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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.

29th Oct

A cold and strong N wind veering easterly during the day made for difficult viewing conditions but there were a few birds in the bushes and plenty offshore. The highlight of the day was a Shore Lark which spent about 30 minutes on the beach at the fishing boats before it was flushed and flew off to the north - the first Observatory record of this species since 2005.




Shore Lark Eremophila alpestris   Dungeness   29th October 2019
Other notable birds on the land included a Wood Lark, 11 Swallows, eight Long-tailed Tits, 14 Firecrests, 45 Goldcrests and 14 Mistle Thrushes.
There were lots of birds moving offshore but many were very distant making identification difficult. The surprise here was a Snow Goose among a flock of Brent Geese of which 2900 passed through. Other decent bits and pieces included 30 Shelduck, 144 Wigeon, two Gadwall, 13 Shovelers, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, nine Little Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Skua.

I also ran the Audiomoth nocturnal migration (NOCMIG) recorder last night with some excellent results. Thrushes dominated as would be expected with 61 Blackbirds, 982 Redwings, 176 Song Thrushes and five Fieldfares while Dunlin and Snipe were also recorded along with what sounds like a Stone-curlew.

A Grey Seal and two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Of note elsewhere (and perhaps relating to the above) a Stone-curlew was found this afternoon on the open shingle to the north of the ARC Pit.