Today was all about seawatching with the day starting with a fresh southerly wind which rapidly increased and eventually swung into the west and brought an end to proceedings. The morning saw a quite a few "proper" seabirds pass through but the afternoon saw a massive movement of waders and terns as the tide rose and birds were presumably being flushed from feeding area to the north.
Final totals included 36 Fulmars, six Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, five Balearic Shearwaters, 840 Gannets, seven Great Skuas and 60 Arctic Skuas. But it was the spectacular movement of waders and terns which really stole the show in the afternoon with 253 Grey Plovers, 185 Whimbrel, 4248 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1413 Knot, 327 Sanderling, 497 Dunlin, five Snipe, five Greenshank and 120 Redshank, 306 Sandwich Terns, 16 Little Terns, 2106 Common Terns, an Arctic Tern and 51 Black Terns and many of these passing close in along the beach. There was also an Observatory rarity in the form of a group of five Curlew Sandpipers. In addition, a late movement of Swifts saw 45 birds go south. (Hopefully some images to follow later).
Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also seen.
In the evening a Southern Oak Bush-cricket was found inside the Observatory continuing the run of exciting orthoptera being recorded at the moment.
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Corona Virus Update
We are very pleased to be planning on opening the Observatory to visitors with numbers being limited because of shared facilities. In order to keep staff and visitors as safe as possible, we will be requesting that you take a Lateral Flow Test (provided) before you first come in. The hides will be open for 'Friends of DBOT' from May 18th. However, The 'Rule of 6' applies and face coverings are still mandatory in the hides. Sanitiser and spray will be provided to clean down the handles and closures in the hide after you have used it.
Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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Thank You for your understanding in these difficult times.