Another cold, mainly wet day. There was a trickle of birds moving offshore with eight Teal, 23 Wigeon, three Pintails, four Eiders and five Sandwich Terns. The Patch finally seems to be in operation again and attracting good numbers of gulls with a Mediterranean Gull, four Caspian Gulls (two first-winter and two second-winter) and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull. More unusual was a party of three Goosanders feeding in the disturbed water.
A few finches passed through with 50 Chaffinches and 40 Goldfinches and a Merlin and two Firecrests were of note on the land.
A Grey Seal and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.
We have also had the results back from Martin Collinson/Thomas Shannon at Aberdeen University on the DNA analysis of a couple of birds ringed here at the end of October. These confirmed that a Chiffchaff caught on 28th October was indeed a Siberian ssp tristis. and an "eastern" Lesser Whitethroat caught on 30th October was (as suggested at the time) of the ssp halimondendri and now called Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat.
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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.