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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.

21st Oct

An interesting day with fresh northerly winds bringing heavy skies and occasional rain. There was a good variety of migrants in the bushes with highlights including two Woodcocks, a Green Sandpiper, three Merlins, a late Willow Warbler, a Firecrest, 25 Goldcrests, 20 Ring Ouzels, 70 Song Thrushes, two Mistle Thrushes. Visible migration was also of interest with 145 Fieldfares, two Rock Pipits, 120 Chaffinches, 19 Bramblings and five Siskins.

One of the Merlins found its way into the wheelhouse of one of the fishing boats and enabled us to catch and ring it. It was noticeably large in the hand and when measured it had a wing length of 238mm which puts it right on the extreme top end of the range of the larger Icelandic race Falco columbarius subaesalon.





Merlin Falco columbarius ssp subaesalon  Dungeness   21st October 2019

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus  adult female   Dungeness   21st October 2019
The juvenile Sabine's Gull was still present and even made a visit to the rainwater pools at the fishing boats this afternoon where the regular colour-ringed (X86C) Caspian Gull and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull were also present. Additional Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen at the Patch.
Sabine's Gull Xema sabini   juvenile   Dungeness   21st October 2019
Sewatching produced six Barnacle Geese (wild birds?), 112 Brent Geese, a Shoveler, 20 Wigeon, three Tufted Ducks, three Eiders, 30 Mediterranean Gulls, three Great Skuas and three Arctic Skuas.

One Porpoise was feeding offshore.

A Red-green Carpet (only the sixth Observatory record), a Satellite and a Delicate were the highlights from a couple of very soggy mothtraps.