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.