28th Feb

A party of four Velvet Scoters and 41 Kittiwakes flew west in the first hour this morning and a Great Skua was lingering offshore. One Iceland Gull remains at the Patch and the first-winter Caspian Gull was showing well in the roosting flock alongside the road and near the Fish Hut. Two Mediterranean Gulls were also seen. 

One other new arrival was that of Lee Gregory to start his season as Assistant Warden. We hope he enjoys his time here and wish him all the best for the coming season.

27th Feb

Another day of strong winds and frequent heavy rain. Gulls provided all the interest in the difficult conditions with the arrival of a huge first-winter Glaucous Gull and one of the Iceland Gulls and the first-winter Caspian Gull still present. A few Brent Geese also flew east in some of the clearer spells of weather.


Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus    first-winter   Dungeness   27th February 2017

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus  first-winter   Dungeness   27th February 2017
With Herring Gull in front illustrating just how big the Glaucous Gull is.

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus with Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
an unlikely pair

A Porpoise was also seen.

26th Feb

At least one of the Iceland Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull were the only birds of real note. There was a trickle of Brent Geese moving east along with two Pintails.



Iceland Gull Larus glauocoides   juvenile/first-winter   Dungeness   26th February 2017
The first time I have been able to get close to this bird..




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   26th February 2017 

25th Feb

At least one of the regular Iceland Gulls was seen at the Patch again and two first-winter Caspian Gulls were also seen. One of these was a new colour-ringed bird (yellow with black code X309) whilst the second bird was the same as the bird seen yesterday. This bird is also particularly interesting as analysis of photographs by Dante Shepherd show that it was also seen by him at the Thames Barrier on 14th February 2017. A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull was also seen.

24th Feb

Gulls continue to provide most of the interest with the two juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gulls feeding at the Patch, a first-winter Caspian Gull at the fishing boats in the morning and five different Mediterranean Gulls during the day. A female Eider and 700 Great Crested Grebes were also feeding offshore.
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   24th February 2017

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides and Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Dungeness   24th February 2017  

The drake Ring-necked Duck was still on Cooke's Pool and the two Long-eared Owls continue to show well at the Dipping Pond on the RSPB Reserve.

23rd Feb

A day dominated by the effects of Storm Doris with gale force winds throughout and rain in the morning. There did not seem to be a great deal moving offshore with just an Eider and over 670 Guillemots of interest whilst two of the Iceland Gulls, a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull were also seen.

22nd Feb

A day of strong and ever-increasing westerly winds and frequent drizzle made for pretty unpleasant conditions. Observations were limited to the sea and the Patch with the three Iceland Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull at the latter. Several spells of seawatching totaling 3.5hrs produced 12 Velvet Scoters and 50 Fulmars of note along with good numbers of auks and the usual Gannets and Red-throated Divers.

21st Feb

Plenty of birds were offshore today but not a great deal was actually moving through. Five Velvet Scoters were of note whilst gulls included the three Iceland Gulls, a Little Gull and four Mediterranean Gulls.

Two Porpoises were seen.

The latest batch of ringing recoveries just received had a couple of interesting ones among them.

The first was a "Continental" Coal Tit which was ringed by Wes Attridge at Capel, Surrey on 14th October 2015 and controlled at Dungeness on 22nd March 2016 and was presumably on its way back to the continent.
The second was a male Stonechat which was ringed on the Great Orme, Conwy on 19th August 2016 and controlled at Dungeness on 8th October 2016.

20th Feb

Coverage was a bit limited today due to thick fog but in a clearer spell this afternoon all three of the Iceland Gulls were seen.
The Grey Wagtail was feeding at the sewage treatment unit again.

19th Feb

The Dungeness Iceland Gull population rose to three today with the arrival of a second-winter bird, first seen at the Patch and then attracted to the offerings at the fishing boats in the afternoon. The two first-winter birds were still at the Patch this morning and a colour-ringed third-winter Caspian Gull also came in.

Early morning seawatching produced just ten Shovelers and a Mediterranean Gull of note along with a steady eastward trickle of Red-throated Divers and Gannets.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Another Small Tortoiseshell was seen in the Observatory garden.








Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   second-winter   Dungeness   19th February 2017

18th Feb

Seawatching at various times during the day produced totals of 400 Brent Geese, 25 Pintail, six Velvet Scoters and two Red-breasted Mergansers, 103 Red-throated and two Black-throated Divers, 352 Gannets and the first two Sandwich Terns of the year. The two Iceland Gulls were still at the Patch with a first-winter Caspian Gull also there. Later in the day another two first-winter Caspian Gulls and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull were seen at the fishing boats.
The Grey Wagtail was feeding at the sewage treatment unit again.

Three Porpoises were seen offshore.

The first Peacock butterfly of the year was seen at the Long Pits.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   juv/1stW   Dungeness   18th February 2017

17th Feb

An Iceland Gull, a first-winter Caspian Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gull were feeding at the Patch and 471 Brent Geese, four Pintails and 177 Red-throated Divers flew east. The Grey Wagtail was feeding in the power station.

The Ring-necked Duck was still on Cooke's Pool and two Slavonian Grebes were seen on New Diggings.Great White Egrets can still be seen around the RSPB Reserve.

A Small Tortoiseshell in the Observatory garden was the first butterfly of the year.

16th Feb

A much quieter day on the sea but two Greylag Geese came in from the south, three Velvet Scoters and 170 Red-throated Divers flew east and a Great Northern Diver flew west. Guillemots were moving in all directions with about 2000 seen.
The two Iceland Gulls were still at the Patch along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Two Porpoises were seen.

15th Feb

With a switch to a more or less southerly breeze and warmer conditions it had a spring-like feel to the morning and the seawatching was very much improved. There was a massive movement of over 11,500 Guillemots east and plenty of other birds including 460 Brent Geese, five Shoveler, a Teal, seven Pintail, 154 Wigeon, 290 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, a Great Skua and 340 Kittiwakes. Large numbers of gulls continue to feed  at the Patch with the two Iceland Gulls still present along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were also seen.

14th Feb


The Patch was very good again this morning. One of the Iceland Gulls was still there and a colour-ringed Caspian Gull (900P) was also still there (having also been seen over the weekend). Another colour-ringed gull was also seen which appears to be from an eastern european colony and are usually Caspian Gulls but in this instance but I am not sure that this bird is one and may well be a hybrid. Original ringing details are awaited. A second-winter Caspian Gull and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull was also seen.  

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   900P    Dungeness   14th February 2017

Gull sp, or  hybrid    second-winter   XHHP   Dungeness   14th February 2017

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   juv/first-winter   Dnngeness   14th February 2017
A Black-throated Diver and 378 Red-throated Divers and over 1500 auks flew east over three watches during the day.

Four Porpoises were also seen.

13th Feb

There was another early morning movement of Guillemots with 2604 east in an hour and at least one of the Iceland Gulls was feeding at the Patch again.

12th Feb

Well over 3000 Guillemots flew east this morning along with plenty of Red-throated Divers and Gannets and a female Eider. The two juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gulls were feeding at the Patch as usual.

11th Feb

The day started with an overnight fall of snow which continued well into the morning. It was very gloomy and cold all day.
A two-hour seawatch this morning produced 435 Red-throated Divers, three Fulmars and 1400 auks. There was not much else other than a party of 11 Greylag Geese which flew high and out to sea in an easterly direction and were potentially wild birds heading back to Scandinavia?
The two juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gulls were feeding at the Patch again.

10th Feb

Plenty of birds offshore this morning with 315 Red-throated Divers, 320 Ganets and over 1000 auks passing east and also 19 Pintail of note. There were huge numbers of gulls at the Patch this afternoon but all that could be found among them were the two regular Iceland Gulls
A check of the Trapping Area and Long Pits produced a Chiffchaff and two Cetti's Warblers of interest.

One Porpoise was seen.

Elsewhere, the Ring-necked Duck continues its stay on Cooke's Pool and the two Long-eared Owls occasionally show themselves by the Dipping Pond on the RSPB reserve. The Slavonian Grebe remains on New Diggings.

9th Feb

There were plenty of Red-throated Divers, Gannets and auks offshore today and a Great Skua was also seen whilst a check of the Patch in the afternoon produced one of the regular Iceland Gulls

Very quiet on the land with just four Goldcrests and four Redwings of any interest.

A Porpoise was seen.

8th Feb

A Black-throated Diver flew east this morning and a Great Skua was loitering offshore.

There were thousands of gulls at the Patch this afternoon with the regular two first-winter Iceland Gulls still present along with two new first-winter Caspian Gulls.

For an idea of just how many gulls there are at the Patch at the moment click here and here for some short videos.



7th Feb

One of the Iceland Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull were seen at the Patch and a Velvet Scoter flew west in the morning. A Grey Wagtail was feeding at the sewage treatment unit again.

6th Feb

A Brambling was the best of the birds seen on the land. There were two new Caspian Gulls (a first-winter and a second-winter) at the Patch where the two first-winter Iceland Gulls were still present.

3rd Feb

The Patch was the place to be this morning with the first-winter Glaucous Gull, two first-winter Iceland Gull and two first-winter Caspian Gulls present. Two Grey Wagtails were feeding around the sewage treatment unit inside the power station.

2nd Feb

A first-winter Glaucous Gull was a new arrival among the large numbers of gulls feeding at the Patch. Large numbers of Red-throated Divers and auks were moving east and feeding offshore and the Great Skua was marauding. An adult Mediterranean Gull was also seen.  

1st Feb

Limited coverage with pretty miserable weather for much of the day. A Black-throated Diver flew west this morning and the regular first-winter Caspian Gull was feeding at the Fish Hut.