A dank, dreary day with fog during the morning and light rain from mid-afternoon. There was a small arrival of thrushes on the land and three Chiffchaffs and five Firecrests were also seen. Poor visibility hampered any seawatching but there did not appear to be a great deal on the move with just a Mediterranean Gull and a late Sandwich Tern of note. A White-fronted Goose also arrived and flew inland.
Corona Virus Update
With a brisk, cold easterly wind this morning there was a surge in movement offshore although with most of it passing up-channel. Numbers were provided by 66 Teal, 113 Common Scoter, 113 Red-throated Divers, 1820 Gannets, 497 Kittiwakes, 517 Guillemots, 328 Razorbills and 414 auk species. Quality came in the form of 12 Shoveler, three Gadwall, three Eiders, a Goldeneye, a Little Gull, four Mediterranean Gulls, three Sandwich Terns and eight Great Skuas. Three Merlins were also seen.
A Grey Seal was also seen.
A calm, clear morning saw offshore passage much reduced with just four Shovelers, 11 Eiders, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Little Egret, a Mediterranean Gull and nine Sandwich Terns of note.
Grounded migrants were also few and far between but included a Woodcock while "semi-resident" birds included five Chiffchaffs, a Dartford Warbler and five Firecrests. There was also a steady movement of birds overhead during the morning which included eight Redpolls, 40 Goldfinches and 30 Siskins.
There was a notable increase in offshore passage today with an excellent variety of wildfowl to be seen and quite a few odds and ends thrown into the mix. Wildfowl included 273 Brent Geese, ten Shoveler, 112 Wigeon, 36 Pintail, 56 Teal, 11 Eider, three Velvet Scoter and 14 Red-breasted Mergansers. Of 105 divers, four were Black-throated and one was a Great Northern. Two Shags, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua and six Sandwich Terns were also seen.
Very quiet on the land with just four Chiffchaffs around the Long Pits and a Firecrest in the Moat of interest.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were offshore again.
Five Shovelers, a Pintail, a Velvet Scoter, five Mediterranean Gulls and five Sandwich Terns were of note offshore alongside continuing good numbers of Red-throated Diver, Gannets and Kittiwakes. Fairly quiet in the trapping area but three Snipe, three Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, 13 Fieldfares, 18 Redwings, a Grey Wagtail and three Siskins were of interest.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.
Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks continue to move west on good numbers along with two Velvet Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver and three Mediterranean Gulls. Fifteen Sandwich Terns were also feeding offshore. It was quiet on the land with just two Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest in the bushes of note and a mere trickle of birds overhead including a late Swallow and eight Siskins.
A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also seen.
Finches continue to pass overhead and were the main feature of the day with a Brambling, 85 Redpolls, 113 Goldfinches and 46 Siskins of note. Other bits on the land included three Chiffchaffs, two Firecrests and three Fieldfares. The seawatching was also pretty slow going with most birds moving east and including three Velvet Scoters and a Great Skua. A late Sandwich Tern flew west and at least three Mediterranean Gulls were lingering offshore.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also seen.
A calm, overcast morning produced a small increase in the numbers of birds passing overhead including three Bramblings, 35 Redpolls, 115 Goldfinches and 75 Siskins while grounded migrants included six Chiffchaffs and three Firecrests. Seawatching produced a few good birds with a Velvet Scoter, a Goosander, six Red-breasted Mergansers, two Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, nine Mediterranean Gulls, seven Sandwich Terns, four Great Skuas and a Puffin of note. Seven Merlins were also seen.
Singles of Grey and Common Seal and Porpoise were seen.
A decent variety of birds passed through offshore with two Velvet Scoters, four Black-throated Divers, three Mediterranean Gulls, nine Sandwich Terns and four Great Skuas of note. Three Merlins were also seen. Very quiet on the land with just four Chiffchaffs and six Firecrests of note.
A Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.
The day dawned clear and calm with a heavy frost and with it came a small arrival of migrants with the obvious highlight being a late Pallas's Warbler which showed well in the Trapping Area. Other notable migrants included a Woodcock, two Snipe, five Chiffchaffs, 12 Firecrests and 25 Goldcrests, Three Fieldfares, three Bramblings, 30 Redpolls and 30 Siskins flew over. Seawatching was fairly slow but 2.75hrs of watching eventually produced 330 Kittiwakes, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, nine Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua.
|Pallas's Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus Dungeness 20th November 2020|
Two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.
A Black-throated Diver, 900 Gannets, 351 Kittiwakes, five Mediterranean Gulls, 18 Sandwich Terns and 783 auks flew west during the day and three Merlins were hunting offshore. Very quiet on the land with just three Chiffchaffs, four Firecrests, a Brambling and six Siskins of note.
Two Grey Seals and two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
A first-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen at the Point and nine Sandwich Tern passed west offshore. Two Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests were seen on the land.
A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.
Although the moth traps were not run overnight a very worn Scarce Umber came to one of the lit windows and is only the third Observatory record.
A quieter day offshore and not a great deal in the way of new birds on the land. A Jack Snipe was seen in the regular pool site and two Firecrests were seen in the Trapping Area.
Seawatching in the slightly calmer conditions produced a Velvet Scoter, 1119 Gannets, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a first-winter Caspian Gull and nine Sandwich Terns and at least two Merlins hunting offshore.
A Porpoise and a Common Seal were seen offshore.
Gale force SSW winds and frequent torrential rain limited most of the observations to the sea where four Red-breasted Mergansers, 916 Gannets, 13 Little Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, 30 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and two Arctic Skuas were of note.
Two Porpoise were also seen.
Virtually all the interest was offshore in fresh to strong SSW winds which increased through the day. Of note were two Sooty Shearwaters, four Great Skuas, an excellent 90 Little Gulls and 119 Sandwich Terns while notable totals included 2504 Gannets, 666 Kittiwakes and 363 Razorbills. A first-winter Caspian Gull came on to the beach briefly and two Merlins were hunting offshore.
Two Firecrests were the best on offer in the Trapping Area.
There was another decent movement of birds offshore with just over five hours watching producing a Red-breasted Merganser, a Manx Shearwater, 1916 Gannets, 2700 Cormorants, 587 Kittiwakes, six Little Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls, a Yellow-legged Gull, 85 Sandwich Terns, two adult Pomarine Skuas and singles of both Great and Arctic Skuas, It was fairly quiet on the land but a Long-eared Owl was still found in the Trapping Area along with three Firecrests and three Chiffchaffs.
Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.
The moth traps were almost devoid of life this morning but a Hummingbird Hawkmoth came into the Observatory Garden briefly during a spell of sunny weather.
The morning seawatch was productive with a Red-necked Grebe, 326 Gannets, 362 Kittiwakes, 23 Mediterranean Gulls, 21 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and 794 auk sp of note. It was very quiet for common migrants on the land but a Jack Snipe gave superb close-up view. However, there was no doubt about the bird of the day when a Black Kite flew slowly NW over the area at 0930hrs.
|Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus Dungeness 12th November 2020 (Image by James Dee)|
|Black Kite Milvus migrans Dungeness 12th November 2020|
A couple of very ropey, distant shots of the Black Kite.
Most of the interest was offshore where four hours of watching produced a Black-throated Diver, 291 Gannets, 566 Kittiwakes, 91 Mediterranean Gulls, 22 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and 499 Razorbills. A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was also on the beach. A Jack Snipe was seen at the Long Pits and eight Bramblings, 105 Redpolls and 47 Siskins flew over.
A Grey Seal was seen.
A Portuguese Man-o-War jellyfish was found washed up on the tideline.
With plenty of overcast skies and frequent light showers there was a considerable movement of finches overhead and a few grounded migrants and also some good seawatching during the morning. The highlights of the visible migration were a late Swallow, two Fieldfares, a Grey Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, 64 Chaffinches, 15 Bramblings, 1200 Redpolls, a Crossbill, 277 Goldfinches and 84 Siskins. Grounded migrants included three Snipe, four Firecrests and 40 Goldcrests. A Dartford Warbler was seen in the Station Gorse. A 2.25hrs seawatch this morning produced eight Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 322 Kittiwakes, 26 Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas and 747 Razorbills of note.
A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.
Moth trapping produced our second-ever Radford's Flame Shoulder. The fine weather this afternoon saw Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on the wing.
|Radford's Flame Shoulder Ochropleura leucogaster Dungeness 10th November 2020|
A Mottled Shieldbug was seen along with two Hairy Shieldbugs.
There were a few birds in the bushes this morning along with a decent visible migration. There was also some interest offshore. The best of the grounded migrants were a Woodcock, four Firecrests, 11 Fieldfares and 25 Redwings while three Swallows, a Grey Wagtail, eight Bramblings and two Corn Buntings also passed overhead. A Pheasant was also seen in the Trapping Area. Four hours of seawatching proved very productive with 400 Brent Geese, eight Shelduck, 28 Shovelers, three Gadwall, 71 Wigeon, 46 Pintail, 47 Teal, three Scaup and a Velvet Scoter, 822 Gannets, 450 Kittiwakes, nine Little Gulls, 500 Kittiwakes and 11 Great Skuas.
The highlight among the moths was an Olive-tree Pearl.
Grounded migrants included a Woodcock and four Snipe, 50 Goldcrests and 15 Firecrests of note whilst good numbers of birds also passed overhead with three Swallows, a Grey Wagtail, ten Bramblings, 300 Redpolls and a Yellowhammer.
The early morning seawatch was fairly slow-going but a check in the afternoon produced a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 16 Little Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, 21 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua.
A Grey Seal was seen offshore.
A very busy day with 186 birds ringed and overall totals of 150 Goldcrests, ten Firecrests, ten Bramblings,150 Redpolls (with 28 Lesser Redpolls and 13 Common Redpolls ringed). Other notable sightings included a Jack Snipe, two Long-eared Owls this evening, a Dartford Warbler and a fly-over Corn Bunting and a Kestrel was also ringed. Four Mediterranean Gulls, four late Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua were seen offshore.
A Grey Seal and a Brown Hare were also seen.
The warm weather saw some late butterfly activity with four Red Admirals noted.
Another clear morning which produced a few birds passing overhead and grounded migrants but nothing particularly rare. Of note on the land were a Jack Snipe, seven Chiffchaffs, ten Firecrests and 60 Goldcrests while visible migrants included a Grey Wagtail, six Bramblings, 90 Redpolls, 570 Goldfinches and 45 Siskins. The best from four hours of seawatching were an Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 24 Mediterranean Gulls and three Great Skuas.
Two Great Skuas were feeding offshore.
What started out as a seemingly quiet morning after a cold, clear night suddenly came to life when a Hume's Warbler was heard and fairly quickly seen at the northern end of the Trapping Area. It proved to be fairly vocal so was not to difficult to locate but was quite hard to get good views of as it flitted quickly through the Sallow bushes.
|Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei Dungeness 5th November 2020|
This is the fourth Observatory record.
Remarkably as we were trying to locate the Hume's Warbler a Dusky Warbler was also found in one of the mistnets set just a few yards away. This was subsequently ringed at the Observatory and released in the Moat where it was seen later on several occasions.
|Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus Dungeness 5th November 2020|
The ninth Observatory record.
A day of quality rather than quantity with highlights including a Barnacle Goose over the area, a Dartford Warbler near the Lifeboat Station, seven Black Redstarts scattered across the Point, a Serin flying over this afternoon, a Snow Bunting at the Fishing Boats and a Yellowhammer over the Observatory this morning. Other bits and pieces of interest included two Marsh Harriers, two Snipe, a Merlin, 16 Skylarks, two Swallows, a late Ring Ouzel, a Firecrest, five Tree Sparrows, 19 Bramblings, two Common Redpolls trapped and 19 Siskins.
A few butterflies were on the wing and included a Clouded Yellow on the beach and ten Mottled Shieldbugs in a private garden.
A bright and clear morning but still very windy. Seawatching was productive for oddities although overall numbers were generally low with the highlights of a Sooty Shearwater, three Purple Sandpipers, a Grey Phalarope, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 21 Sandwich Terns and a Pomarine Skua. Visible migration was also heavy during the morning with 24 Stock Doves, a Rock Pipit, 41 Chaffinches, 19 Redpolls and 28 Siskins and massive totals of 2155 Linnets and 6800 Goldfinches.
A Jack Snipe was found in the now flooded pools just to the north of the Trapping Area and possibly as many as five Merlins were hunting over the area and also offshore.
|Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima Dungeness 3rd November 2020|
A Porpoise was feeding offshore.
Elsewhere in the general area, a party of four Glossy Ibis were found around the Chicken Barns at Dengemarsh which appeared to be in addition to the two regular birds in the Cook's Pool?Boulderwall area.
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Dengemarsh 3rd November 2020|
Still more of the same with a bit of movement offshore and a large movement of finches when the weather cleared. The best of the seawatching were 334 Gannets, a Great Northern Diver, 16 Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Skuas. The main overhead comprised of 4200 Goldfinches along with eight Swallows, a Brambling, 21 Siskins and 300 Linnets. Four Merlins and two Peregrine Falcons were hunting around the Point and a late Wheatear was also seen.
|Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis Dungeness 2nd November 2020|
Some images of the flocks of migrating Goldfinches.
One Porpoise was seen feeding offshore.
Not a great deal of change in the weather today but it was much quieter for birds than yesterday. The highlights of the seawatch were a Manx Shearwater, 1261 Gannets, two Purple Sandpipers, 27 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua. A first winter Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were also seen on the beach. It was very quiet on the land.
Yet another thoroughly miserable day of strong winds and lots of rain. However, it did produce some of the best seawatching for some time with a Leach's Petrel, two Sooty Shearwaters, two Manx Shearwaters, 5328 Gannets, a Purple Sandpiper, 498 Kittiwakes, five Mediterranean Gulls, 43 Sandwich Terns, 26 Great Skuas, two Pomarine Skuas, seven Arctic Skuas and a Puffin. A ringtail Hen Harrier, three Swallows passed through and a movement of finches included an excellent total of 4000 Goldfinches, 175 Linnets and 100 Siskins.
Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also seen
Yet another wet and breezy day and pretty quiet other than a steady movement of finches overhead which included 11 Redpolls, 1170 Goldfinches and 15 Siskins. Seawatching produced just 560 Gannets, a Mediterranean Gulls and 21 Sandwich Terns. Four Merlins were also seen.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Another wet and breezy day. Still very little on the land but some visible migration with three Fieldfares, two Grey Wagtails, two Rock Pipits, a Brambling, 70 Redpolls, a Crossbill, 400 Goldfinches and 124 Siskins of note. Fairly quiet offshore with just a Black-throated Diver, 771 Gannets, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 43 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Skuas of note.
Three Porpoises and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.
Another day of strong winds and very frequent, often heavy showers with hail. A tough day for birding with an almost birdless trapping area and just finches, notably 11 Redpolls and 600 Goldfinches, passing overhead. The sea was a bit better with 4.5 hours of watching eventually producing 797 Gannets, 162 Sandwich Terns and 22 Arctic Skuas. A first-winter Caspian Gull lingered briefly on the beach at the fishing boats and three Merlins were also hunting offshore and around the Point.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A miserable day of increasing wind and rain made observations around the recording area difficult. Grounded migrants remain scarce and overhead passage was limited to 31 Swallows, two Grey Wagtails, a Rock Pipit, 13 Bramblings, 110 Redpolls, 660 Goldfinches and 127 Siskins. Seawatching produced a Velvet Scoter, a Black-throated Diver, 40 Mediterranean Gulls, 152 Sandwich Terns and eight Arctic Skuas of note.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
The moth trap produced a handful of moths overnight including a Pearly Underwing.
A damp, dreary day which produced a bit of visible migration and some seabirds but very little in the way of grounded migrants. The highlights from the sea were 1062 Gannets, seven Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull and a juvenile Pomarine Skua. Birds passing overhead included 24 Skylarks, 15 Swallows, 90 Meadow Pipits, three Rock Pipits, 27 Chaffinches, 12 Bramblings, 58 Redpolls, six Crossbills, 1512 Goldfinches and 30 Siskins. A Firecrest, a Wheatear and two Grey Wagtails were about the best on offer on the land.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore but of much more significance was the sighting of a breaching Blue-fin Tuna.
Elsewhere, an interesting looking "Yellow Wagtail" was seen feeding among the cattle at Dengemarsh on the RSPB Reserve in the late afternoon.
A wild, wet and windy night which continued into the morning and meant that seawatching was the main order of the day. Over six hours of coverage produced a Manx Shearwater, 2116 Gannets, 263 Kittiwakes, 17 Mediterranean Gulls, 311 Sandwich Terns, three Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 195 Razorbills of note. A second-winter Caspian Gull was also seen briefly at the fishing boats in the afternoon while an adult Yellow-legged Gull was also seen.
|Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus Dungeness 25th October 2020|
This bird has been present since 15th October and was originally
ringed at Sominskie, Pomorskia, POLAND on 6th June 2020.
There was a bit of visible migration during the morning which included 800 Goldfinches and 35 Siskins and two Merlins were hunting around the Point.
Four Porpoises and single of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore.
An inceasing windy and gloomy day with most of the birding today involving seawatching and passing overhead. The highlights from the sea were four Sooty Shearwaters, 1953 Gannets, 50 Kittiwakes, 18 Mediterranean Gulls, 152 Sandwich Terns, four Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 330 auks sp. Very quiet on the land with just a Grey Wagtail, four Redpolls and 780 Goldfinches of interest.
Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.
Strong southerly winds dominated the day with some accompanying rain showers. As a result much of the focus was on seawatching. A total of 4.5hrs watching from the fishing boats yielded a trickle of 169 Gannets, 165 Sandwich Terns (still a modest number given the time of year), 27 auk sp., 16 Razorbill, four Common Scoter, three Little Gull and two Red-throated Divers. Three Arctic Skuas remain offshore and continue to kleptoparasitize the lingering Sandwich Terns. Waders were represented by two Turnstone feeding on the beach, one Curlew west and a Snipe flying in off the sea.
Two Grey Seals were also offshore.
The southerly wind had strengthened overnight but the sea remains fairly slow with 4.5hrs of watching producing just two Pintails, a Black-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers and a Mediterranean Gull of note. There were very few birds on the ground with just a Firecrest and a Wheatear of interest and visible migration was reduced but still produced a Yellow Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, 30 Redpolls, 30 Siskins and another 25 Crossbills.
One Porpoise was seen.
A cloudy day with a brisk southerly wind. There were a few grounded migrants and birds passing overhead including 220 Swallows, five Firecrests, 490 Starlings, two Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, three Bramblings, 30 Redpolls, 390 Goldfinches, 36 Siskins and an excellent total of 54 Crossbills. A Little Owl was calling in the early hours and two Dartford Warblers were also seen.
The sea continues to disappoint with just a Black-throated Diver, a Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls and four Arctic Skuas of note.
A Nathusius's Piistrelle bat was flying around the moth trap and a Grey Seal and a Brown Hare were also noted.
Another morning with plenty of birds on the land but still very quiet offshore. Two Pink-footed Geese over the area, a Long-eared Owl in the Moat and a Lapland Bunting over were of particular note while more typical birds included 25 Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, 30 Goldcrests, a Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, five Grey Wagtails, three Rock Pipits, four Bramblings, 50 Redpolls, four Crossbills, 27 Siskins and 15 Reed Buntings. There was also a late flurry of hirundine passage with a Sand Martin, 350 Swallows and 200 House Martins moving through. The Dartford Warbler was seen in the Desert again.
A couple of watches of the sea produced 12 Teal, 130 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Skuas but not much else.
A Brown Hare was seen.
The population of Mottled Shieldbugs continues to increase with 48 individuals counted today.
Another calm morning resulted in good numbers of grounded migrants and birds passing overhead again. Of note were a Short-eared Owl, a Dartford Warbler, two Firecrests, 50 Goldcrests, four Ring Ouzels, a Mistle Thrush, four Grey Wagtails, four Rock Pipits, 70 Redpolls, one Common Redpoll, nine Crossbills and 40 Siskins.
|Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus Dungeness 17th October 2020|
This species has become quite scarce at the Observatory in recent years and are only rarely ringed.
A Porpoise and a Brown Hare were seen.
At least 19 Mottled Shieldbugs were seen.
Another decent arrival of migrants on the land and plenty of ringing which produced the highlight of the day in the form of a Pallas's Warbler. Other grounded migrants included three Short-eared Owls, 20 Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler in the trapping area and a Dartford Warbler in the Desert, four Firecrests, 100 Goldcrests, two Ring Ouzels, 40 Blackbirds, 14 Fieldfares, 34 Redwings, 16 Song Thrushes and a Wheatear.
|Pallas's Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus Dungeness 16th October 2020|
There was also a considerable movement of birds overhead with a flock of eight Great White Egrets appearing to go out to sea but then apparently returning in dribs and drabs during the rest of the morning. Also of note were six Rock Pipits, six Bramblings, an excellent total of 34 Crossbills, 40 Redpolls and 15 Siskins.
The sea remains fairly quiet with 501 Brent Geese, 36 Shelduck, 76 Wigeon, a flock of ten Velvet Scoters, a Mediterranean Gull and two Great Skuas of note in three hours of watching.
After the riches of yesterday it was always likely to be a quieter day which turned out to be the case. Having said that there were still plenty of birds to be seen. Grounded migrants included another brief Yellow-browed Warbler, three Blackcaps, two Firecrests, 25 Goldcrests, seven Ring Ouzels, 40 Blackbirds, 12 Redwings, 20 Song Thrush, ten Black Redstarts and a Wheatear while migrants passing over included two Buzzards, a Woodlark, 15 Swallows, four Grey Wagtails, eight Rock Pipits, 500 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 345 Redpolls, seven Crossbills, 3400 Goldfinches and 64 Siskins. The sea was fairly slow but 330 Brent Geese, 18 Shelduck, 47 Wigeon, 11 Teal, an Eider, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 60 Sandwich Terns and six Arctic Skuas were of note from three hours of watching.
Singles of Grey Seal and Porpoise were feeding offshore.
What a day!!. It began with a few grounded migrants around the Point and a decent enough early morning seawatch but really came to life from late morning when a treecreeper seen earlier in the day was relocated at the Old Lighthouse. It then gave decent views and plumage details along with several calls allowed it to be identified as a Short-toed Treecreeper. Remarkably this was our fourth individual of the year following on from three different birds during the spring. However, this was then relegated to almost an also ran when a superb Red-flanked Bluetail was found in a small line of gorse bushes between the railway station car park and the Polish War Memorial. There have already been 21 individuals recorded in Britain this autumn so it is an exceptional year for this species but despite being dropped as a "BB Rarity" it is still a major and very exiting find. It is in fact a new species for the Observatory with the only previous Dungeness record being at Dengemarsh Road on 6th November 2010.
Other migrants of note during the day included a Woodcock, a Merlin, two late Sand Martins, 20 Chiffchaffs, five Firecrests, 60 Goldcrests, nine Ring Ouzels, 35 Fieldfares, 25 Song Thrushes, five Grey Wagtails, six Rock Pipits, 80 Redpolls, 1600 Goldfinches and ten Siskins. The morning seawatch produced 128 Wigeon, a Pintail, a Pochard, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great White Egret, six Little Gulls, 94 Sandwich Terns and four Arctic Skua. A first-winter Caspian Gull was also roosting with the other gulls at the Point until it was flushed by day visitors.
|Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla Dungeness 14t October 2020|
This bird never showed out in the open but between them these images show all the salient features
|Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus Dungeness 14th October 2020|
Three Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.
Most of the days interest was offshore where the highlight was a Grey Phalarope seen off the fishing boats on a couple of occasions. Other decent totals and species included 1283 Brent Geese, five Wigeon, a Pochard, two Velvet Scoters, a Little Egret, three Mediterranean Gulls, six Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas and 88 Razorbills.
Weather conditions also looked good for a few land birds but it was actually fairly slow going with just 36 Chiffchaffs, four Fieldfares, 20 Song Thrushes, 36 Redwings, a Wheatear and ten Siskin of note.
The Nocmig recorder was deployed last night with the period between 2200hrs and 0400hrs producing 796 Redwing calls along with 13 Fieldfares, 87 Song Thrushes and 13 Blackbirds. A lone Dunlin was the only other call noted.
At least eight Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen alongside the road this evening.
A quiet day for grounded migrants but with a decent number of birds passing overhead and much better seawatching than of late.
Migrants on the land included two Snipe, a Woodlark, 150 Swallows, 17 Chiffchaffs, two Ring Ouzels, 45 Redwings, three Grey Wagtails, three Rock Pipits, four Bramblings, 62 Redpolls, 25 Crossbills, 16 Siskins and 26 Reed Buntings.
Six hours of seawatching produced 569 Brent Geese and one Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 309 Wigeon, 12 Pintail, a Sooty Shearwater, three Mediterranean Gulls and three Arctic Skuas.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Elsewhere, the American Golden Plover first seen on 6th October was refound in the afternoon on one of the islands on Burrowes Pit on the RSPB Reserve
The day started fairly quietly but from mid-morning large numbers of thrushes began to arrive and head NW through and over the area. Redwings dominated proceedings with at least 2200 birds counted along with six Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, five Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Merlin, 25 Blackbirds, ten Fieldfares, 35 Song Thrushes, a Mistle Thrush, four Grey Wagtails, two Rock Pipits, 250 Chaffinches, three Bramblings, 70 Redpolls, five Crossbills, 170 Goldfinches, 30 Siskins and 20 Reed Buntings.
|Brambling Fringilla montifringilla Dungeness 11th October 2020|
The sea remained quiet with just 80 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua, four Arctic Skuas and 57 Razorbills (plus 318 unidentified auks).
Eight Porpoises and two Grey Seals were seen in the calm conditions.
After finding a large colony of Mottled Shieldbugs on the Point the species was finally added to the Observatory garden list and a Clouded Yellow was seen in the Moat.
Although numbers were not high there was a decent variety of migrants passing overhead which included 500 Swallows, two Grey Wagtails, 40 Pied Wagtails, seven Rock Pipits, a Brambling, 40 Redpolls, 150 Goldfinch and 25 Siskins. A Yellow Wagtail also dropped in and was caught in the Crow Trap.
|Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flavissima Dungeness 10th October 2020|
It was very quite for grounded migrants though with just 15 Chiffchaffs and six Blackcaps of note along with a Dartford Warbler seen near the Britannia Inn.
Two Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and five Arctic Skuas were the best the sea could offer.
Three Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.
Thirty Mottled Shieldbugs were found.
Another decent morning with clear skies inducing a large visible migration and good numbers of birds on the land. Highlights of the birds passing overhead included two Egyptian Geese, two Woodlarks, 57 Skylarks, 4500 Swallows, 28 Tree Sparrows, five Yellow Wagtails, nine Grey Wagtails, a Tree and five Rock Pipits, 270 Redpolls, nine Crossbills, 126 Siskins and 34 Reed Buntings. The best of the grounded migrants were 115 Chiffchaffs, a late Reed Warbler, 12 Blackcaps, 12 Song Thrushes, singles of Redstart and Whinchat and eight Wheatears. A couple of watches of the sea during the afternoon produced four Mediterranean Gulls and eight Arctic Skuas.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.
Three Clouded Yellows were seen during the day and the best of a reasonable catch of moths was a Palpita vitrealis.
A wet and windy day meant plenty of seawatching where the two main highlights of the day were noted in the form of a Leach's Petrel and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose. Two Gadwall, a Mediterranean Gull, a Yellow-legged Gull, 385 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and 32 Arctic Skuas were also of note.
Hard going on the land with just a Short-eared Owl, 37 Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest of note along with 500 Swallows and a Grey Wagtail passing through.
Seven Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
Most of the days interest was in birds passing overhead although the highlight was another brief Yellow-browed Warbler at the Long Pits. A Short-eared Owl was seen at the Lifeboat Station and a Wood Lark also flew over. Other visible migrants included 37 Skylarks, 305 Swallows, 327 House Martins, two Mistle Thrushes, four Tree Sparrows, 12 Grey Wagtails, 375 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit, three Rock Pipits, seven Bramblings, 250 Redpolls, 1390 Goldfinches, 256 Siskins and 14 Reed Buntings. Grounded migrants included 65 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackcaps, five Firecrests, a Whinchat and three Wheatears.
|Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros Dungeness 7th October 2020|
This bird was originally ringed here as a locally-bred juvenile in August 2019.
The best of the seawatching were just two Mediterranean Gulls and five Arctic Skuas.
A Grey Seal was seen offshore.
Another decent morning for visible migration but numbers of ground migrants were fairly low and the sea remains very quiet. Highlights of the day included a Little Tern, three Arctic Skuas, a Kingfisher, 36 Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, a Redstart, a Whinchat, 160 Pied/alba Wagtails, 350 Meadow Pipits, two Rock Pipits, a Brambling, 75 Redpolls, 700 Goldfinches and 100 Siskins.
A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.
An overcast and fairly calm morning resulted in a big movement of finches and good numbers of grounded migrants. Of note on the land were a Yellow-browed Warbler along with 50 Chiffchaffs, 35 Blackcaps, seven Firecrests, 27 Song Thrushes, 25 Robins and 17 Wheatears. Highlights of the visible migration were a Mistle Thrush, three Tree Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 55 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, nine Crossbills, 260 Siskins and at least 1000 Redpolls (with five of 33 birds trapped being Common Redpolls).
The sea remains quiet with just 169 Sandwich Terns, a Little Tern, two Great Skuas and nine Arctic Skuas of note.
A Clouded Yellow was seen and 21 adult Mottled Shieldbugs were found.
The highlights of the day were three Yellow-browed Warblers along with 22 Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps, five Firecrests, a Spotted Flycatcher, 45 Robins, eight Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, two Rock Pipits and 120 Siskins.
The sea was fairly quiet although six hours of observations eventually produced 658 Sandwich Terns, a Little Tern, three Great Skuas and 24 Arctic Skuas.
Two Porpoises were also seen.
A good day on both the land and at sea. Grounded migrants included 50 Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 50 Blackcaps, two Garden Warblers, four Firecrests, two Ring Ouzels, 50 Song Thrushes, a Spotted Flycatcher, an excellent 120 Robins, two Redstarts, four Whinchats and ten Wheatears. Overhead passage produced a remarkable 24 Grey Herons, two late Swifts, 12 Skylarks, a Yellow Wagtail, 1000 Meadow Pipits, two Tree Pipits, a Rock Pipit, a Brambling, 300 Lesser and one (trapped) Common Redpoll and 90 Siskins.
Nearly seven hours of seawatching produced 13 Shelducks, 21 Shovelers, two Gadwall, 60 Wigeon, 11 Pintail, 422 Common Scoters, six Knot, 54 Dunlin, six Snipe, 461 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, a Great Skua and ten Arctic Skuas.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
The "new" ground in front of the Observatory revealed another new species for the area in the form of Tuberous Verbena Verbena rigida.
Heavy rain and strong easterly winds overnight and for much of the day produced our first Yellow-browed Warbler of the year with one seen briefly in the trapping area. Other grounded migrants were few and far between and overhead passage was also very slow. Some seven hours of seawatching produced 15 Gadwall, a Sooty Shearwater, six Little Gulls and a few Arctic Skuas of note.
Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.
After strong winds and rain overnight followed by a calm and cloudy morning hopes were high but in the end it was a fairly quiet morning. Highlights included a very distant White Stork, a Dartford Warbler in the Desert and the first Firecrest of the autumn. Grounded migrants were fairly thinly spread with 60 Chiffchaffs, 11 Blackcaps and three Wheatears while birds passing overhead included 600 House Martins, a Tree Pipit, 130 Siskins and six Reed Buntings. The sea remains very quiet with five Great Skuas and seven Arctic Skuas being about the best on offer.
A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and three Brown Hares were seen on the land.
The weather was not great for insects but two Mottled Shieldbugs were found.
A reasonably calm morning saw a decent movement of birds overhead and in the bushes. Grounded migrants included 100 Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat and three Wheatears. Birds passing overhead included a late Swift, 3600 Swallows, 360 Meadow Pipits, 200 Lesser Redpolls, five Crossbills and 200 Siskins. A few redpolls were caught and two were considered to be Common Redpolls Acanthis flammea. It remains quiet offshore with eight hours of watching producing nine Mediterranean Gulls, 825 Sandwich Terns and six Arctic Skuas.
|Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea first-winter Dungeness 30th September 2020|
|Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ad.male Dungeness 30th September 2020|
The Nocmig recorder was also operated last night with a Snipe, two Sandwich Terns, 19 Redwings, 21 Song Thrushes, a Tree Pipit and two Meadow Pipits.
A Badger came into the garden during the night and ravaged the seed feeders. Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were noted offshore and a Brown Hare was also seen.