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.

30th Apr

A day much like the previous few with very little on the land and an offshore movement of birds which peaked in the evening.
Of note on the land were a Buzzard over the Observatory, five Willow Warblers were seen in the bushes and a Tree Pipit flew over.
Final day totals from nine hours of seawatching included 25 Shovelers, a Black-throated Divers, 266 Bar-tailed Godwits, 81 Whimbrel, ten Knot, 113 Little Terns, 1379 Common Terns, a Black Tern and seven Arctic Skuas.  

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and two Bank Voles were seen on the land.

One Grizzled Skipper was found in the trapping area.

29th Apr

The morning seawatch was pretty slow but passage improved considerably in the afternoon and by the end of the day a Black-throated Diver, 32 Whimbrel, 1606 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2328 "commic" Terns, two Black Terns, a Pomarine Skua and five Arctic Skuas of note had been recorded.

It was also quiet on the land with just 12 Willow Warblers and the first Cuckoo of the year of note. A Buzzard also flew over and a Hobby and 38 Swallows arrived from the south.

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was also seen.

The first two Grizzled Skippers and a Holly Blue of the year were seen.

Regular checking for interesting bees produced an example of the Common Mourning Bee Melecta albifrons at the Lighthouse Garden. This appears to be the first Dungeness record of this bee.
Melecta albifrons   Dungeness   29th April 2019

28th Apr

A very quiet day on both land and sea was enlivened by the finding of a fine male Serin which spent its time with Linnets between the Old Lighthouse and the Seawatch Hide.

27th Apr

A stormy morning with most of the interest offshore again although even here it was fairly hard going. Eight hours of seawatching produced one Velvet Scoter, 26 Manx Shearwaters, 126 Fulmars, two Avocets, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, ten Little Terns, four Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas.

Five Porpoise were feeding offshore.


26th Apr

Fairly quiet on both land and sea today. Seven hours of seawatching produced just 15 Eider, two Mediterranean Gulls, six Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas and an incoming Hobby of interest.
There was a very small arrival of Willow Warblers with 11 birds being seen and a Buzzard and three Yellow Wagtails flew over.

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

There also seemed to be a bit of a clear out of some of the rarer birds in the general area over the last few days. A Garganey and at least one Cattle Egret remain at Hayfield 3 on the RSPB Reserve and a male Blue-headed Wagtail was still in the harrowed field at Springfield Bridge.

25th Apr

Strong south by south-east winds resulted in another day of continuous seawatching. The highlights were 18 Velvet Scoters, 1422 Common Scoters, eight Black-throated Divers, 81 Manx Shearwaters, 101 Bar-tailed Godwits, 46 Great Skuas, nine Pomarine Skuas (including a flock of five birds), 65 Arctic Skuas (the equal third best-ever spring day total), 114 Little Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, five Black Terns, 11 Little Terns and 49 Arctic Terns.
However the undoubted surprise of the day was the finding of a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Heligoland Trap this afternoon.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus   Dungeness   25th April 2019
Ten Porpoises and a pod of ten unidentified dolphins were feeding offshore along with a Grey Seal.




24th Apr

Another day with nearly all of the interest offshore. Eleven hours of seawatching produced a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, four Manx Shearwaters, 22 Mediterranean Gulls,  27 Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 22 Arctic Skuas and two Black Terns of note although overall numbers of waders and terns were generally low.
A Ring Ouzel was the only bird of note on the land.

Ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced a Pine Beauty - only the second Observatory record.
Pine Beauty Panolis flammea   Dungeness   24th April 2019

23rd Apr

A day of seawatching which produced good numbers of waders, skuas and terns. Of note were three Pintail, a Garganey, five Velvet Scoters, two Manx Shearwaters, 38 Grey Plover, 77 Whimbrel, 1134 Bar-tailed Godwits, 33 Knot, 27 Little Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns, 28 Little Terns, 860 Sandwich Terns, 1643 Common Terns, 1227 Arctic Terns, 529 "commic" Terns, four Great Skuas, one Pomarine Skua and 26 Arctic Skuas during 13.5hrs of watching.
Although it was pretty quiet on the land a "continental" Coal Tit and a Ring Ouzel were seen and a Marsh Harrier arrived from the south.

A Grey Seal and at least 20 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

22nd Apr

With a light north-easterly breeze and mostly sunny conditions virtually all the interest was offshore. Just over 13 hours of watching produced 214 Brent Geese, five Garganey, two Gadwall, ten Velvet Scoters, 3,025 Common Scoters, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Black-throated Divers and a Manx Shearwater. Waders included five Avocets, 117 Whimbrel, 437 Bar-tailed Godwits, 16 Knot and 28 Sanderling whilst skuas were represented by 35 Greats, 26 Arctic and our first spring migrant Pomarine Skuas with 13 in total. Gulls of note were 51 Little Gulls and 30 Mediterranean Gulls while terns included 51 Little Terns, 652 Sandwich Terns and 124 Arctic Terns.

At least 25 Porpoises were feeding offshore this evening.

21st Apr

The clear skies are limiting the number of migrants arriving on the land but today they did include two Short-eared Owls, two Whinchats, six Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin of note and the local breeding populations of Whitethroats and Reed Warbler are now increasing.

The sea was very quiet during the morning but picked up in the afternoon and produced the first two Pomarine Skuas of the spring along with two Black-throated Divers, 48 Bar-tailed Godwits, 52 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Little Gulls, 390 Common Terns and 73 Arctic Terns.

At least ten Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore.

A small catch of moths in the traps this included our fifth-ever Brindled Beauty.


20th Apr

A mostly quiet day on land and at sea but with the highlight of a Red Kite flying around the Point during the morning. A Buzzard, a Merlin, a Redstart, the first Whinchat of the year and four Yellow Wagtails were also seen.
Over 4.5hrs of seawatching produced just four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Great Skuas, 43 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Little Gulls and three Little Terns of note. 

Red Kite Milvus milvus   Dungeness 20th April 2019
Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Stoat was seen on the land.

Elsewhere, the obvious highlight was a pair of Black-winged Stilts which were initially very mobile but eventually settled at the southern end of ARC Pit in the evening. The Crane and five Cattle Egrets remained at Dengemarsh and six Spoonbills dropped in at Scotney.




Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus   ARC   20th April 2019

19th Apr

Light NE winds with plenty of sun and getting warmer. Six hours of seawatching produced ten Shoveler, 22 Teal, four Red-breasted Mergansers, ten Sanderling, 59 Whimbrel, 62 Bar-tailed Godwits, 21 Little Gulls, a Great Skua, three Arctic Skuas and an excellent total of 120 Mediterranean Gulls all moving east.

Rather quiet on the land although the first Reed Warblers in the Observatory area were seen, Lesser Whitethroats increased to four and a Buzzard, a Merlin, 25 Swallows, two Yellow Wagtails, a Brambling and a Corn Bunting flew over. 

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Butterflies numbers have increased in the warm weather with at least 30 Small Coppers of interest and including one example of the named aberration oblitera.
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab oblitera   Dungeness   19th April 2019
The moth trap failed to produce a single moth. 

Elsewhere, the three Cattle Egrets remain in the Boulderwall/Cockles Bridge area, the Crane continues to be seen at Dengemarsh (albeit mostly distantly), a Spoonbill dropped in briefly on the RSPB Reserve and five Garganey were also showing.

18th Apr

A pretty quiet day on the land although a Garden Warbler was new for the year and two Lesser Whitethroats were also seen. 
Seawatching was a bit better but still fairly slow with eight hours of observation producing 11 Shovelers, two Gadwall, 20 Grey Plover, 169 Whimbrel, 45 Mediterranean Gulls, 198 Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Skuas of note.

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Pygmy Shrew was seen on the land.

17th April

There was an unexpected drop of Willow Warblers this morning with at least 70 birds arriving and centred around the Moat. Other migrants included a Buzzard, 15 Chiffchaffs, a Sedge Warbler, a Ring Ouzel, three Fieldfares, two Yellow Wagtails and a Brambling. Three Egyptian Geese also flew around the Point.

Seawatching was also very good although the murky conditions hindered observations with a flock of nine Garganey, a Black-throated Diver, a Manx Shearwater, a Shag, seven Little Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, ten Great Skuas, 26 Arctic Skuas and another Puffin of note. Numbers were provided by 416 Brent Geese, 914 Common Scoters, 88 Whimbrels, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits, 413 Sandwich Terns and 505 Common Terns

Nocturnal migration recording, nocmig, gives an interesting insight into what birds and animals are moving about at night. We are just starting so our recordings aren't perfect but we are working on it. Putting the recorder outside last night resulted in some interesting night calls among the gulls and crows, including DunlinMediterranean Gull, Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare and Fox. We also recorded a flock of Common Scoter passing overhead, listen here, and Sandwich Terns moving through the night, listen here. You can hear them get closer, pass overhead and move away.

At least twenty Porpoise were feeding offshore.

16th Apr

An increasingly misty day after a bright start with light onshore breezes produced a decent movement of birds offshore and a handful of migrants on the land.
The best of the land migrants were five Buzzards, 18 Willow Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs and five Whitethroats.
Almost 12 hours of seawatching were completed with three Garganey, four Gadwall, two Velvet Scoters, five Manx Shearwaters, a Shag, 16 Whimbrel, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Gulls, 20 Arctic Terns and five Great and 30 Arctic Skuas.of note while numbers were provided by 859 Brent Geese, 1279 Common Scoters, 512 Gannets, 413 Common Gulls, 656 Sandwich Terns and 1740 Common Terns

At least 20 Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Red-eared Terrapin was seen at the Long Pits.

15th Apr

A slight change in the wind direction to ESE resulted in an excellent morning seawatch and nine hours of watching during the day producing a number of highlights including a Barnacle Goose, 12 Gadwall, a Scaup, 11 Velvet Scoters, a Manx Shearwater, two Little Ringed Plovers, 19 Whimbrel, 11 Little Gulls, 22 Arctic Terns, five Great Skuas, ten Arctic Skuas and two Puffins. Numbers were provided by 51 Shoveler, 68 Teal, 2528 Common Scoters, 33 Fulmars, 587 Gannets, 117 Kittiwakes, 682 Sandwich Terns, 118 Common Terns and 152 auks.

Still very little in the way of migrants on the land.

At least ten Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A search for solitary bees found a couple of examples of what appears to be the nomad bee Nomada ferruginata. This is a pretty scarce insect across the country and according to recent atlases is restricted in Kent to the Dungeness area.
Nomada ferruginata   Dungeness   15th April 2019

14th Apr

And so it goes on with the continuing cold easterly wind limiting any migration to a trickle of birds east offshore andjust a handful of migrants on the land. Just under seven hours of seawatching produced just ten Shelduck, 22 Shovelers, two Pintail, 24 Teal, three Gadwall, four Red-breasted Mergansers, a Manx Shearwater, 21 Whimbrel, three Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, 16 Little Gulls and three Little Terns of note.
Very quiet on the land with the arrival of our first two Whitethroat and ten Wheatears being the highlights.

Fifteen Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Comma and a Small Copper were seen at the Long Pits.

The micro-moth Adele cuprella was also seen in small numbers at the Long Pits. This species was only added to the area list in 2017 when larva were reared.and the first adults in the wild were seen last spring.
Adela cuprella   Dungeness   14th April 2019

13th Apr

Another cold and breezy day with just a trickle of birds moving east offshore and in the bushes. The first Lesser Whitethroat of the spring was singing at the Long Pits along with a Firecrest. The highlights from four hours of seawatching were 17 Shoveler, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, 20 Fulmars, 28 Bar-tailed Godwits, three Great Skuas, an Arctic Skua and four Mediterranean Gull and the bird of the day in the form of a Puffin which flew east at 0750hrs.  

At least 15 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The Crane continues to feed at Dengemarsh and the three Cattle Egrets are still to be seen at Cockles Bridge.

12th Apr

Another day of cold north-easterlies which limited any migration on the land or offshore. The best of several hours seawatching was just 12 Little and six Mediterranean Gulls whilst the only migrants we could muster in the bushes were a mere handful of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests. A Buzzard also flew over. However, in late afternoon a Serin was found among a flock of 40 or so Linnets and was eventually seen well as it fed along the roadside verges.


Serin Serinus serinus   Dungeness   12th April 2019

Four Brown Hares and a Weasel were seen.

11th Apr

The strong and cold NE wind continues and migration was fairly limited. A handful of migrants on the land included a Firecrest, four Willow Warblers, eight Song Thrush and three Bramblings. Over 4.5hrs of seawatching produced nine Red-breasted Mergansers, 25 Grey Plovers, a Whimbrel, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 318 Sandwich Terns and 75 Common Terns.

At least 12 Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

10th Apr

Tough going today in strong and cold NE winds. The only birds of note on the land were a male Redstart and a Firecrest in the Old Lighthouse Garden and nine Blackcaps and 16 Redwings scattered around the area.
The sea was very slow with almost five hours of watching producing 329 Common Scoters, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, two Grey Plovers, two Mediterranean Gulls and 54 Common Terns

Ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

9th Apr

A miserable day of more or less continuous rain but calm at first with wind increasing in the afternoon. Although there were fewer birds on the ground and overhead than yesterday there was still some interest with two Egyptian Geese, six Willow Warblers, 15 Blackcaps, seven Fieldfares, 55 Redwings and 20 Song Thrushes, a Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit and three Bramblings.  
Six hours of seawatching produced the first Black and Arctic Terns of the year along with 316 Brent Geese, nine Shelduck, two Pintail, 12 Teal, 556 Common Scoters, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, 14 Whimbrel, ten Mediterranean Gulls, an Arctic Skua, a Little Tern and 497 Common Terns.

At least 20 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

8th Apr

A dank, misty morning produced a pretty decent arrival of migrants in the bushes with seven Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, 14 Blackcaps, at least two Ring Ouzels, 145 Fieldfares, 90 Redwings. 50 Song Thrushes, four Redstarts and 25 Wheatears of note.
More unusual species included three Egyptian Geese, a Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Swallows, a Mistle Thrush and a Tree Pipit but the highlight of the day appeared at around 1400hrs when a White Stork made a several circuits of the Point before disappearing north along the coast.



White Stork Ciconia ciconia   Dungeness   8th April 2019    (David Walker)
In addition we had a sound recorder out last night and among the numerous Redwing calls were several Coots, Fieldfares and Song Thrushes and what sounds to me like a Common Crane at 2218hrs. Presumably the bird from Dengemarsh doing a nocturnal fly-by. (Click here to listen.)

At least ten Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was also seen.

It was the first suitable night for running the moth trap for some time and the small catch included a Streamer and out first Ethmmia bipunctella of the year.





7th Apr

A damp, misty day rendered the sea invisible for the most part although four Arctic Skuas were seen in a brief clearer spell. It was also fairly quiet on the land but five Blackcaps, a Firecrest and three Siskins were of note.

Twenty Porpoises were feeding offshore and three Brown Hares were seen in the Desert.




6th Apr

The wind backed into the north-east overnight and sea passage was predictably much reduced. The best of five hours of watching produced nine Shoveler, five Teal, a Velvet and 251 Common Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, 30 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, a Little Gull and 512 Sandwich Terns of note.
There was a small increase in the number of migrants on the land and included a Sand Martin, 10 Willow Warblers, 23 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps and a Siskin.

The Crane continues to be seen in fields at Dengemarsh and the Red-necked Grebe was still on Burrowes Pit. The three Cattle Egrets were still being seen at Cockles Bridge.

5th Apr

With a fresh SE wind blowing this morning it was very quiet on the land but hopes were reasonably high for a decent seawatch and so it proved to be. Eleven hours of watching produced 22 Teal, 28 Shoveler, 2452 Common Scoters, eight Velvet Scoters, 14 Eider, 13 Red-breasted Mergansers, one Black-throated and 109 Red-throated Divers, 48 Fulmars, 16 Manx Shearwaters, 1400 Gannets, 11 Avocets, six Grey Plover, five Knot, the first Whimbrel of the spring, 12 Great Skuas and 20 Arctic Skuas, 36 Little Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, a record spring day count of 2318 Sandwich Terns, a Little Tern and 441 Common Terns.

A Snipe, two Willow Warblers and and two Blackcaps were the best the land could offer us..

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The Crane was still showing well (though distantly) on the Reserve and a superb summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe was seen on Burrowes Pit in the afternoon.

4th Apr

With a strong S x SW wind most of the interest was offshore where over nine hours of seawatching produced some excellent totals and variety including 615 Brent Geese, two Pintail, eight Velvet Scoter, 680 Common Scoters, 23 Eider, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 226 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 24 Manx Shearwaters, a Shag, 16 Great Skuas, 13 Arctic Skuas, three Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, 322 Kittiwakes, 876 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern.
It was hard going in the bushes but 17 Chiffchaffs, four Willow Warblers and five Wheatears were seen.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Pigmy Shrew was seen on the land. 

3rd Apr

The sea was fairly quiet today but not without some interest with 4.5hrs of watching producing 757 Brent Geese, seven Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and four Common Terns passing east, a Shag which flew west close inshore and a Red-necked Grebe was on the sea.
Very little on the land with just two Willow Warblers and eight Wheatears of note.

Ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

2nd Apr

There was a big movement of birds offshore today with nine hours of watching producing 2996 Brent Geese, six Shelduck, 846 Common Scoters, 13 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Manx Shearwater, 610 Gannets, four Golden Plovers, 68 Kittiwakes, ten Little Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, 99 Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns and five each of both Great and Arctic Skuas.
A Short-eared Owl was also seen at the fishing boats and two Willow Warblers, 14 Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, four Goldcrests and four Wheatears while six Swallows, 250 Meadow Pipits, 40 Chaffinches, a Brambling and 170 Linnets flew through.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the Crane was till being seen in the fields on the RSPB Reserve and three Cattle Egrets were feeding with the horses at Cockles Bridge.

1st Apr

A cold north easterly wind produced a blustery day with little movement on the sea or the land.

On the land a Blackcap was singing at the top of the Long Pits and another was in a private garden on the estate. Other spring migrants included three Chiffchaffs, 12 Wheatear and a Firecrest.

On the sea the number of  waterfowl had dropped away. Only 54 Common Scoter, 12 Brent Geese, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, four Shoveler, four Wigeon and four Teal. 40 Red-throated Divers, 160 Sandwich Tern and two Common Tern were also noted.

A single Grey Seal and eight Harbour Porpoise were also seen on the sea.

Elsewhere a Crane was visible in the evening from Boulderwall at the RSPB Reserve.