Goldcrests, eight Firecrests, 12 Song Thrushes and 16 Redwings.Overhead passage involved 41 Skylarks, 500 Goldfinches, 60 Siskins and 70Redpolls.
The sea was very quiet again but the Polish-ringed Caspian Gull 65P5 was seen again at the Point.
5thNot a great deal to be seen today. Good numbers of Goldfinches and 70 Redpollspassed through and four late Swallows were also seen.The sea was very quiet through the morning but improved a bit in the afternoon and ending with day totals of 232 Gannets, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 359 Kittiwakes, seven Sandwich Terns and a few auks passing westwards. A Woodcock also arrived.
6thA mostly wet and windy day with most of the interest offshore although two (an adult and a second-winter) briefly staying Caspian Gulls at the Point were the best on offer.The trapping area produced a Brambling and a flyover Rock Pipit and 4.5 hrs of seawatching resulted in a Sooty Shearwater, 1252 Gannets, an Arctic Skua, 1048Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, four Sandwich Terns and a very late Common Tern being seen.
7thMost of the interest remains offshore and at the Point with at least five first-winter Caspian Gulls being the highlight. Passage included 475 Gannets, a Pomarine Skua, two Arctic Skuas and 521 auks.
Two Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   first-winters   Dungeness   7th November 2015
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   7th November 2015
Very quiet on the land with just 500 Goldfinches of note.
8thA dull and windy day with a good movement of seabirds offshore, finches and a Wood Lark overhead and plenty of gull activity at the Point with four Caspian Gulls and including a new Polish-ringed bird.
Two Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   first-winters   Dungeness   8th November 2015.
The right hand individual is the new Polish-ringed bird 86P5
Seawatching produced two Sooty Shearwaters, 325 Gannets, 25 Knot, a Pomarine Skua, 550 Kittiwakes, 28 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, two Sandwich Ternsand a few auks. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were also present.
Birds passing overhead included 270 Starlings, 68 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, 1350 Goldfinches, 150 Linnets and 21 Redpolls. Four Chiffchaffs were seen in the trapping area.  
9thNot a great deal to report today in very windy conditions except for the continuing passage of Caspian Gulls with a new green-ringed (XMFV and probably of eastern German or Polish origin) bird joining the throng at the Point where Caspian Gull Red 65P5 was still present along with two Yellow-legged Gulls. A few Gannets and twoSandwich Terns flew west.Firecrest was seen in the trapping area and two Fieldfares and a few finches passed through.  
10thA miserable day of strong winds and murky, damp conditions. The only bird of note was a Pale-bellied Brent Goose which flew west at 0750hrs.
11thA fairly quiet day with three Firecrests in the trapping area and a Marsh Harrier going out to sea of note. Three Sandwich Terns were feeding offshore whilst a few other birds passing overhead included 53 Chaffinches, 11 Bramblings, 400 Goldfinches, 27 Siskins and 32 Redpolls.
12thA decent overhead passage this morning with numbers dominated by 1600 Wood Pigeons and 2675 Starlings and good numbers of finches including 55 Chaffinches, ten Bramblings and 43 Siskins and also a Wood Lark, four late Swallows and 11Tree Sparrows of note.Grounded migrants were much less in evidence but did include six Firecrests in the trapping area and 11 Chiffchaffs across the whole area.
Two first-winter Caspian Gulls (including Polish Red 65P5) came to bread this afternoon and four Mediterranean Gulls, 67 Kittiwakes and 135 auks flew west.
13thVery little to be seen on a cold, windy and at times wet day. A Woodcock at the northern end of the Long Pits, a Short-eared Owl on the beach near the fishing boats and another late Swallow were about the best on offer..
14thA walk around the Long Pits before the weather really deteriorated produced aKingfisher, three Firecrests and six Chiffchaffs whilst 500 Wood Pigeons and nineBramblings flying overhead were of note.Seawatching was fairly slow-going but eventually produce seven Red-breasted Mergansers, a Sooty Shearwater and nine Mediterranean Gulls of interest. Two adult Caspian Gulls were of note in the roost this morning.
15thA very windy day with few birds to be seen. The only birds of interest were two first-winter Caspian Gulls (including Polish 65P5again) amongst the gulls roosting/feeding at the fishing boats. A couple of Firecrests were heard un the trapping area.
16thAnother windy day with little to be seen. The only birds of note were a third-winterCaspian Gull amongst the gulls roosting on the beach and a Great Northern Diverand a Pomarine Skua which flew west offshore in the afternoon.Also of note, a Dusky Warbler was seen at Hookers Pit on the RSPB Reserve in the afternoon.
17thThree Sooty Shearwaters west offshore during the morning were the only birds of note on an increasingly windy day.The Dusky Warbler was seen at Hookers Pit on the RSPB Reserve again this morning but was very elusive.
18thIn increasingly windy conditions most of the observations were of birds offshore which included a Velvet Scoter, one Black-throated and two Great Northern Divers and three Great Skuas.
19thAnother dull, damp and windy day restricted most of the observations to the sea where nearly four hours of watching produced two Black-throated and two Great Northern Divers, a Sooty Shearwater, four Great Skuas, 298 Kittiwakes, three Mediterranean Gulls and 27 Little Gulls.
20thThe first relatively calm day for a while allowed a decent check of the land whilst there was a steady trickle of birds passing west offshore.The highlight of the day was a single Little Auk which flew west at 1100hrs but other notable bits and pieces offshore included 24 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Skua, 94 Kittiwakes, 35 Mediterranean Gulls and 11 Little Gulls.
Of note on the land were 11 Firecrests and six Chiffchaffs along with a small increase in thrushes including three Fieldfares and eight Song Thrushes and a few finches passing overhead including a single Brambling and 110 Goldfinches
The Dusky Warbler was seen at Hookers Pit on the RSPB Reserve again this morning but remains very difficult to see.
21stThe first really cold day of the autumn and a NNW wind which rapidly increased to gale-force by mid-day resulted in good numbers of birds passing offshore but made coverage on the land almost impossible.Of note on the sea were 55 Teal, four Pintails, four Tufted Ducks, 169 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, two Goldeneyes, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 1428Gannets, a Pomarine Skua, 246 Kittiwakes, 50 Little Gulls (three flocks), 29Mediterranean Gulls and 1160 auks.
Little Egret, a Snipe and 3850 Starlings also arrived from the east.
The Polish first-winter Caspian Gull (65P5) made another appearance in the afternoon.
22ndA cold and bright but calmer morning produced a mixed bag of birds offshore and a decent little arrival of birds on the land.Birds seemed to be moving in all directions offshore and included 393 Brent Geese, 91Shelducks, 210 Wigeon, eight Pintails, an Eider, 126 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, a Goldeneye, four Black-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver
On the land the most significant birds were 65 Blackbirds along with two Fieldfaresand four Song Thrushes whilst a Merlin, 1800 Starlings, three Bramblings, 20Goldfinches, 15 Siskins and three Redpolls passed through. Two Firecrests were seen in the trapping area and a Black Redstart was seen around the power station.
23rdA very cold, frosty morning but much quieter offshore and on the land than yesterday.The best of the seawatching were five Gadwalls, two Eiders, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 46 Red-throated Divers and 100 Kittiwakes. A new first-winter Caspian Gull was seen on the beach for a few minutes before heading off to the west.
Very quiet on the land with just a few Blackbirds in the bushes and 2500 Starlingsarriving.
24thA day of almost continuous rain and poor visibility.The only serious observations were offshore where three hours of observations produced 26 Fulmars, singles of Great and Pomarine Skuas and five Little Gulls all passing west of note.
The Polish Caspian Gull 65P5 was on the beach again.
25thVery little movement offshore but a juvenile Pomarine Skua, two Little Gulls and aMediterranean Gull were seen at the Patch in the morning and in the afternoon an adult Caspian Gull was found in the roost at the Point.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   adult   Dungeness   25th November 2015
A few finches including eight Siskins and two Redpolls flew over and two Firecrestswere seen at the Long Pits.
26thVery little movement offshore but with eight Eider, two Black-throated Divers and three Mediterranean Gulls passing west of note and three Little Gulls at the Patch.Finches continue to trickle through with a Brambling, ten Siskins and sevenRedpolls of interest whilst a Green Sandpiper flying over was an unusual record. Over 1500 Starlings also arrived. Four Firecrests were seen in the trapping area and two Black Redstarts were feeding along the power station wall. 
27thA very quiet day with just two Black-throated Divers and a Purple Sandpiper passing west during the morning, two Little Gulls at the Patch and two (first-winter and second-winter) Caspian Gulls in the roost at the Point.
28thLimited coverage today but a first-winter Caspian Gull was seen at the fishing boats. .
29thVery little to be seen on a very windy and unpleasant day.
30thThe wind continues and even increased during the day. The only observations were again at the Point where a Great Northern Diver flew west and the roosting gulls included an adult and a new third-winter Caspian Gull and a third-winter and an adultYellow-legged Gull

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   third-winter   Dungeness   30th November 2015

October 2015

1stThe month began where September left off with the Grey Phalarope still offshore, theYellow-browed Warbler still in the Lighthouse Garden and lots of Firecrests and "Continental" Coal Tits. There were also plenty of Goldcrests and a few Chiffchaffsand Blackcaps along with 12 Wheatears, four Stonechats and a WhinchatOf interest among the Coal Tits was this Brussels-ringed bird.
Coal Tit Periparus ater ater   Dungeness   1st October 2015
Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus   Dungeness   1st October 2015 (G.Hollamby)
2nd With the wind finally beginning to drop there was plenty to see on the land where numbers were dominated by Goldcrests with about 150 present along with 15Firecrests and 15 "Continental" Coal Tits and what was probably a new Yellow-browed Warbler. Other migrants included 20 Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whinchat, five Stonechats, 11 Wheatears, two Ring Ouzels, 60Redpolls and 40 Siskins.Other bits and pieces included two Pink-footed Geese, a Marsh Harrier heading out to sea, a Merlin, the Grey Phalarope still feeding offshore and a second-winterMediterranean Gull at the Patch.
However, the big news just received is that the identification of last months Acadian Flycatcher has been further confirmed by an analysis of DNA extracted from a poo sample carried out by Martin Collinson at Aberdeen University. Many thanks for the rapid response,

Just cannot resist another image of this fantastic bird.
Acadian Flycatcher Empidonax virescens   Dungeness   22nd September 2015
3rdVery thick, wet fog seriously hampered recording during the morning but as it cleared a few migrants were located including 50 Goldcrests, four Firecrests, 20 Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler,  a Redstart, a Whinchat, four Stonechatsand five Wheatears. Ten "Continental" Coal Tits were lingering in and around the moat. Migrants passing overhead included two Grey Wagtails and  two Rock Pipits,A drake Eider was swimming offshore.
A search for rare crickets this evening produced good numbers of Tree Crickets still active and a single female Sickle-bearing Bush Cricket.
4thThere seemed to be a bit of a clear out of grounded migrants today but a decent spell of overhead passage during the first couple of hours this morning. Numbers were provided 70 Siskins, 20 Redpolls and 40 Reed Buntings whilst more notable records included at least two Crossbills. Other bits and pieces included a Marsh Harrier, a few Blackbirds arriving and three Rock Pipits. A Jay also flew over in the afternoon. The only grounded migrants of any note were 75 Goldcrests, 15 Chiffchaffs and aWheatear.The drake Eider was still present offshore.
Moth trapping overnight produced the first Observatory record of Orange Sallow along with a Scarce Bordered Straw.
5thA miserable day with rain overnight and through most of the day. The only new grounded migrant of note was a Pied Flycatcher in the Lighthouse Gorse. A Whinchatand a couple of Firecrests were also seen and a Grey Wagtail and a Rock Pipit flew over.Movement offshore was a bit disappointing given the conditions but over four hours of observations eventually produced a Manx Shearwater, three Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas, two Mediterranean Gulls and 162 Sandwich Terns and best of the bunch, aPurple Sandpiper.
6thDespite fresh southerly winds and frequent rain there was very little to get very excited about. Almost four hours of seawatching produced just a late Whimbrel, a Pomarine Skua, a Great Skua and 105 Sandwich Terns passing west and three Arctic Skuasand three Mediterranean Gulls lingering offshore.There were very few birds on the ground with a "Continental" Coal Tit, a Wheatear, 30Goldcrests, yesterdays Pied Flycatcher again and 150 Meadow Pipits being about the best of it whilst another 300 Meadow Pipits, 40 Siskins and seven Reed Buntings flew over.
7thAnother quiet day, A few grounded migrants including a "Continental" Coal Tit, fourFirecrests, seven Blackcaps and Wheatears whilst birds passing overhead included 47 Pied Wagtails, 420 Meadow Pipits, 35 Redpolls and nine Reed Buntings.The sea was also quiet but over five hours of watching eventually produced twoPomarine Skuas and ten Arctic Skuas.
8thA bright and sunny day resulted in a small arrival of passerines in the bushes and a decent overhead movement of migrants. The best of the grounded migrants included aDartford Warbler around the Old Lighthouse and Gorse, a Firecrest, 50 Goldcrests, 100 Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps and four Wheatears. Of note amongst the birds passing overhead were six Buzzards, 37 Skylarks, 90 Swallows, a Tree Sparrow, two Grey and 60 Pied Wagtails, 250 Goldfinches, 100 Siskins, 450 Linnets, 220Lesser Redpolls and 35 Reed Buntings.Very little movement offshore but the Pomarine Skua was still present.
9thA bright and sunny day produced a decent arrival of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests, (mostly centred around the Moat) and ten Blackcaps. Numbers passing overhead were a bit reduced but did include the first Brambling of the autumn along with 24 Skylarks, 270 Starlings arriving, six Grey Wagtails, 130 Meadow Pipits, three Rock Pipits, 20Siskins, 50 Lesser Redpolls and 28 Reed Buntings.In the afternoon a Crane first seen flying over the RSPB reserve just about made it into Observatory airspace before returning to Dengemarsh where it spent the rest of the day.
Very quiet offshore with just the juvenile Pomarine Skua of note.
Clouded Yellow butterfly was seen in the Moat.
10thA morning with birding options slightly limited as I had to stay around the Observatory for much of the morning although several regulars did get out into the trapping area.The best the land had to offer was a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs and a couple ofBlackcaps and two Rock Pipits,1200 Goldfinches and 55 Siskins passing overhead.
A check of the fishing boats in the afternoon produced this excellent Ukraine-ringedCaspian Gull whilst a Great Skua and two Mediterranean Gull were feeding offshore.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter with Kiev scheme ring  Dungeness 10th October 2015

Elsewhere, the Crane was still showing well at Dengemarsh.
11thBird of the day was a very brief Pallas's Warbler seen by just two observers at the northern end of the trapping area where there were also good numbers of Goldcrestsbut not much else to be seen in the bushes.  There was a steady overhead movement of birds mainly flying into the fresh NExE winds including two Rock Pipits, aBrambling, 100 Siskins and 25 Redpolls and best of all, a Woodlark.Two Caspian Gulls (a first-winter and a second-winter) were loafing with the local gulls along with two Yellow-legged Gulls whilst a Little Gull and three Mediterranean Gulls feeding at the Patch. Offshore movement was almost non-existent.
12thOvercast skies and a north-easterly wind resulted in an excellent day with a wide variety of birds dropping in or flying overhead. The first bird taken out of the nets this morning was a Yellow-browed Warbler and this was followed in the afternoon by a super Pallas's Warbler (both shown below). In addition there was the first arrival of thrushes including a spectacular 90 Ring Ouzels, along with 31 Fieldfares, 40 Song Thrushes and 11 Redwings as well as 100 Goldcrests, five Wheatears, 20Chiffchaffs, 20 Blackcaps and a couple of Whitethroats.Finches were very much in evidence with eight Bramblings, 200 Siskins and 150Redpolls of note whilst other diurnal migrants included a Short-eared Owl, 150Swallow, 40 Skylarks and 25 Reed Buntings.
A Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus and Pallas's Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus
13thA day very much "After the Lord Mayors Show". Very few grounded migrants in very windy conditions with just three Ring Ouzels of note. The sea remains very quiet with just a Mediterranean Gull and a few Sandwich Terns of interest.
14thAt least two Short-eared Owls, eight Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, three Ring Ouzels, 30 Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings and a Rock Pipit were seen and a Jack Snipe was a notable find at the Long Pits.A first-winter Caspian Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was roosting at the fishing boats.
15thA damp, overcast and cold morning brought a few grounded migrants including 30Goldcrests, 30 Chiffchaffs, 11 Blackcaps, a late Garden Warbler, singles of Lesserand Common Whitethroat, eight Ring Ouzels, 20 Song Thrushes and 32Redwings.There was also a considerable overhead passage with 12 Skylarks, 150 Swallows, 100 House Martins, 100 Fieldfares, a Rock Pipit, 85 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, 600 Goldfinches, 1000 Siskins and 250 Redpolls.
Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch.
16thAnother damp and windy day which produced a decent drop of migrants and more overhead movement but the sea remains quiet.Grounded migrants included 40 Goldcrests, 25 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Wheatear, 50 Robins, an excellent 19 Ring Ouzels, 165 Fieldfares, 110 Redwings, 60 Song Thrushes. Finches passed overhead in some numbers and including nine Bramblings, 400 Goldfinches, 160 Siskins and 60 Redpolls. TwoMerlins were also seen along with two "continentalCoal Tits, two late Yellow Wagtails and two Crossbills.
The sea produced just a couple of Mediterranean Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost on the beach.
17thThe highlights of the day were the number of Short-eared Owls with at least six and also a dead individual in the area and a Dartford Warbler in the Desert. There was also a  Firecrest in the moat, two Ring Ouzels, 16 Fieldfares flew over, threeWheatears, two Tree Sparrows, 54 Chaffinches, 23 Bramblings, 140 Siskins, 40Redpolls and 24 Reed Buntings.A seawatch around midday produced a Sooty Shearwater and three Great Skuasheading west and three Mediterranean Gulls and two adult Yellow-legged Gulls were also present.
18thA cloudy, damp morning with a light northerly breeze resulted in a heavy passage overhead and a good variety of grounded migrants. Of note on the land were twoShort-eared Owls, five "ContinentalCoal Tits, a migrant flock of 18 Long-tailed Tits and 37 Ring Ouzels whilst there was also 90 Goldcrests, 25 Chiffchaffs and  twoMistle Thrush. Birds passing overhead included 450 Swallows, a Grey Wagtail, threeRock Pipits, 100 Chaffinches, 22 Bramblings, 1000 Goldfinches, 220 Siskins, 80Redpolls, a Yellowhammer (ridiculously scarce here in recent years,) and 40 Reed Buntings
"Continental" Coal Tit Periparus ater ssp ater   Dungeness   18th October 2015
19thMore of the same with thrushes and finches passing through all morning and a small arrival of grounded migrants.Grounded migrants included a Jack Snipe, at least five Short-eared Owls, 30Goldcrests, 20 Chiffchaffs and 40+ Ring Ouzels (one flock of 37 birds) whilst overhead passage included 300 Swallows, 1500 Starlings, 72 Fieldfares, two Mistle Thrushes, a Grey Wagtail, eight Bramblings and 55 Siskins.
The sea remains extremely quiet.
Of note elsewhere was a Rough-legged Buzzard at Scotney - feeding over the fields mainly at the Sussex end of the pit.
20thAnother interesting day with plenty of birds passing overhead although fewer grounded migrants were present and a scattering of rarer species.The highlights were a Great Grey Shrike at the north end of the recording area before moving off to the north-west, a Common Treecreeper trapped, a Wood Lark and twoCrossbills over, two "ContinentalCoal Tits in the trapping area, a Jack Snipe at the Long Pits again and a first-winter Caspian Gull roosting at the Point in the evening.
Grounded migrants included five Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 50 Goldcrests and tenChiffchaffs whilst migrants flying over included a Buzzard, 20 Stock Doves, 20Skylarks, 60 Swallows, 35 House Martins, 1000 Starlings, five Rock Pipits, tenBramblings, 500 Goldfinches, 60 Siskins, 45 Redpolls and 14 Reed Buntings.
Offshore, the first Goldeneye and two Red-breasted Mergansers of the autumn were seen and an adult Yellow-legged Gulls was also roosting at the Point.

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris   Dungeness   20th October 2015

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   20th October 2015
21stA miserable day with rain almost throughout. Very little sign of any real migration although singles of Arctic and Great Skuas flew west in the afternoon and two Short-eared Owls were seen in the Desert in a short dry spell this evening.
22ndA poor morning given the calm and cloudy conditions. A few finches flew over including two Bramblings, 40 Chaffinches, 90 Siskins and 55 Redpolls and also 45 Swallowsbut grounded migrants were few and far between. The Jack Snipe was seen again this afternoon.
23rdAnother very interesting day with the highlights being the trapping of a Barred Warblerand a Norwegian-ringed Dunnock. Two Firecrests were also trapped and good numbers of Goldcrests were present. There was another movement of finches with 42Bramblings of note and three Rock Pipits and a Lapland Bunting also flew over. AShort-eared Owl was seen in the Desert and a Ring Ouzel spent most of the day in the moat.
Just outside the Observatory Recording Area a Great Grey Shrike was seen briefly at Lydd-on-sea (perhaps the bird from the 20th) and the Rough-legged Buzzard was still being seen at Scotney.

Dunnock Prunella modularis ssp modularis   Dungeness   23rd October 2015
A Norwegian-ringed bird caught this morning. This is our first-ever foreign-ringed Dunnock to be controlled and only the third movement between Kent and the continent (two Norwegian and one German). According to the Migration Atlas up to 2002 there had been 12 recorded movements between Britain and Norway. Although it looks just like our own Dunnocks ssp occidentalis there are thought to be slight differences in wing formula with Primary 2 being longer in modularis and this is the case in this individual.

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria   Dungeness   23rd October 2015
A very nice surprise in the nets this morning.
24thA quiet day in dull and breezy conditions with just a Merlin, 1000 Starlings, 400Goldfinches and 20 Siskins overhead and a Firecrest of note in the bushes.Seawatchng produced just an Arctic Skua, 365 Kittiwakes and six Little Gullspassing west and a Great Skua east and a first-winter and a second-winter Caspian Gull were seen at the fishing boats.
Further enquiries have revealed that yesterdays Dunnock was originally ringed at Lista Bird Observatory, Norway on 5th October 2015 by Simon Davies who is one of our former Assistant Wardens.
Elsewhere, the Rough-legged Buzzard was still being seen at Scotney and a Great Grey Shrike was showing quite well at Hookers Pit on the RSPB Reserve.
25thA bright and sunny day on which grounded migrants were generally scarce but aDartford Warbler was noteworthy and two Blackcaps, 20 Goldcrests and a Ring Ouzel were also seen. Overhead migrants included 17 Skylarks, two Tree Sparrows, 20 Bramblings, 65 Siskins, 90 Redpolls and 30 Reed Buntings whilst other bits and pieces included a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin, a Little Owl and a Short-eared Owl.A first-winter and a second-winter Caspian Gulls (both different individuals to yesterdays birds) were feeding at the fishing boats in the afternoon.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   25th October 2015
Clouded Yellow butterfly and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth were noted. 
26thAn excellent day with plenty of grounded migrants around the Point and the highlight of a very elusive Dusky Warbler. This was first seen along the front of the power station, it then slowly made its way across the Point before being lost amongst the private dwellings near the Sanctuary. In addition, another Great Grey Shrike was seen briefly and a Short-eared Owl was also seen whilst there was a large arrival of Goldcrestsand at least 30 Black Redstarts along with five Firecrests, a Dartford Warbler, twoWheatears, a Ring Ouzel, two Mistle Thrushes and a few Chiffchaffs. There was also some good overhead movement with a Marsh Harrier heading out to sea, 35Skylarks, 13 Swallows, a Tree Pipit, two Bramblings, 200 Siskins, 750Goldfinches, 60 Redpolls, 13 Crossbills and five Reed Buntings.A short-lived seawatch in the morning produced three Sooty Shearwaters, a few duck, two Mediterranean Gulls with another at the Patch and four Sandwich Terns.
Clouded Yellow was seen again in the Moat.
27thPlenty of birds in the bushes this morning including six Firecrests and 70 Goldcrests, a Coal Tit, 11 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps and an excellent 19 Black Redstarts.Birds passing overhead included 28 Skylarks, nine Fieldfares, four Mistle Thrushes, 12 Tree Sparrows, two Grey Wagtails, 260 Meadow Pipits, five Bramblings, 600Goldfinches, 130 Siskins and 20 Redpolls.
Eight Mediterranean Gulls and 75 Kittiwakes flew west and a Polish-ringed Caspian Gull was attracted to bread at the fishing boats in the late-afternoon.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   Dungeness   27th October 2015
A Polish-ringed bird.
28thThere was another decent arrival of migrants on the land and overhead but the highlight was the finding of a Dusky Warbler in Broom scrub just north of the New Lighthouse. It seems likely that this was the same individual as that first seen two days ago. An elusive Yellow-browed Warbler was also of note in the Lighthouse Garden.There were large numbers of Goldcrests, eight Blackcaps, 12 Black Redstarts and thrushes and three Woodcocks and four Firecrests in the bushes and birds passing overhead included 20 Skylarks, 40 Tree Sparrows, six Rock Pipits, 300Goldfinches, 50 Siskins and 35 Redpolls. A Ring Ouzel continues to reside in the moat.
A few birds also passed through on the sea including 118 Brent Geese, 37 Wigeon, 146 Teal, 32 Pintail, four Tufted Ducks and 35 Kittiwakes.

Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus   Dungeness   28th October 2015
Not the greatest photographs but the best I could manage of a mainly very skulking individual.
29thA dull and cloudy day with an increasing wind produced a decent bit of movement offshore and overhead but the bushes were fairly quiet for new migrants.The Dusky Warbler was still present near the New Lighthouse along with the Ring Ouzel in the moat and a Barn Owl was seen in the trapping area. Birds passing overhead included an excellent total of 2000 Goldfinches as well as a Rock Pipit, 40Chaffinches, a Brambling, 50 Siskins and 30 Redpolls.
Just over five hours of seawatching was dominated by 1209 Gannets and 1246Kittiwakes whilst variety was provided by 15 Pintail, 13 Shoveler, 150 Common Scoters, a Sooty Shearwater,  two Pomarine Skuas, 13 Mediterranean Gulls and 40 Sandwich Terns.
30thWith a strong southerly wind blowing for much of the day most of the interest was at sea although the Dusky Warbler was still present but was very elusive.Nearly six hours of seawatching produced 50 Brent Geese, three Shelduck, twoGadwall, 35 Wigeon, 22 Teal, two Eiders, 342 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Sooty Shearwater, 1218 Gannets, a Shag, twoGreat and an Arctic Skua, nine Mediterranean Gulls, 800 Kittiwakes, 29 Sandwich Terns, 54 Guillemots, 92 Razorbills and 194 auk sp. A Merlin also flew out to sea.
A first-winter Caspian Gull was in the roost at the Point for a few minutes in the early afternoon along with an adult Yellow-legged Gull before the flock was flushed by day trippers.
A few Goldfinches and Linnets also passed overhead, a Firecrest was feeding in the Observatory garden and the regular Ring Ouzel was still in the moat.
31stWith a fresh SE wind blowing during the morning it was actually quite a disappointing day for new arrivals although four Woodcocks,  a Yellow-browed Warbler in the trapping area and two "ContinentalCoal Tits in the Desert were of note. Good numbers of Goldcrests and seven Firecrests and nine Black Redstarts were also seen and presumably included some fresh migrants. There was a steady trickle  passage of finches overhead but nothing in any great numbers. A Jack Snipe was seen in the now-regular damp spot for this bird.The Dusky Warbler continues to be seen in the broom scrub and small gardens at the Point.( Will observers please keep out of the gardens and use the designated car parking areas nearby.)
The sea was very quiet.
Clouded Yellow was seen in the moat.