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Corona Virus Update

Due to Coronavirus we will have to remain closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. The Dungeness Estate is presently closed to non-residents so access is not available. We are still operating our monitoring programme.

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

Most of the coverage today involved gull watching at the Patch and Point. This morning there was a first-year Iceland Gull, six Caspian Gulls and a few Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch. In the afternoon a group of 40 birds roosting at the Point included 12 Mediterranean Gulls of which three were colour-ringed.

Elsewhere, the Dusky Warbler was showing well  at times at the ARC Pit.

30th Dec

The quietest morning for movement offshore for some time but the Patch continued to deliver with a second-year Iceland Gull, three Caspian Gulls and 35 Mediterranean Gulls of note. Not a great deal to report from the land except for two Egyptian Geese flying over the area. 

Elsewhere, the Dusky Warbler was seen again at the ARC Pit.

29th Dec

The Patch was the place to be today with two Iceland Gulls (first-year and second-year), a first-year Glaucous Gull, four Caspian Gulls and about 50 Mediterranean Gulls

28th Dec

A Great Northern Diver, 147 Kittiwakes, 26 Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and 1600 auks flew west of note this morning. In the afternoon a first-year Iceland Gull was seen at the Fishing Boats and at least 41 Mediterranean Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull were feeding at the Patch.

A Grey Seal was also feeding offshore.

27th Dec

Severe winds and heavy rain overnight and first thing cleared through remarkably quickly and resulted in another heavy movement of seabirds with a four hour watch producing a Velvet Scoter, 97 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, 13 Fulmars, 1069 Gannets, 2702 Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, three Great Skuas, 5592 Razorbills and 8588 Razorbills. An afternoon check of the Patch showed a single Iceland Gull still present.

26th Dec

Masses of birds offshore again with a three hour watch this morning producing 44 Wigeon, ten Eider, two Velvet Scoters, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, a second-winter Caspian Gull, two Yellow-legged Gull, three Great Skuas, 1000 Razorbills and 1000 Guillemots. A second-winter Iceland Gull was also seen on a couple of occasions. Later in the day and in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions a check of the Patch produced three second-year (including the early morning bird) and a first-year Iceland Gull. Another ten Mediterranean Gulls and two Caspian Gulls were also present

Two Firecrests were seen in the Moat and the Grey Wagtail was in the power station.



Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides    first-year   Dungeness   26th December 2020



Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides    first-year   Dungeness   26th December 2020

Three Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen at the Point.

25th Dec

Lots of birds feeding offshore again and the Patch was attracting thousands of gulls. The morning seawatching produced five Shoveler, a Pintail, a Velvet Scoter, a Goosander, 648 Red-throated Divers, ten Sanderling, 145 Kittiwakes, six Mediterranean Gulls, two Great Skuas, 2000 Razorbills, 2000 Guillemots and a Merlin.

A check of the trapping area was fairly quiet although two Chiffchaffs were of note. A Grey Wagtail was also seen at the sewage treatment unit in the power station.

An afternoon check of the Patch was superb with thousands of gulls present. Strong winds and walkers and the sheer numbers of birds made it difficult to observe but a remarkable three Iceland Gulls (two first-years and a second-year), a first-winter Caspian Gull and 30 Mediterranean Gulls were found. A Little Egret also came in with gulls in pursuit.


A small portion of the gulls at the Patch.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

24th Dec

Enormous numbers of birds offshore again with birds feeding in Lade Bay and at the Patch. Auks dominated the numbers with around 20,000 birds (a roughly 50/50 split between Razorbills and Guillemots), around 6,000 Cormorants along with two Gadwall, 190 Red-throated Divers and 99 Mediterranean Gulls all moving east and two Great Skuas moving west. The Patch was also busy with a first-winter Iceland Gull and two first-winter Caspian Gulls of note. A Merlin was also seen at the Point.

Masses of Gulls are now feeding at the Patch   24th December 2020




Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   first-year   Dungeness   24th December 2020

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were also feeding offshore.

23rd Dec

The westerly movement of seabirds continues with 4.75 hrs of watching producing 37 Teal, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 61 Common Scoters, 579 Gannets, 1383 Kittiwakes, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Great Skua, a first-year Pomarine Skua, 1566 Guillemots and 6556 Razorbills.

Singles of Common Seal, Grey Seal and Porpoise were also feeding offshore.

Happy Christmas

 The trustees of Dungeness Bird Observatory would like to wish all our ‘Friends’ and visitors a Very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, safe and birdy New Year, or as good as possible. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support through this very difficult year and we hope to be able to welcome you all before very long. 

22nd Dec

Lots of birds passing offshore again with 190 Red-throated Divers, eight Fulmars, 596 Great Crested Grebes, 350 Gannets, six Grey Plovers, 803 Kittiwakes, 47 Mediterranean Gulls west, two Sandwich Terns, four Great Skuas and 576 Razorbills. The Patch is also coming back to life with large numbers of gulls feeding there this morning and including five Caspian Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls and another 12 Mediterranean Gulls.

Two Common Seals, two Grey Seals and a Porpoise were also feeding offshore.

21st Dec

A miserable day of wind and rain with seawatching and paperwork the best options. The highlights from 3.5hrs watching the sea was a Leach's Petrel which spent five minutes off the fishing boats before heading out into the bay, 609 Kittiwakes, two Little Gulls and three Great Skuas.

20th Dec

The juvenile Glaucous Gull was seen at the Point again amid plenty of feeding Gannets, Red-throated Divers and auks and 308 Kittiwakes, 13 Mediterranean Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull flew west.

19th Dec

The only serious coverage was of the sea where 156 Brent Geese flew east, two Ruff came in and birds moving west included a Goosander, 333 Red-throated Divers, 580 Gannets, 420 Kittiwakes, eight Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

Elsewhere, the Dusky Warbler was still being seen around the ARC Car Park.

18th Dec

More of the same offshore with 202 Brent Geese, 204 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 884 Gannets, 659 Kittiwakes, five Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua. An afternoon check of the gull roost at the Point produced a first-year Glaucous Gull.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

17th Dec

Not a great deal of change with plenty of birds feeding offshore again although less in the way of obvious movement. Of note were seven Mediterranean Gulls, 300 Kittiwakes, a Sandwich Tern and a Great Skua. Colour-ringed first-year Caspian Gulls were seen at the fishing boats and at the Patch. A Merlin was also hunting around the Point.

A brief check of the trapping area this afternoon produced a Chiffchaff and a Firecrest.  

Elsewhere, the Dusky Warbler was still present around the ARC Car Park area. 

16th Dec

Strong southerly winds brought yet more birds offshore with a drake Goosander, 474 Kittiwakes, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, singles of Black-throated and Great Northern Divers and two Pomarine Skuas passing west and more signs of "spring" migration with 511 Brent Geese moving up-channel. Four Caspian Gulls (three 1st-winters and a 2nd-winter) and two Yellow-legged Gulls were also of note.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.  

15th Dec

Another day with plenty of birds offshore including 560 Gannets, 330 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, a third-winter Caspian Gull and 1800 Razorbills. A Merlin also arrived. A check of the trapping area produced three Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.

14th Dec

Seawatching again dominated proceedings with the two sessions during the day producing 182 Red-throated Divers, a Red-necked Grebe, 480 Gannets, 1275 Kittiwakes, 30 Mediterranean Gulls, four Sandwich Terns, 4100 Guillemots and 1600 Razorbills passing west. Reflecting how unseasonably warm it is at the moment there was the first up-channel movement of 411 Brent Geese.

A brief visit to the bushes produced a Chiffchaff and two Firecrests.

The ARC Car Park Dusky Warbler was still showing occasionally.

13th Dec

Coverage was limited to seawatching this morning which produced three Teal, a Fulmar, 580 Gannets feeding offshore, 1050 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Sandwich Tern, 900 Guillemots and 1800 Razorbills of note.

The Dusky Warbler was seen again at the ARC Car Park.

12th Dec

Good numbers of birds offshore again with a two hour seawatch this morning producing a Goldeneye, a Mediterranean Gull, six Sandwich Terns and 2800 auk sp. Huge numbers of Cormorant have moved into the area with at least 4000 feeding offshore. Three Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests and four Redwings were seen in the bushes.

A Common Seal was seen offshore.

11th Dec

Although much quieter than yesterday there was still plenty to be seen offshore with four Wigeon, 150 Kittiwakes, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, nine Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua, 680 Guillemots and 210 Razorbills.

Four Firecrests and a Chiffchaff were seen on the land.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, a Dusky Warbler showed at the ARC Car Park but was very elusive.



10th Dec

A fresh SE wind was blowing overnight and continued through the day and produced some spectacular seabird movements. In terms of sheer numbers 255 Red-throated Divers, 1550 Gannets, at least 2000 Cormorants, 5600 Kittiwakes, 118 Mediterranean Gulls, 38 Sandwich Terns (a remarkable total for mid-December), 4000 Guillemots, 6100 Razorbills and 3000 auks sp were of note. Rarer birds included a first-winter Shag, a first-winter Caspian Gull, a third-winter Yellow-legged Gull, a Great Skua and the highlight of an interesting looking second-winter Iceland Gull.



Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides    second-winter   Dungeness   10th December 2020

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   10th December 2020


Gannets Morus bassana   Dungeness   10th December 2020


9th Dec

A calm day with a decent westerly movement of seabirds which was concentrated on the first few hours of the morning including 310 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Divers, two Great Northern Divers, 500 Kittiwakes, 25 Mediterranean Gulls, six Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua and around 2,500 auks sp.

A good search of the land produced six Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests and a Black Redstart of note. 

8th Dec

Limited coverage and not a great deal to report other than five Mediterranean Gulls, a Sandwich Tern and 200 Guillemots feeding offshore.

7th Dec

Foggy at first and then rain until early afternoon. Not a great deal of coverage but four Firecrests and two Chiffchaffs in the trapping area were noteworthy.

6th Dec

A much quieter day offshore but sewatching still produced five Shelduck, a redhead Goosander, 669 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, two Sandwich Terns and almost 500 Guillemots. A check of the bushes found a single Firecrest of note. A Merlin was hunting around the Point and a Grey Wagtail flew over.

Single Common and Grey Seals were seen.

 

5th Dec

All the interest was offshore with coverage for much of the day producing a spectacular movement of over 13,000 Kittiwakes and along with four Pintails, a Velvet Scoter, a Black-throated Diver, 1709 Gannets, ten Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, 30 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas and the rare bird the day, a Little Auk. Two Caspian Gulls (a first-winter and a second-winter) and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were seen in the gull roost at the Point.

A Grey Seal was also seen. 

4th Dec

A cold day with fresh SW wind with most of the interest offshore again. Over four hours of seawatching produced three Wigeon, a Velvet Scoter, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 1654 Gannets, 2206 Kittiwakes, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 13 Sandwich Terns, eight Great Skuas, 1654 Guillemots and 139 Razorbills.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

3rd Dec

A miserable day with heavy rain setting in from mid-morning. Coverage was fairly limited but the early morning seawatch produced 15 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua of note. 

Singles of Porpoise, Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore. 

2nd Dec

The sea provided most of the interest with the morning producing five Velvet Scoters, a Goosander, 155 Red-throated Divers, a Red-necked Grebe, 433 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and a Great Skua of note. Very quiet on the land with just three Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and two Siskins.

1st Dec

A Long-eared Owl in the trapping area was the bird of the day along with three Merlins, three Chiffchaffs, four Firecrests and six Siskins. The morning seawatch produced three White-fronted Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 132 Red-throated Divers, 774 Gannets, 309 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, three Sandwich Terns and three Great Skuas of note.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

30th Nov

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.

29th Nov

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.

28th Nov

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

27th Nov

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.

26th Nov

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.

25th Nov

Gannets, Kittiwakes and auks continue to move west in 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.


24th Nov

A quiet day on the land. Offshore, Gannets and Kittiwakes passed in good numbers and the bird of the day was seen in the form of a Puffin.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

23rd Nov

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.

22nd Nov

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.

21st Nov

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.  

20th Nov

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.


19th Nov

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. 

18th Nov

The highlights of this morning seawatch were a Great Northern Diver, eight Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and five Sandwich Terns. On the land, a Jack Snipe was seen again along with five Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests.

Two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

17th Nov

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.

Scarce Umber  Agriopis aurantiaria   Dungeness   18th November 2020

 


16th Nov

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.

15th Nov

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.

14th Nov

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.

13th Nov

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.


12th Nov

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. 
.
A Common Seal and  Porpoise were feeding offshore.

11th Nov

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.


10th Nov

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.

R

9th Nov

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.

8th Nov

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.


7th Nov

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.

6th Nov

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.

5th Nov

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.

Other migrants were actually very sparsely spread but they did include a Short-eared Owl, a Woodlark, four Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, two Firecrests, a Tree Sparrow, three Bramblings, 30 Redpolls, a Crossbill and 16 Siskins. 

A NocMig recorder was also used last night and produced single Golden Plover and Sandwich Tern, 84 Redwings, 44 Blackbirds and eight Song Thrushes.


4th Nov

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.

3rd Nov

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

2nd Nov

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.

1st Nov

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.

31st Oct

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

30th Oct

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. 

29th Oct

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. 

28th Oct

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. 

27th Oct

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.

26th Oct

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.

25th Oct

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.

   

24th Oct

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.

23rd Oct

A day of mainly visible migration with notable birds including a flock of six Woodlarks, 38 Skylarks, 56 Swallows, seven House Martins, a Bearded Tit, three Tree Sparrows, 142 Meadow Pipits, four Rock Pipits, seven Bramblings, 119 Redpolls with four out of the five birds caught being Commons, 17 Crossbills, 750 Goldfinches and 31 Siskins. In addition the Robin shown below was trapped and found to be bearing a German ring.


Seawatching was fairly slow going but did include a Red-breasted Merganser, 386 Gannets, three Knot, 18 Kittiwakes, an excellent t otal of112 Mediterranean Gulls, 307 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas and 603 auks in four hours of watching.

Three Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

22nd Oct

Calmer weather once again ensued with a modest south westerly breeze, some cloud cover rolling in but very little in the way of rain. Three hours watching from the fishing boats revealed a modest diversity of seabird passage, notably one Brent Goose, one Velvet Scoter, three Common Scoter, four Red-throated Divers, 517 Gannets, two Oystercatchers, 18 Turnstones, four Mediterranean Gulls, 199 Great Black-backed Gulls, 201 Sandwich Terns, one Great Skua, four Arctic Skuas, two Guillemots and nine Razorbills. A further surprise came in the form of a Sparrowhawk which arrived in off the sea from the east, alighting briefly on the beach, before continuing inland.

Much of the overhead passage was also concentrated along the coast by the fishing boats and due to the fair weather was also rather high in altitude. Nevertheless, visible migration was in strong evidence today (as should be the case for this time of year) with a steady passage amounting to 35 Skylarks, two House Martins, 150 Starlings (including 50 in off from the east), one Grey Wagtail, six Pied Wagtails, 75 Meadow Pipits, three Rock Pipits, 18 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, two Greenfinches, 212 Linnets, 65 Lesser Redpolls, 13 Crossbills, 1500 Goldfinches, 22 Siskins and three Reed Buntings.

Sedentary birds were represented by three Tufted Ducks on the Long Pits, eleven Great Crested Grebes lingering offshore, a high count of 680 Cormorants flushed by the range boat just offshore at the fishing boats, three Kestrels, four Merlins hunting around the point (the highest day count of the year so far), one Peregrine, 17 Goldcrests spread across the recording area and two Black Redstarts.

Mammals sightings included one Grey Seal, two Harbour Porpoise, one Stoat and two Nathusius's Pipistrelles hunting around the observatory.

A single Migrant Hawker was present at the north end of the Long Pits.

21st Oct

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.

20th Oct

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.


19th Oct

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.



18th Oc

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. 

17th Oct

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.