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Corona Virus Update

Due to Coronavirus we will have to remain closed to overnight visitors for the foreseeable future. Day visitors are welcome to call into the garden, as long as Covid-19 protocols are observed. We are still operating our monitoring programme. Please think carefully about Social Distancing before approaching our Wardens. Please forward any Dungeness records to the Warden.
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Thank You for your understanding in these difficult times.
The Trustees.

31st Dec

Still plenty of birds feeding offshore and including an adult Caspian Gull and nine Mediterranean Gulls. A Jack Snipe was flushed from the track to the Long Pits.

30th Dec

A nice day but not a great deal to report. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore along with large numbers of Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and Guillemots. Two Firecrests were seen in the Moat and a Raven flew over the area.

29th Dec

There were plenty of birds offshore again with many moving east this morning and then feeding offshore in the afternoon. Of note were 109 Brent Geese, 15 Wigeon, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 600 Red-throated Divers, five Mediterranean Gulls and 2900 Guillemots, A flock of 58 Turnstones were roosting on the beach.

A Brown Hare was seen at the entrance to the estate and single Common and Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

28th Dec

There was a decent, mainly easterly, movement of birds offshore this morning including 422 Brent Geese, 54 Wigeon, three Velvet Scoters, 42 Red-breasted Mergansers (west), 695 Red-throated Divers, a Little Gull, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 867 Guillemots and 933 auks.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.

27th Dec

Very quiet in miserable weather with a Mediterranean Gull and a first-winter Caspian Gull being the highlights.

26th Dec

The feeding station is even more awash, wellies are a necessity. An unexpected visitor to the peanuts this morning was a Great Spotted Woodpecker which flushed off the cloud of Great and Blue Tits that were enjoying the nuts.

25th Dec

The morning seawatch produced five Wigeon, two Velvet Scoters, 152 Red-throated Divers and eight Mediterranean Gulls of note.

A Porpoise was also feeding offshore.

24th Dec

An hour seawatch this morning produced two Red-breasted Mergansers, seven Fulmars, 118 Gannets and 293 Guillemots of note.

23rd Dec

An hour seawatch this morning produced four Fulmars, 280 Guillemots and 204 auk species. Very quiet on the land with just a Raven on one of the pylons of interest.

22nd Dec

A much better day after another wet and windy night. A 90 minute seawatch this morning saw 208 Red-throated Divers, 269 Gannets and 780 auks fly west. In the evening over 200 Kittiwakes were gathered offshore.

Singles of Porpoise, Grey Seal and Common Seal were seen.

21st Dec

A visit to the feeding station this morning to refill was followed by a pleasant half hour watching the birds flitting round the feeders. They were mostly Great and Blue Tits but a Robin and a few Chaffinches joined in, mainly on the sprinkles. The maximum number on the large peanut feeder was 14 at any one time. Watch the action on this brief video.




20th Dec

Another miserable day of frequent heavy rain, strong winds and minimal observations.

19th Dec

A light to fresh southerly wind today encouraged another and bigger easterly movement of Brent Geese with 1816 counted during the day. Other birds were fairly sparse but did include 13 Wigeon, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, 58 Kittiwakes west, 320 Red-throated Diver west and 38 east, seven Mediterranean Gulls west and another nine feeding at the Patch and 500 Guillemots west. A first-winter Caspian Gull was also feeding at the Patch this morning.

A Firecrest and a few Long-tailed Tits were seen in the trapping area.

Singles of Common and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

18th Dec

A change in the wind to a light SE induced an easterly movement of Brent Geese with 547 birds in two hours this morning along with three Red-breasted Mergansers and a sickly-looking Great Skua. A third-winter Caspian Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen at the Patch and ten Mediterranean Gulls were also seen during the morning.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.

17th Dec

A slow day with just two Caspian Gulls (second- and third-winters) and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull being seen offshore of any note.

A Grey Seal was also feeding offshore. 

We also received details of an interesting (if unfortunate) ringing recovery today which involved a Song Thrush ringed at the Observatory this year on 6th October and sadly shot 49 days later at Marcilla, Navarra, SPAIN on 24th November. A distance of 978km SSW.

16th Dec

Yet another wet and fairly breezy day. The Patch and shoreline was heaving with gulls with at least six Caspian Gulls and four Yellow-legged Gulls being seen.

A Firecrest and a Chiffchaff were seen at the Long Pits.

Elsewhere, two Long-tailed Ducks on Scotney Pit were new arrivals.

15th Dec

More of the same with wet and windy conditions continuing to produce a steady westerly flow of Gannets, Red-throated Divers, four Fulmars and a few auks. Two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore and two Caspian Gulls (first-winter and second-winter) came into the roost at the Point.

Elsewhere, at least five Caspian Gulls roosted on Burrowes Pit this evening and a Siberian Chiffchaff and two Firecrests were showing in front of the Firth Hide. The two Whooper Swans were still feeding with the large flock of Mute Swans at Dengemarsh and the Slavonian Grebe was still on the pit south of the caravan park at Scotney. 

14th Dec

More wind and rain. Seawatching was pretty quiet other than large numbers of Gannets moving west. A Shelduck, two Red-breasted Mergansers and two Mediterranean Gulls also passed west.

A Brown Hare was seen again.

13th Dec

Most of the coverage was at the Point where several hours seawatching produced 295 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, around 800 Gannets, a Little Egret came in, 12 Knot, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, a Sandwich Tern and a Pomarine Skua. At least one first-winter Caspian Gull was on the beach along with a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull. A Merlin was also hunting around the fishing boats.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   13th December 2019
A Brown Hare was also seen.



Brown Hare Lepus europeaus   Dungeness   13th December 2019
In addition I have just received details of an interesting colour-ringed Herring Gull seen at the Point on the 10th December 2019 which had been ringed as a first-year bird at Tampere, FINLAND on 9th July 2017. It was then seen in Germany and Holland in 2018 and was last seen at Utrecht in Holland on 5th November 2019. I think this is the first Finnish Herring Gull to be recorded at Dungeness.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus   C422A   third-winter   Dungeness    10th December 2019







12th Dec

Another miserable morning which got steadily worse during the day. Seawatching produced four Shelduck, 800 Gannets and 160 auks but the unlikely highlight was a Coot which floated east past the seawatch hide. A second-winter Caspian Gull came in briefly to the offerings of bread.

A Firecrest was seen at the Long Pits.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   second-winter   Dungeness   12th December 2019
A Grey Seal was seen offshore.

11th Dec

A fairly quiet seawatch this morning but 34 Mediterranean Gull passed through and a Shag and a first-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were feeding off the fishing boats.


Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis    Dungeness   11th December 2019
A Common Seal was also seen offshore.

10th Dec

Another miserable day of increasingly strong winds and then heavy rain. Seawatching continued to provide good numbers of Gannets and Kittiwakes and two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Mediterranean Gull, a Little Gull and a Great Skua of note.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

9th Dec

Very little to report. Red-throated Divers, Gannets and auks continued to move west this morning and a Velvet Scoter was also seen.

The Glossy Ibis was still being seen around Boulderwall but very elusive.

8th Dec

Another 2.5 hour seawatch this morning was quite good with seven Velvet Scoters, 398 Red-throated Divers, five Fulmars, 420 Gannets, 27 Kittiwakes and a Great Skua of note.

Elsewhere, a Glossy Ibis arrived on the RSPB Reserve and the two Whooper Swans were still at Dengemarsh. At least 11 Caspian Gulls were seen on Burrowes during the day.

7th Dec

A 2.5 hour seawatch this morning produced a Great Northern Diver, 388 Red-throated Divers, a Grey Plover, two Little Gulls, ten Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and a few auks heading west of note.
It was very quiet on the land although a Blackcap was seen in a private garden and the female Pheasant was seen again. House Sparrow is a species which doesn't normally make an appearance on this page but a flock of around 80 birds in the Observatory garden was pretty unusual. 

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.


6th Dec

A thoroughly miserable day with strong winds and almost continuous rain all day. Seawatching this morning produced two Shovelers, six Velvet Scoters and eight Fulmars of note while a check of the Patch this afternoon showed three Caspian Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull. The weather prevented any sensible coverage of the land.

Elsewhere, the swan flock feeding next to the dung heap at Dengemarsh now holds two Whooper Swans and four Bewick's Swans.

5th Dec

A nice but very cold day which produced very little other than a Mediterranean Gull offshore.

4th Dec

Two Jack Snipe were flushed from the large areas of floodwater at the Long Pits and a Firecrest was seen in the trapping area.
Large numbers of gulls were feeding at the Patch but were difficult to get good views of and only one first-winter Caspian Gull and two Mediterranean Gull were of note.

3rd Dec

Despite a good search of the land there was little of note to be seen other than three Snipe. The sea was also quiet.

2nd Dec

A cold, bright morning brought an easterly movement of Red-throated Diver with 433 birds in two hours along with two Velvet Scoters. Huge numbers of gulls were feeding at the Patch and included three first-winter Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull.
The land also produced a few bits and pieces with a Jack Snipe, two Snipe, a Woodcock, two Merlins and a Firecrest of note. A Little Grebe was also seen on the southern Long Pit.

1st Dec

The Patch finally seems to be back in full working order with large numbers of gulls feeding there this morning. The highlights were a minimum of ten Caspian Gulls along with three Yellow-legged Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls. The early seawatch produced four Velvet Scoters and an Eider of note. 

30th Nov

Two first-winter Caspian Gulls (including X86C) were feeding at the Patch this morning and four Red-breasted Mergansers and seven Mediterranean Gulls flew west but not much else was seen. A Jack Snipe was seen in the trapping area and the female Pheasant was seen again.

A Brown Hare was seen near the Sanctuary.