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Corona Virus Update

Due to Coronavirus 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 difficult times.
The Trustees.

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 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.


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