Data Protection

At Dungeness Bird Observatory we take security of your data very seriously. The data we hold is kept securely on a password protected device and we never pass on any information to a third party. For more information please read our Data Policy available here.

Migration Time.

31st Jan

A very cold day with heavy frost this morning and some snow after dark.
The sea continues to provide most of the interest with five first-winter Caspian Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls and five Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch. For sheer numbers the most impressive feature of the day was a minimum of 11,000 Cormorants. Good numbers of auks continue to be seen.
Two Firecrest were seen in the trapping area.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

An Icy Dawn   Dungeness   31st January 2019

30th Jan

A sunny but cold day with a light breeze. Gull numbers were well down on yesterday but a second-winter Caspian Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls were seen again.
A Buzzard flew over the trapping area and a Brambling was also seen.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

29th Jan

A cold, fairly windy and miserable day which hardly got light. Virtually all day was spent looking offshore where there were huge numbers of gulls feeding mainly on Sprats which were washing up along the shoreline.
The highlights were a juvenile/first-winter Glaucous Gull (probably the bird seen at Newhaven a few days ago), at least six Caspian Gulls, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 22 Mediterranean Gulls, an adult hybrid Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull and three Little Gulls. At least 4000 Cormorants were also seen.

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus   Dungeness    29th January 2019
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans  first-winter   Dungeness   29th January 2019



Gulls   Dungeness   29th January 2018
It is very hard to convey just how many gulls were feeding offshore but these might give an idea.
 A Grey Seal was also feeding offshore.

28th Jan

Huge numbers of gulls were feeding offshore today and included two Caspian Gulls (an adult and a first-winter) and four Mediterranean Gulls. At least 3000 Cormorants were also seen.
Two Firecrests were seen in the trapping area.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore and a Brown Hare and a Stoat were seen on the land.

27th Jan

Limited coverage today but a morning session at the Patch was very productive with three Caspian Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull of note among the large numbers of gulls feeding there.

26th Jan

A fine morning but the weather closed in again this afternoon. There were plenty of birds offshore including several thousand auks but there was little sign of any real movement.
Two Firecrest and a Chiffchaff were of note on the land.

A Grey Seal was also feeding offshore.

25th Jan

A miserable day with rain for most of it and with limited coverage. The only notable birds were a first-winter Caspian Gull at the fishing boats in the evening and a Firecrest in the trapping area.

24th Jan

Very cold throughout with plenty of ice around but not much in the way of birds to report other than a Firecrest around the feeding station and over 1000 auks west in a 30-minute session this afternoon. The flock of Linnets on the Point increased to 80 individuals.

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

23rd Jan

A cold day following some light snow overnight produced a few arrivals with a Little Egret and three Lapwings coming in from the south-east and an increase in Common Gulls offshore to 300. A Mediterranean Gull was also present along with good numbers of Razorbills.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

22nd Jan

A Water Rail, two Chiffchaffs, four Firecrests and a Brambling at the Long Pits were the highlights of a pleasant but fairly quiet day. 

21st Jan

A lovely sunny day after a freezing cold start but with very little to report on the bird front other than plenty of Razorbills and Guillemots offshore again.

The main event of the day for the early risers was the Lunar Eclipse which for a change with astronomical phenomena occurred with a clear sky.


04.21hrs

04.26hrs

04.33hrs

04.44hrs

04.53hrs

04.59hrs

05.09hrs

05.10hrs Totality

05.49hrs

05.56hrs

06.17hrs

06.43hrs

06.55hrs

07.02hrs
As a bonus Jupiter and Venus rose almost together just before dawn and for a few minutes were beautifully aligned above the Old Lighthouse. 
Jupiter and Venus



20th Jan

The upchannel passage of Brent Geese continued today with 388 birds today but the sea was otherwise fairly quiet. Nothing of note on the land.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

19th Jan

Four Great Skuas and two Mediterranean Gulls passing  west this morning were of note but a genuine spring passage may also be getting underway with 126 Brent Geese counted during the day. Large numbers of Razorbills and Guillemots also continue to be seen.
A Firecrest was seen in the trapping area and a Black Redstart was around the Lifeboat Station.

18th Jan

Very little change. Still plenty of auks including a decent proportion of Razorbills offshore and two Great Skuas flew east. A Velvet Scoter also flew west.
A Black Redstart was seen by the Lifeboat Station.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore. 

17th Jan

Over 1000 Razorbills and a Great Skua were of note offshore this morning but it was quiet in the bushes.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

16th Jan

Still plenty of birds offshore again with the highlight being eight Great Skuas.
Very quiet in the bushes although two Firecrests were found.

15th Jan

Another increase in auks numbers offshore and with a much higher proportion of Razorbills than of late. Three Great Skuas flew east and two Velvet Scoters flew west. There were also decent numbers of gulls feeding at the Patch with two first-winter Caspian Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull of note.
Two Chiffchaffs were found in the trapping area.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

14th Jan

A first-winter Caspian Gull and a Mediterranean Gull were feeding at the Patch and the male Black Redstart was on the wall behind the seawatch hide this morning. A Woodcock, a Firecrest and five Long-tailed Tits were seen in the trapping area.

13th Jan

A Dartford Warbler was found near the New Lighthouse, a Black Redstart was on the Power Station wall and three Long-tailed Tits were seen at the Long Pits.
Large numbers of birds continue to feed offshore with 300 Gannets and two Great Skuas in attendance and around 2000 Guillemots this morning and also a second-winter Caspian Gull at the Patch.. 

A Grey Seal was also seen.

12th Jan

A fairly quiet day in very dull conditions. Four Great Skuas heading east and a Velvet Scoter heading west were about the best the sea had to offer and just five Long-tailed Tits of interest on the land.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert. 

11th Jan

A first-winter Caspian Gull and an odd-looking Great Black-backed Gull were seen at the fishing boats and Guillemots continue to feed offshore in good numbers. There were also at least 90 Kittiwakes and two Great Skuas seen. Cormorants continue to be seen in huge numbers with over 3,500 seen today.
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   11th January 2019 
 (Image by James Dickerson)
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus   Dungeness   11th January 2019
An odd-looking individual.
A search of the Trapping Area and Long Pits was fairly unproductive but a party of five Long-tailed Tits were found.

Two Grey Seals were also seen.

10th Jan

A Firecrest and five Redwings were of note in the trapping area whilst Guillemots continue to feed offshore in good numbers. A count of the Cormorants going into roost across the area this morning produced a new record total for the Observatory of 7550 birds. 

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

9th Jan

Very little change on recent days. Still lots of Guillemots offshore and good numbers of Red-throated Divers and Gannets present. A total of 3,600 Cormorants were counted coming into the roost on Burrowes as the tide rose.
A Brambling was seen at the feeding station in the trapping area and a Firecrest and a Chiffchaff were also seen.

A Brown Hare was seen in the Desert and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

8th Jan

More of the same with 5000 each of Cormorants and Guillemots and 190 Red-throated Divers this morning and a Firecrest in the trapping area.

7th Jan

The sea continues to provide most of the interest in a variety of forms today. The outstanding count this morning was of 7,305 Cormorants flying inland from Lade Bay and into the roost on Burrowes Pit. Guillemots were still present in large numbers but other seabird numbers were well down on recent mornings.
Whilst watching at the fishing boats a Great Black-backed Gull managed to fly into an anglers fishing line. It was quickly caught, disentangled and brought back to the Observatory where it was ringed and released none the worse for its minor ordeal.


Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus   first-winter   Dungeness   7th January 2019
Two Firecrests and two Stonechats were the best of the birds seen in the trapping area.

Having ended 2018 with a new moth species for the Observatory it was a surprise to catch another Spring Usher overnight

For the second time in the last week a group of immigrants made landfall at the Point. On this occasion they left their brand new boat and engine high and dry before they headed for Lydd where they were later apprehended by Immigration and Police Officers.
Immigrant's boat and officials looking on.

6th Jan

Several thousand Guillemots were feeding offshore again but there are now very few Razorbills. Red-throated Divers and Gannets continue to be feed in good numbers and at least three Great Skuas were also seen. A Marsh Harrier came in from the south.
Three Firecrests were seen in the trapping area.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

5th Jan

Fewer birds offshore this morning than of late but still entertaining enough and with two Great Skuas and a Mediterranean Gull were also seen. Later in the day two Caspian Gulls (a first-winter and a second-winter).
Single Firecrest and Chiffchaff were seen in the trapping area.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

4th Jan

A Firecrest, seven Long-tailed Tits, a Black Redstart and two Stonechats were of note on the land.
There were still large numbers of auks feeding offshore and a Great Skua also flew west.



Winter Heliotrope Petasites hybridus   Dungeness   4th January 2019
A new stand of this plant growing at the Lifeboat Station.

3rd Jan

The huge numbers of Guillemot and Razorbills feeding offshore remain and three Great Skuas flew east this morning. A first-winter Caspian Gull was feeding at the Patch this afternoon.
A Firecrest was about the best of a very quiet trapping area.

Two Grey Seals were also seen.

2nd Jan

Huge numbers of Guillemots and Razorbills offshore again this morning along with 800 Red-throated Divers moving east, 400 Gannets, a Great Skua and three Goosanders of note. A second-winter Caspian Gull was also seen.
Checks of the trapping area produced a Woodcock, two Snipe, a Chiffchaff and a Firecrest of note.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

1st Jan

There were literally thousands of seabirds feeding offshore again this morning with at least 1600 Cormorants, 600 Gannets, 20,000 Guillemots and 2,000 Razorbills along with four Great Skuas. A few duck also passed through including five Shoveler and 29 Wigeon and gulls also increased with five Caspian Gulls of note.


Gannets Morus bassana    Dungeness   1st January 2019
Just a small part of the flock feeding close inshore this morning


Cormorants Phalacrocorx carbo   Dungeness   1st January 2019

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   cr P:842   Dungeness   1st January 2019
The same bird as yesterday

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter    cr P:E62   Dungeness   1st January 2019
A new bird

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   second-winter   Dungeness 1st January 2019 

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus   JWM42    first-winter   Dungeness   1st January 2019
This bird was ringed at Anholt in Denmark on 23rd June 2018


A check of the Trapping Area and Desert produced 14 Snipe, five Firecrests and two Chiffchaffs of note.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

Running the moth trap proved well worth it with the catching of a Spring Usher - a new species for the Observatory.
Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia   Dungenness    1st January 2019
An unexpected  new species for the Observatory.


31st Dec

Flat calm and murky conditions and thousands of birds feeding offshore with at least 117 Red-throated Divers, 400 Gannets, 2,500 Cormorants, 22,000 Guillemots, 1,200 Razorbills and a Great Skua. A colour-ringed first-winter Caspian Gull reappeared on the beach having been last seen on 6th December along with a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   colour-ringed P:842   Dungeness   31st December 2018
This bird was also seen on 6th December and was originally ringed as a nestling in Poland on 29th May 2018.
Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo   Dungeness   31st December 2018
Just a small part of the huge numbers feeding offshore.

Guillemots Uria aalge and Razorbllls Alca torda   Dungeness   31st december 2018
Huge numbers were feeding offshore and passing through. Despite plenty of searching a Brunnich's Guillemot could not be found!!
A Common Seal was also feeding offshore.

With the warm and calm conditions overnight a moth trap was put out and attracted a single Winter Moth.