It was another cold day and dreary day but the wind had dropped a bit overnight and resulted in some excellent seawatching. Over four hours of watching produced a near-record winter count of 16 Great Skuas (the record winter count is 17 on 31st December 2015 - if we had known at the time just how close we were we might have continued for a bit longer and beaten it). Other notable birds included two Gadwall, five Pintails, 18 Teal, a Velvet Scoter, 310 Red-throated Divers, 869 Great Crested Grebes, 330 Kittiwakes, ten Mediterranean Gulls (with another three feeding at the Patch), 2755 Guillemots and 1181 Razorbills. There were thousands of gulls at the Patch with both the second-winter Iceland Gull and juvenile Glaucous Gull being seen in the morning along with a first-winter Caspian Gull in addition to the regular bird at the fishing boats.
Two Bullfinches were seen at the north end of the Long Pits and a Fieldfare and three Redwings were seen in the trapping area.
Two Common Seals and a Grey Seal were also feeding close inshore at the fishing boats.
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Ongoing Excavation Works.
Please be aware that there are extensive ongoing excavation works around the Observatory until after Christmas. Please be very careful driving over the moat and note that parking may be difficult. We are, however, open for business and welcome anyone interested in winter birding around Dungeness.