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2016 Report

Our 2016 Report is now available from the Observatory for £8.00 plus P&P if needed. Please contact the Warden: dungenessobs@vfast.co.uk

14th Dec

Not a great deal to report today. Decent numbers of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks but very little actually passing through.

13th Dec

There were plenty of Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks offshore and a Great Skua and 21 Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore. A couple of checks of the bushes produced seven Firecrests and 20 Goldcrests but the windy and cold conditions made observations difficult.

Two Porpoises were also seen.

12th Dec

The obvious highlight of the day was the catching of this superb Long-eared Owl in the Heligoland Trap this afternoon.



Long-eared Owl Asio otus   Dungeness   12th December 2018 (photos by Gill Hollamby)
The only other coverage was of the sea where it was fairly quiet although three Eiders, a Great Skua and a Mediterranean Gull were of note. Two Ravens were seen on the beach - the first in the Observatory area for some time - and a Black Redstart was seen around the Observatory..

Two Porpoises were also feeding offshore.

11th Dec

A nice day after a misty start. Four Firecrests were seen in the trapping area and a Black Redstart was on the wall of the power station. A Great Skua flew west and an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen at the Patch.

10th Dec

A check of the bushes in decent weather conditions produced a Woodcock, four Firecrests, three Chiffchaffs and a Bullfinch in the trapping area and a Kingfisher at the Long Pits.
Plenty of birds were feeding offshore again and a Great Skua flew west.

9th Dec

Lots of birds passing offshore again today but mostly at great distance. At least 3000 Gannets were seen along with large numbers of auks and also two Great Skuas and two Mediterranean Gulls.

The Hume's Warbler was reported again from Lade Pit.

8th Dec

Not a great deal report today. A Great Skua and a Mediterranean Gull were seen offshore.

7th Dec

Another day with most of the coverage looking to the sea but apart from lots of Gannets, Cormorants and auks the only other bits of note were two Teal, 111 Red-throated Divers, a few Kittiwakes and a Great Skua. Two new Caspian Gulls (a first winter and a second-winter) were also seen around the fishing boats.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   7th December 2018
A slightly odd-looking individual which may have some hybrid influence in it.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   second-winter   Dungeness   7th December 2018

6th Dec

After the riches of yesterday the sea seemed a bit disappointing this morning but in fact there were actually more birds to be seen but just lacked any rarer ducks and auks. A four- hour watch this morning produced a Red-breasted Merganser, 292 Red-throated Divers, 772 Gannets, a Great Skua flying into the bay, three Mediterranean Gulls, 122 Kittiwakes, 718 Guillemots, 281 Razorbills and 925 auk sp. In addition, on the beach was another colour-ringed first-winter Caspian Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   6th December 2018
This will probably turn out to be a Polish-ringed bird. 




Gannets Morus bassana   Dungeness   6th December 2018
For much of the morning there was a huge feeding flock of Cormorants
 and these attracted large numbers of Gannets at times.  
A Common Seal, a Grey Seal and at least one Porpoise was feeding close inshore.

A Satellite was the only moth trapped overnight.

Elsewhere, the Hume's Warbler was seen again at Lade Pit and a Cattle Egret was seen in the fields at Boulderwall.

5th Dec

A return to wet and windy conditions but this time producing a memorable five hour seawatch. There were several highlights with the birds of the day being a Black Guillemot and a remarkable total of  seven Puffins. There was considerable back up in the form of a Long-tailed Duck, two Velvet Scoters, a flock of eight Goosanders, singles of Black-throated and Great Northern Diver and a Grey Phalarope. Numbers were provided by 587 Gannets, 346 Kittiwakes, 673 Guillemots, 160 Razorbills and 266 auk sp. Gulls were also a notable feature with a Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls, three Yellow-legged Gulls and two first-winter Caspian Gulls. A late Sandwich Tern was also seen.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   5th December 2018
Colour-ringed 365:U from the Czech Republic.
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   5th December 2018
An unringed bird.
Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   first-winters   Dungeness   5th December 2018
Both individuals in this shot.
 A Common Seal and a Porpoise were also feeding offshore.

A Dark Swordgrass moth was trapped overnight.

The Hume's Warbler at Lade was seen again.

4th Dec

After a long spell of wind and rain today dawned clear, calm and frosty. The fine weather resulted in a reasonable overhead movement with 600 Wood Pigeons, 115 Stock Doves, 260 Starlings, two Tree Sparrows, eight Siskins, two Redpolls and 14 Reed Buntings and a nice surprise in the form of eight Pink-footed Geese. There was also a small increase in grounded migrants with a Fieldfare and five Song Thrushes of note along with three Chiffchaffs, five Firecrests and a Bullfinch.
Large numbers of birds were feeding offshore and included 70 Mediterranean Gulls, 1100 Kittiwakes and 20 Razorbills of note.
Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus   Dungeness   4th December 2018
Singles of Common and Grey Seal and a Porpoise feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the Hume 's Warbler was showing well at Lade Pit in the fine weather and the Red-necked Grebe was still on the North Pit. The two Whooper Swans were still in the fields at the back of Scotney with two Pink-footed Geese and four White-fronted Geese still present. Two Cattle Egret were feeding in the wet fields at Boulderwall again


Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei   Lade Pit   4th December 2018

3rd Dec

More wind and rain and fairly limited coverage again. The only birds of note were a Mediterranean Gull, a first-winter Caspian Gull and 32 Turnstones at the fishing boats and two Firecrests in the trapping area.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

There was no sign of the Hume's Warbler at Lade today.

2nd Dec

Another fairly miserable day. Six Firecrests were seen in the trapping area and at the Long Pits and two Little Egrets which came in from the east.were about the only birds of note.

Most of the interest elsewhere around the area was at Lade Pits where a Hume's Warbler was found along with a Red-necked Grebe, two Goosanders, two Great White Egrets and two Caspian Gulls. The gull roost on Burrowes this afternoon produced three Caspian Gulls where a party of eight Goosanders were also seen.
Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei   Lade Pit   2nd December 2018
A very ropey shot of this bird. Fortunately it was heard calling on several occasions which helped to confirm its identity.
Tthis is only the fourth Dungeness area record.

1st Dec

Not a great deal to report on another breezy day with almost continuous rain and very poor visibility.  A morning seawatch produced 750 Gannets and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull came to the offerings of bread at the fishing boat.