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
Following discussions with other Observatories and taking advice from the RSPB we are not allowed to open the hides yet to visitors as we cannot put in place the necessary protocols to keep staff and visitors safe. 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 dificult times.