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Local weather


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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.