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Corona Virus Update

Due to Coronavirus we will have to remain closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. The Dungeness Estate is presently closed to non-residents so access is not available. We are still operating our monitoring programme.

Please forward any Dungeness records to the Warden.
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Thank You for your understanding in these difficult times.
The Trustees.

15th Apr

The cold weather continues and migration is now almost at a standstill. Over three hours of seawatching produced just 70 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, 410 Gannets, five Whimbrel and only 29 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull remains at the Patch.

Barely any new migrants to be seen on the land.

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th Apr

The cold weather continues. Over 4.5hrs of seawatching produced two Teal, six Eiders, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Grey Heron in, 563 Gannets, six Whimbrel, two Mediterranean Gulls, 86 Sandwich Terns and two Great Skuas. The Iceland Gull was also feeding at the Patch again but the highlight was a male Hen Harrier which came in from the east.

There was also a small arrival of migrants on the land with a Little Ringed Plover flying over, a Green Sandpiper and two Redstarts of note along with six Willow Warblers, six Blackcaps, three Whitethroats, a Yellow Wagtail and a Rock Pipit.

A Common Seal and 12 Porpoises were seen offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

13th Apr

A calm but cold, frosty and foggy morning and remaining fairly quiet. Two sessions of seawatching totaling 5.5 hours produced 332 Brent Geese, a Gadwall, a Pintail, 448 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Northern Diver, 380 Gannets, two Grey Plovers, 64 Bar-tailed Godwits and 232 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch again.

Migrants on the land remain scarce with just two Willow Warblers, seven Blackcaps and three Yellow Wagtails of note.

The Audiomoth recorder was out again last night and was generally quiet but four flocks of Common Scoter were of note.

Twelve Porpoises were feeding offshore.

12th Apr

A bitterly cold morning with occasional sleety flurries. Seawatching produced 199 Brent Geese, four Pintail, 849 Gannets, four Mediterranean Gulls, 91 Sandwich Terns, two Arctic Skuas and 525 auks. The regular Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch and inside the power station complex behind the Patch hide.

Fairly quiet on the land with what few migrants there were seemingly concentrated at the northern end the Long Pits and including eight Chiffchaffs, six Willow Warblers and nine Blackcaps.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

11th Apr

Another cold, breezy day and generally quiet for birds. Over five hours of seawatching produced just 186 Common Scoters, 791 Gannets, 170 Sandwich Terns, four Common Terns and two Arctic Skuas. Barely any migrants on the land with just a Merlin, a Willow Warbler and three Blackcaps of note. 

Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

10th Apr

Miserable weather for most of the day limited observations with highlights from the sea including nine Velvet Scoters, 54 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. The best on the land was a Firecrest in the Moat.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

9th Apr

There was a small arrival of migrants today with the highlights being a fine male Common Redstart at the Long Pits and the first Reed Warbler and Whitethroats of the year along with 15 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 12 Wheatears and three Siskins.

The sea was not as busy as yesterday but still produced some good totals with 174 Brent Geese, three Canada Geese, six Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 666 Common Scoters, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 1278 Gannets, a Whimbrel, 48 Kittiwakes, 367 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, five Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas.  

Four Porpoises were seen offshore and the boat fisherman reported a pod of White-beaked Dolphins again and feeding about two miles out but not seen from the land. 

8th Apr

Virtually all of the days interest was offshore with a considerable easterly movement of birds although fairly limited in species range. Around 8.5hrs of observations produced a Garganey, three Velvet Scoters, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, nine Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua while numbers were provided by 541 Brent Geese, 1984 Common Scoters, 144 Red-throated Divers, 2015 Gannets, 165 Kittiwakes and 613 Sandwich Terns. The regular Iceland Gull was still present at the Patch.

Mammals were also well represented with the most significant being a party of thee White-beaked Dolphins which headed east at 1000hrs. One of the individuals was very distinctive in that it had lost most of its dorsal fin leaving an uneven stump where it should be and might prove to be a trackable individual. Also seen were at least six Porpoises and a Grey Seal

Insects of interest included the first two Comma butterflies and two Light Orange Underwing moths of the year.

7th Apr

Seven Blackcaps were the best on offer on the land while over five hours of seawatching produced 92 Common Scoters, 630 Gannets, a Whimbrel, two Mediterranean Gull, 237 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore and five Brown Hares were seen on the land.

6th Apr

A day for large birds (not that I managed to see any of them) with a White Stork and a yellow wing-tagged Red Kite being seen but these were eclipsed by the passing of a White-tailed Eagle though unfortunately unseen by all and sundry. It was a satellite-tagged bird, G463, from the Isle of Wight project and was tracked from Bockhill this morning. From there it flew south along the coast and then inland over New Romney and Lydd before turning SE, heading over the recording area at a height of 1078metres and then out to sea at 1305hrs. Forty minutes and 47kms later it arrived in France at Boulogne and continued onwards in a SE direction. 

The morning seawatch was very slow going with just two Gadwall, three Mediterranean Gulls and 86 Sandwich Terns of note. Migrants in the bushes were equally scarce with a Firecrest and three Blackcaps of interest.

Four Porpoise were feeding offshore.

5th Apr

A cold and windy day with slightly limited coverage. Seawatching produced the highlight of the day with a White Stork flying over this afternoon and other bits including 13 Pintail, two Mediterranean Gulls and 142 Sandwich Terns. A Willow Warbler and a handful of Chiffchaffs and three Wheatears were seen on the land.

Twelve Porpoises were counted offshore.

4th Apr

A much better day weatherwise but migrants remain thin on the ground with just a Blackcap, a Firecrest, four Wheatears and two Siskins of note although a Red-rumped Swallow was reported on the bird info services.

The sea was not a great better with seven Shelduck, six Fulmars, 18 Whimbrel, three Mediterranean Gulls, the regular Iceland Gull and 21 Sandwich Terns of interest.

At least 18 Porpoises were feeding offshore but frustratingly a pod of White-beaked Dolphins were reported by the boat fisherman from about five miles out to sea (and thus out of sight for us). A Grey Seal was also seen and a Stoat was seen near the New Lighthouse. 

3rd Apr

Another cold and windy day with not a great deal to be seen in the Observatory area. A two-hour seawatch this morning produced just three Red-breasted Mergansers, 245 Gannets, a Ruff and 129 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again. The only migrants of note on the land were a Merlin and two Wheatears.

Six Porpoises were seen offshore.

There was a good spread of birds across the rest of the peninsula including the long-staying Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall, six Garganey still at Dengemarsh along with a Blue-headed Wagtail, three White Wagtails and a Water Pipit and Little Ringed Plover and 18 Yellow Wagtails at Scotney. 

2nd Apr

Another cold and windy day with few migrants to be seen. The morning seawatches produced 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, an Arctic Skua and 85 Sandwich Terns of note while the regular Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch along with a first-winter Caspian Gull.

Very quiet on the land with just a couple of Swallows and three Wheatears of note.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

1st Apr

A bit of a turnaround in the weather with an increasingly strong and cold NE wind developing. There was very little on the land except for seven Wheatears and a Firecrest although there was a bit of passage overhead including two Swallows, two Rock Pipits, 70 Linnets and 35 Goldfinches. The sea was also fairly slow with just four Shelduck, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and 61 Sandwich Terns along with the first two Common Terns of the year. The Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch again this evening.

Sixteen Porpoises were seen offshore.

There was a distinct improvement in the moth trap overnight with the best being only our sixth record of Red Chestnut.

Red Chestnut Cerastis rubricosa   Dungeness   1st April 2021    

Two Mottled Shieldbugs were seen.

31st Mar

Another very warm and sunny day but a bit less going on than yesterday. A three-hour seawatch this morning produced three Shelduck, four Pintail, six Velvet Scoters, nine Red-breasted Mergansers, 396 Gannets, three Little Gulls and 104 Sandwich Terns of note. There was no sign of any white-winged gulls at the Patch.

A few birds on the land included two Willow Warblers, a Blackcap, 14 Wheatears, a Siskin, a Redpoll and 12 Goldfinches of interest.

There was a minimum of 44 Porpoises and also a Common Seal feeding offshore.

30th Mar

After a cold, misty start it turned into a lovely, warm spring day and with a good deal of interest on both land and at sea. The first Willow Warblers and three Blackcaps of the year were seen along with three Firecrests and 14 Wheatears. A Red Kite also flew over and other raptors seen during the day included a Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier, two Merlins and at least one interloping male Peregrine Falcon which was quickly sent packing by the resident pair.

I also ran the AudioMoth last night and whilst it was very quiet with just Canada Goose, Greylag Goose and four Coot it was well worth it in the end with a very close Stone Curlew calling at 0255hrs.  

A 3.5 hour seawatch from first light was quite busy although most of the birds passing through were very distant. Of note were two Shelduck, 19 Shovelers, 770 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers and 58 Sandwich Terns. A second calendar year Glaucous Gull joined the regular Iceland Gull at the Patch and two Mediterranean Gulls were also feeding offshore.

At least 25 Porpoise were feeding offshore throughout the day.

The warm weather induced a few butterflies onto the wing with ten Peacocks, four Small Tortoiseshells and a Small White being seen.

There was also plenty to be seen elsewhere around Dungeness with a drake Garganey at Dengemarsh, the Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall, three Black-necked Grebes on New Diggings, at least two more Red Kites, three singing Sedge Warblers and at 12 Yellow Wagtails at Scotney.  

29th Mar

Two Spoonbills flew over the northern end of the recording area and the first ten Sand Martins and eight Swallows of the year were seen but migration on the land was otherwise slow-going with just three Chiffchaffs, seven Wheatears and a couple of Siskin of note. The sea was fairly quiet but did produce 38 Eiders and 56 Sandwich Terns.

A Brown Hare was seen at the Point.

28th Mar

A Slavonian Grebe and five Ruff were the highlights of the morning seawatch with other bits and pieces including four Shelduck, four Eider, three Red-breasted Mergansers, ten Fulmars and 122 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was still at the Patch. It is still hard work in the strong wind on the land with just a Firecrest in the Moat of interest.

Five Porpoise were seen.

27th Mar

A quiet day in cold, breezy conditions. The unlikely highlight was another sighting of a Grey Partridge this time at the Long Pits along with two Wheatears at the fishing boats and a Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier overhead. Virtually birdless offshore with just an Eider and 11 Sandwich Terns of interest.

Four Porpoise were feeding offshore. 

The clear highlight for a handful of local observers was an immature White-tailed Eagle which flew over NE over the ARC Pit and Lade and out of site towards Hythe but was not seen from the Observatory recording area.

26th Mar

With a fresh SW wind this morning most of the interest was offshore with over five hours of watching producing 154 Brent Geese, four Pintail, 11 Teal, 144 Common Scoters, 156 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 26 Fulmars, the first Manx Shearwater of the year, 706 Gannets, 82 Kittiwakes, six Mediterranean Gulls, a Glaucous Gull and 42 Sandwich Terns.

Very little to report from the land except for the unusual sighting of a male Pheasant strutting around the fishing boats. 

A Porpoise and a Common Seal were also seen offshore.

25th Mar

A nice sunny morning which proved fairly disappointing on the bird front with just a Wheatear and four Black Redstarts of any real note on the land.

The sea was also fairly quiet with 2.25hrs of watching produced just a Shoveler, a Pintail, two Mediterranean Gulls and 29 Sandwich Terns of note.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros   Dungeness   25th March 2021

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe   Dungeness   25th March 2021

And both together

Eight Porpoises were also seen.


24th Mar

There was a substantial movement of birds offshore this morning with a 4.5hr seawatch producing three Tufted Ducks, four Eiders, 25 Little Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls of note and numbers provided by 1204 Brent Geese, 11 Teal, 295 Common Scoters, 166 Red-throated Divers, 771 Gannets and 22 Sandwich Terns.

There was also a very small arrival of migrants on the land with three Firecrests and five Black Redstarts of note and probably the surprise of the day in the form of a Grey Partridge in the Moat whilst two Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard and six Siskins passed overhead.

It was also an unusual night on the Audiomoth recorder with very few calls recorded but high on quality with three flocks each of Brent Goose and Common Scoter and a Little Ringed Plover

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was also seen..

23rd Mar

Seawatching was hampered this morning by thick fog for a time but once it cleared 486 Brent Geese, two Eiders, two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Red-necked Grebe of note.

A handful of migrants were grounded and included 25 Chiffchaff, five Goldcrests, a Black Redstart and a Wheatear.

Eight Porpoise were feeding offshore.

One plant species was also added to the area list with the finding of a Hart's-tongue Fern in the trapping area.

Hart's-tongue Fern Phyllitis scolopendrium   Dungeness   23rd March 2021

22nd Mar

At long last there was a small arrival on the land with 25 Chiffchaffs, seven Goldcrests and our first (but very late) Wheatear of the spring. Two Egyptian Geese flew over the area and a Red-legged Partridge was also seen.

There was also a bit of interest offshore with 780 Brent Geese, six Teal, a Great Northern Diver, three Knot and 93 Sandwich Terns

A total of 19 Porpoise were counted this morning.

A Peacock butterfly was also seen.

21st Mar

Still very quiet on the land with just a Grey Wagtail of note. Seawatching was not a great deal better either despite over five hours of watching which eventually produced 471 Brent Geese, seven Shelduck, four Shovelers, four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Mediterranean Gulls and 37 Sandwich Terns.

However, the Audiomoth "noc mig" recorder was extremely busy. Despite losing two hours of recording due to a glitch the six hours I did get gave some super totals including three flocks of Brent Geese, single flocks of Wigeon and Common Scoter, a Little Grebe, nine Coot, a Water Rail, three flocks of Grey Plover, at least 18 Snipe (98 calls), 277 Blackbird calls, 26 Fieldfare calls, 57 Song Thrush calls and 3282 Redwing calls.

Four Porpoise and a Common Seal were seen offshore and a Brown Hare was at the Point at dusk

20th Mar

A handful of birds on the land today with a female Bullfinch probably the highlight (note there were no records in 2020), along with a Buzzard, a Jack Snipe, five Common Snipe, three Firecrests, 21 Goldfinches and two Siskins.

It continues to be slow going offshore as well with just three Teal, 165 Red-throated Divers, a Mediterranean Gull and 11 Sandwich Terns although the Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again this morning.

Only 12 Redwing calls were counted on the Audiomoth last night but tonight it is already very busy for calling birds so hopefully there will be some decent recordings to go through tomorrow.

At least 14 Porpoise were feeding offshore.

19th Mar

A quiet day on the land which produced a Jack Snipe, nine Common Snipe, just two Chiffchaffs, a Brambling, 80 Chaffinches and a Siskin. It was also slow going offshore with the morning seawatch producing just 13 Wigeon, three Fulmars, two Grey Plovers and five Sandwich Terns of interest.

The main event though was recorded overnight on the Audiomoth with a massive movement of thrushes. Call counts included 5465 Redwings, 763 Blackbirds, 88 Song Thrushes and seven Fieldfares along with a Coot and three Snipe.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.  

18th Mar

The Iceland Gull reappeared at the Patch but overall numbers of gulls were well down on recent days. Several stints of seawatching during the day produced 96 Brent Geese, three Canada Geese, four Shelduck, 18 Shovelers, four Pintails and 30 Sandwich Tern and 400 Great Crested Grebes were feeding offshore.

There was a considerable increase in the numbers of Porpoise with at least 40 individuals feeding offshore.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was found in the Patch hide.

17th Mar

Another fairly slow day with limited movement offshore involving 105 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Mediterranean Gull and 19 Sandwich Terns of interest. There were lots of gulls again but all that could be found amongst them was single first-winter Caspian Gull and Yellow-legged Gulls and a leucistic Herring Gull which also turned out to be yesterdays Glaucous Gull.

It was very quiet on the land with just a Fieldfare and 65 Chaffinches of interest.

Despite the lack of migrants on the land there was some "NocMig" with the Audiomoth recording 273 Redwings and 31 Song Thrushes and also a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits of note.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore

16th Mar

A new third calendar year Glaucous Gull and at least five Caspian Gulls were seen around the Point but offshore movement was limited to just four Sandwich Terns of interest. A Merlin arrived, a Firecrest was seen in a private garden and Chaffinches were passing overhead in large numbers but unseen due to the low cloud. 

The Audiomoth was recording from midnight and proved interesting. The highlight was a Little Ringed  Plover and 207 Redwing calls were counted. Skylarks were singing from 0430hrs and Peregrine Falcons were heard alarm calling on several occasions.

Ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

15th Mar

Most of the day was spent along the shoreline checking through the thousands of gulls. In the end this produced the Glaucous Gull again and four Caspian Gulls (one adult and three first-winters), along with a Yellow-legged Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls. Offshore movement was fairly limited again but 350 Brent Geese, a Canada Goose, the Eider again, a Black-throated Diver and nine Sandwich Terns. Three Merlins were also seen.

Four Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   15th March 2021

14th Mar

A Merlin, a Woodlark and a Rock Pipit came in from the south while a Jack Snipe, seven Snipe, seven Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest were of note on the land. The sea was very quiet with just 85 Brent Geese and an Eider of note and nothing could be found among the gulls.

One Porpoise was seen offshore.

13th Mar

The strong winds continue and the rough sea is now washing up masses of clams, cockles and starfish and was attracting thousands of gulls to the feast. The obvious highlight was a beast of a second calendar year Glaucous Gull. A first-winter Caspian Gull and a Mediterranean Gull were also among the hoards. Offshore passage was poor with just a Pintail, an Eider, 24 Fulmars and 18 Knot of note. 

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus   Dungeness   13th March 2021

Although it certainly didn't feel like it a party of Ringed Plovers at the Point seemed to think it was spring and were displaying intensely.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula    displaying birds   Dungeness   13th March 2021

A Brown Hare leveret was also seen at the fishing boats.

12th Mar

Very windy conditions again and seawatching more or less the only option but even here it was pretty slow going. The best from several hours of watching were 203 Brent Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers, nine Fulmars, five Mediterranean Gulls, a Sandwich Tern and a Great Skua.

Some late news concerns a very distinctive second calendar year gull which was present at the Patch between Feb.15th and 25th. Unfortunately due to the obvious problems with covid-restrictions and more specifically that the Dungeness Estate was closed to the general public it was felt that it was impossible to report on the presence of this bird at the time.

Given a past history with these things (for those with a long memory I am referring to way back in 1992) I was initially wary of putting a name to this bird but the more the literature and internet was checked it became clear that this bird shows many, if not all, of the features required of a Thayer's Gull. It is clearly an Iceland Gull-type and could be a Kumlein's Gull but the extensively solidly dark tail and contrasting darker and unmarked centres to the tertials, the venetian-blind appearance of the outer wing with smoky brown outer webs and pale inner webs, pale fringes to the wing-tip and a slightly contrasting dark secondary bar all seem to indicate that this is a Thayer's Gull. Structurally it was slightly heavier in build than a typical Iceland Gull, the bill was quite stout and looked dark at any distance but was actually dark purple at the base and the legs were bubble-gum pink. 

Thayer's Gull Larus thayeri  Dungeness
Images taken over several days between Feb.15th and 25th.
Note in the last image the typical Iceland Gull also in the view.

11th Mar

A pretty grim day of gale force winds made birding very difficult. Seawatching was very slow going with just 102 Fulmars and a couple of Sandwich Terns of note. A Red-legged Partridge and four Chiffchaffs were seen on the land.

10th Mar

A murky and windy morning which got steadily worse and was virtually unbirdable by early afternoon. All the interest was at the Point where there was a sizable up-channel movement of birds in the first few hours with 2000 Brent Geese, five White-fronted Geese, six Shoveler, four Pintail, two Velvet Scoters, 98 Red-throated Divers and a Mediterranean Gull of interest. The gull roost held three first-winter Caspian Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls for a time.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   10th March 2021
A german colour-ringed bird - ringing details are awaited.

9th Mar

The morning seawatch produced 260 Brent Geese, seven Shelduck, an Eider, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 126 Red-throated Divers, 13 Sandwich Terns and 1200 auks. Two Chiffchaffs were seen in the Trapping Area and a Siskin flew over.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. 

8th Mar

The morning seawatching produced 210 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, 290 Red-throated Divers, 500 Gannets and 11 Sandwich Terns passing eastwards and at least 800 Guillemots were sitting on the sea. The Iceland Gull was back at the Patch this afternoon  

A Firecrest was seen at the Long Pits.

At least 20 Porpoises were also seen in the flat calm conditions. 

7th Mar

A Woodcock, four Firecrests and five Chiffchaffs were the best on offer on the land but the sea was very quiet.

6th Mar

There were two Caspian Gulls and three Yellow-legged Gulls at the Patch this morning whilst the morning seawatch produced an Eider, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 91 Kittiwakes, seven Sandwich Terns and nearly 1400 auks.

Three Snipe, a Chiffchaff and a Firecrest were seen on the land.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

5th Mar

The Patch was back in action today and with it came the return of the Iceland Gull along with two first-winter Caspian Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull.

The sea was fairly quiet except for large numbers of Gannets and two Pintails moving east and a drake Eider passing west.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

4th Mar

There were a handful of new birds on the land including a Mistle Thrush, four Rock Pipits, a Siskin, and best of all, a Wood Lark which was caught in the Heligoland trap this afternoon and only the sixth to be ringed.

Woodlark Lullula arborea   Dungeness   4th March 2021 

With slightly better visibility today there was also a bit of mainly easterly movement offshore with 570 Brent Geese, two Shoveler, 271 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver of note.

There was also noticeable increase in Porpoise numbers with at least ten feeding offshore along with a Grey Seal.

3rd Mar

Limited coverage again due to thick fog through the morning and Skype meetings. A Black Redstart was seen in the Moat, 20 Redwings in the Trapping Area and 100 Brent Geese east in the afternoon.

A flock of Brent Geese also flew over the Observatory at 0220hrs and picked up on the Audiomoth recorder.

2nd Mar

A dull, very murky morning limited observations but after things cleared a bit there was a small easterly movement of birds offshore with 17 Teal, 85 Shoveler, three Pintail and a Sandwich Tern of note. There was little sign of any migration on the land other than a single Chiffchaff at the Old Lighthouse garden. The Grey Wagtail remains inside the power station compound and spent much of the morning singing.

1st Mar

The best of a handful of new birds on the land was a singing Dartford Warbler in the gorse just south of the trapping area. A Woodcock, a Merlin, three Goldcrests, three Fieldfares and three Siskins were also new migrants. Two Firecrests were seen in the Trapping Area although they were probably the birds that have been present for some time.

A morning seawatch produced a surprising movement of Pintail with 237 passing east in a couple of hours although other species were barely represented with just two Shovelers, six Wigeon and a Mediterranean Gull of interest.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

28th Feb

After being absent for a couple of days the Iceland Gull was back at the Patch again along with a first-winter Caspian Gull. The morning seawatch produced 38 Pintails, three Shovelers and two Teal of note. The Grey Wagtail was singing in the power station again.

27th Feb

A pretty quiet day despite the spring-like conditions. A handful of duck passed by offshore with two Pintail, three Shovelers and two Eiders of note and a Merlin came in. The first migrant Black Redstart of the spring was seen in the Moat.

26th Feb

A bright and sunny day after a cold and frosty start. There were a couple of sightings of Red Kite this morning and two Marsh Harriers were hunting over the Trapping Area. There was a hint of passerine movement this morning with 20 Redwings, four Song Thrushes, four Grey Wagtails and four Greenfinches of note.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore and a Pygmy Shrew and two Bank Voles were seen on the land.

25th Feb

There were several sightings of Red Kite across the wider Dungeness area today and eventually one was seen in our recording area just before dark. It was otherwise a very quiet day. Two Red-breasted Mergansers flew west this morning. Two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits, two Siskins flew over and 60 Pied Wagtails came into roost at the Power Station.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

24th Feb

There was a bit movement offshore with 170 Brent Geese and four Mediterranean Gulls moving up-channel and a Shag moving down-channel. The regular Iceland Gull briefly came onto the beach at the Point and allowed for a few more photographs to be added to the collection.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   Dungeness   24th February 2021


23rd Feb

The Iceland Gull was still present and two Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests were seen on the land.

22nd Feb

Perhaps surprisingly, it was very quiet offshore despite the light southerly winds but the Iceland Gull was at the Patch again. 

Two Satellites were the only moths trapped.

21st Feb

The Iceland Gull was at the Patch along with two Caspian Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls. There was a hint of migration on the land with a singing Chiffchaff on the Point rather than the Trapping Area and two Fieldfares and 12 Redwings also seen. The regular Grey Wagtail was still in the power station and three Ravens flew over.

Of note from elsewhere was a very early Wheatear at Galloways Road. 

20th Feb

The regular Iceland Gull, three Caspian Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull were feeding at the Patch and 172 Brent Geese, four Shelduck,  and 13 Pintails moving up-channel were also of note. The Grey Wagtail was feeding inside the power station complex.

Two Snipe and three Stonechats were of note on the land.

19th Feb

The Patch remains the main site of interest with the Iceland Gull still present along with an adult Mediterranean Gull, two first-winter Caspian Gulls and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull. A Chiffchaff was seen in the trapping area.

18th Feb

Only the Patch was checked today where the Iceland Gull was still present along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls. A party of five Pintails and a Red-breasted Merganser also flew east.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator   Dungeness   18th February 2021

17th Feb

The Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch along with an adult Mediterranean Gull and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull. The Grey Wagtail was feeding around the Sewage Unit in the power station again. The trapping area was very quiet except for a Chiffchaff and some singing Redwings.

16th Feb

The morning was spent at the Patch after which heavy rain arrived and meant time spent on paperwork. Of note were the regular Iceland Gull and two first-winter Caspian Gulls. A Great Skua was also marauding around the Patch and causing havoc amongst the gulls.

15th Feb

There were fewer gulls at the Patch this morning but the Iceland Gull was still present and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull and two third-winter Caspian Gulls were seen. In the afternoon a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull came to bread at the fishing boats.

A Grey Seal was seen at the fishing boats.

14th Feb

Although the wind eventually veered into the south it was still tough going in the cold and windy conditions. A one hour seawatch this morning saw 45 Brent Geese and a few Red-throated Divers, Gannets and auks move east. There were thousands of birds at the Patch again with the regular Iceland Gull along with five Mediterranean Gulls, six (five first-winters and a third-winter) Caspian Gulls and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   Dungeness   14th February 2021

13th Feb

A check of the trapping area and desert this morning produced two Woodcocks, three Snipe, a Chiffchaff, a Firecrest, two Fieldfares, two Song Thrushes and 25 Redwings and a Black Redstart was feeding at the entrance to the power station. A short seawatch this afternoon produced a first-winter Little Gull of note.

12th Feb

Large numbers of gulls were feeding at the Patch again with the Iceland Gull still present along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and four Mediterranean Gulls. A check of the Long Pits produced four Snipe

11th Feb

An early morning check of the trapping area produced a Woodcock, seven Snipe, a Firecrest and 20 Redwings and also two Little Grebes on the Northern Long Pit.

The sea was fairly quiet although the Iceland Gull was seen in the afternoon.

10th Feb

Not a great deal to report today. The best of nearly four hours of seawatching were four Velvet Scoters, 386 Red-throated Divers, two Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern.

A Porpoise was also feeding offshore. 

9th Feb

Another bitterly cold day. Movement was a bit limited today and restricted mainly to waders with three Golden Plovers, five Lapwings, 17 Dunlin, three Knot, eight Snipe, a Woodcock and a Redshank. Wildfowl included 27 Wigeon and 30 Teal and ten Mediterranean Gulls were also seen offshore.

8th Feb

Snow on and off through the day with blizzard conditions at times especially during the morning. The cold was also beginning to affect the birds with birds passing west offshore including 425 Brent Geese, 350 Wigeon, four Pintail, six Teal, four Grey Plovers, two Bar-tailed Godwits, ten Mediterranean Gulls and a surprise Sandwich Tern. Lots of gulls were feeding the Patch including three first-winter Caspian Gulls. Birds have also started to arrive on the land with another 23 Teal on the Long Pits, two Woodcocks, 26 Snipe, eight Skylarks and eight Redwings

7th Feb

Limited coverage again on a freezing day with frequent snow flurries and strengthening northerly winds. There was a small indication of a cold weather arrival with 35 Lapwings, a Woodcock, two Redwings and a Fieldfare being seen. A check of the Patch produced the regular Iceland Gull and two Caspian Gulls.

6th Feb

Limited coverage today. Seawatchng produced 84 Red-throated Divers, three Mediterranean Gulls and over 1000 auks and a Chiffchaff, three Firecrests, two Redwings, a Black Redstart and two Grey Wagtails were seen on the land.

The first moth of the year was caught in the trap in the form of a Satellite.

Satellite Eupsilia transversa   Dungeness   6th February 2021

5th Feb

A couple of seawatching sessions produced 94 Brent Geese up-channel, 612 Red-throated Divers, ten Mediterranean Gulls and 1777 auks while the Iceland Gull and two Caspian Gulls were still at the Patch. A Mistle Thrush at West Beach was the first of the year and the smart male Black Redstart and the Grey Wagtail were feeding around the Sewage Treatment Unit again. A Chiffchaff was singing in the Trapping Area.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   Dungeness   5th February 2021

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus   Dungeness   5th February 2021

The first butterfly of the year, a Peacock, was seen in the Trapping Area.