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Corona Virus Update

We are very pleased to be accepting booking at the Observatory. In order to keep staff and visitors as safe as possible, we will be requesting that you take a Lateral Flow Test (provided) before you first come in. The hides will be open for 'Friends of DBOT'. However, we would request that you continue to observe safe practises and sanitiser and spray will continue to be provided to clean down the handles and closures in the hide after you have used it.

Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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31st Jan

A visit to the Patch at low water this morning showed that the Iceland Gull was still present as well as ten Caspian Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls. A few Gannets and auks also passed up-channel.

A brief check of the Trapping Area produced a single Firecrest of note although conditions were far from ideal.

30th Jan

A hard day with fresh and strengthening easterly winds and rain through the morning. The only coverage was seawatching from the fishing boats with 2.5hrs of watching producing 17 Wigeon, a Black-throated Divers, 232 Gannets and 1172 auks all moving east.

A Common Seal was also seen.

29th Jan

Most of the coverage involved looking a the sea from the fishing boats with 3.5hrs of watching producing five Shelducks, 106 Red-throated Divers, 125 Gannets, 245 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls and 2023 auks species.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

28th Jan

Limited coverage but a morning seawatch saw 296 Red-throated Diver and 533 auk species coming out of the bay. Two first-winter Caspian Gulls were found on an afternoon visit to the Patch but conditions were difficult and rapidly became impossible as thick fog rolled in.

Two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore. 

27th Jan

A check of the Trapping Area and Long Pits this morning was very productive with a Jack Snipe, five Chiffchaffs and five Firecrests of note. A three-hour seawatch this morning was also good with two Gadwall, seven Velvet Scoters, 229 Red-throated Divers, 249 Gannets and 3035 auk species. An afternoon check of the Patch on a falling tide showed the Iceland Gull still present and seven Caspian Gulls among huge numbers of gulls. A Grey Wagtail was feeding at the sewage treatment unit and 80 Pied Wagtails came in to roost.

26th Jan

Gulls were the order of the day again with even more feeding at the Patch and along the shoreline with at least 11 Caspian Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls and the Iceland Gull among around 12,000 gulls.



Gulls at the Patch

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also seen.



25th Jan

The morning seawatch produced 2500 auks but otherwise fairly quiet. For sheer numbers the Patch was the place to be with the regular Iceland Gull, four Caspian Gulls and ten Mediterranean Gulls among thousands of gulls. A Chiffchaff was calling in the trapping area.





The Patch   25th January 2021



24th Jan

The highlight of a wintry day was a massive arrival of auks offshore along with large numbers of Gannets and gulls feeding close inshore. There were an estimated 30,000 auks present with about one in three being Razorbills. In addition there were at least four Caspian Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls and five Mediterranean Gulls and the regular second-year Iceland Gull. A Velvet Scoter flew west. 





Razorbills and Guillemots   Dungeness   24th January 2021

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   24th January 2021




Massed feeding frenzy close inshore at the fishing boats


23rd Jan

The morning seawatch was again dominated by Red-throated Divers with 156 and auks with 3463 in 2.75hrs. Two Mediterranean Gulls were also seen. A check of the Patch at low water saw lots of gulls but very difficult viewing conditions but eventually a first-winter Caspian Gull came onto the roof of the office cabins.


The Patch

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   23rd January 2021

Two Porpoises and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Also of interest, this uncommon puffball Winter Stalk-ball was found in the trapping area. 



Winter Stalk-ball Tulostoma brumale   Dungeness   23rd January 2021


 

22nd Jan

A cold, clear morning resulted in a good movement of auks for nearly two hours totalling 3887 birds along with 141 Red-throated Divers. The Iceland Gull was still present around the Patch and the Black Redstart and Grey Wagtail were feeding around the Sewage Treatment unit again. A check of the trapping area produced five Snipe and two Chiffchaffs of note.

A young Common Seal was on the beach for a while. 

21st Jan

After a night of violent storms which resulted in more tiles blowing off the roof it continued very wet and windy for most of the day. A couple of seawatches produced four Velvet Scoters and 140 Common Scoters passing to the west. Although there was no Patch there were hundreds of gulls feeding along the shoreline with the regular Iceland Gull still present along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls.

20th Jan

Very little coverage in awful weather although a Velvet Scoter was of note on the morning seawatch.

19th Jan

Not a great deal to be seen on a mostly miserable day. 

18th Jan

The usual second-year Iceland Gull and a first-winter Caspian Gull were among large numbers of gulls feeding at the Patch and the Grey Wagtail was inside the Power Station again. A couple of seawatches produced over 2000 auks moving west.  A Woodcock flew inland past the Observatory this afternoon.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

Also received a nice ringing recovery from the BTO today. A Lesser Redpoll ringed at the Observatory on 2nd November 2018 was captured by another ringer (controlled) at Omdal, Sokndal, Rogaland, Norway on 11th September 2020. 


17th Jan

A nice day for a change. An early-morning seawatch produced 278 Red-throated Divers, 98 Gannets and four Mediterranean Gulls passing west and a visit to the Patch found the second-year Iceland Gull still present along with a first-winter Caspian Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls. The superb male Black Redstart and the Grey Wagtail were feeding around the Sewage Treatment unit were showing again. Firecrests were seen in the Observatory Garden and along with a Chiffchaff in the trapping area. A Buzzard was hunting over the area.





Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides    Dungeness   17th January 2021

A Common Seal was also feeding at the Patch.

16th Jan

Another miserable, cold, wet and windy day. Coverage limited to the sea again but very quiet here except for a Velvet Scoter, good numbers of auks and a few Kittiwakes.

15th Jan

After two days of miserable weather it was a bit better today and allowed for some coverage. An early morning seawatch did not produce a great deal in the way of movement but there was a large feeding flock offshore which included three Mediterranean Gulls and three Caspian Gulls. Three Firecrests were of note on the land. 

A Grey Seal was also seen.

13th Jan

A really miserable day of almost constant light rain and fog meant for little coverage but plenty of paperwork. A brief, slightly clearer spell of weather in late afternoon allowed a quick check of the Patch where the second-year Iceland Gull was still present and the smart male Black Redstart and Grey Wagtail were feeding around the sewage treatment unit again.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

12th Jan

A morning seawatch produced 340 Gannets, a Fulmar, 126 Kittiwakes, seven Mediterranean Gulls and 1250 auks, all west. A check of the Patch this afternoon showed the second-year Iceland Gull still present, a first-winter Caspian Gull and another five Mediterranean Gulls. A superb male Black Redstart was feeding around the sewage treatment works inside the power station and whilst I was checking the Pied Wagtail roost (135 birds) a Woodcock came in off the sea. 

11th Jan

A couple of hours seawatching this morning produced 14 Teal, four Velvet Scoters, 50 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and 1500 auks species. A quick throw of some bread attracted just a handful of gulls but they did include a fourth-winter Caspian Gull and the regular Polish colour-ringed Black-headed Gull. In addition a first-winter gull came in which may have been a hybrid Caspian x Herring Gull rather than a pure Caspian Gull.



Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   fourth-winter   Dungeness   11th January 2021



Caspian or hybrid Caspian x Herring Gull   first-winter   Dungeness   11th January 2021
First picked up on call as it flew into the flock I thought this was a Caspian Gull and most of the plumage looks ok for this species but the head looks quite streaked and the overall structure does not feel quite right.

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus   adult   Dungeness   11th January 2021
A frequently recorded Polish colour-ringed bird.

10th Jan

Thick, freezing fog through the morning limited observations to two Firecrests as I walked out to replenish the feeders. A check of the Patch when the fog finally cleared this afternoon showed the second-year Iceland Gull still present along with two Caspian Gulls and five Mediterranean Gulls. The Grey Wagtail was also feeding at the Sewage Treatment Unit again.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

9th Jan

Thick fog this morning seriously limited observations but a check of the trapping area and feeding station produced a single Firecrest.

8th Jan

The highlight of the morning seawatch was a Red-necked Grebe. Very quiet on the land although the coverage was very limited in freezing conditions..  

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were seen.

7th Jan

Plenty of gulls were feeding at the Patch again but the second-year Iceland Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls were all that could be found. A Grey Wagtail was feeding at the Sewage Treatment Unit again. 

6th Jan

A very quiet morning for offshore passage but the Patch was working again and saw the return of the second-year Iceland Gull along with two Caspian Gulls and six Mediterranean Gulls.

5th Jan

Very little to report on a day with cold, fresh NE winds and frequent rain. A short period of movement offshore produced 209 Red-throated Divers and 1353 auks. The Patch was very quiet with just one Mediterranean Gull of note. Two Snipe were the best on offer on the land.

4th Jan

A miserable day of strong north-easterly winds and frequent wintry rain. The Patch and seawatching were the only sensible options. The former was much quieter than of late with just an adult Caspian Gull and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull of interest. Three hours of seawatching produced four Fulmars, 48 Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull and four Great Skuas of note.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.

3rd Jan

Gulls provided most of the interest again with two Iceland Gulls at the Patch this morning, two Caspian Gulls roosting at the Point and 42 Mediterranean Gulls feeding offshore. 

A check of the trapping area produced two Firecrests of note.

2nd Jan

A Jack Snipe and singles of Chiffchaff and Firecrest were seen on the land. There was very little movement offshore although two Black-throated Divers were noteworthy.

The Patch continues to be productive with three Iceland Gulls, five Caspian Gulls, three Yellow-legged Gulls and 15 Mediterranean Gulls seen.

Elsewhere, two Whooper Swans and the Black-throated Diver, Glossy Ibis and Dusky Warbler continue to be seen at the ARC Pit. A Scaup and a Long-tailed Duck were still at Scotney and a large flock of White-fronted Geese toured the area.


1st Jan

The year started in much the same way as recent days with the Patch providing most of the interest. Three Iceland Gulls and eight Caspian Gulls were the highlights along with 25 Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls. Small numbers of Red-throated Divers, Razorbills and Guillemots were also feeding offshore.

A check of the trapping area produced two Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest and a Raven flew over. A Grey Wagtail was seen inside the power station perimeter again. 



Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   third-year   Dungeness   1st January 2021
This bird spent a short time at the Point before it was inevitably flushed by a loose dog

A Common Seal was hauled out on the beach this morning.

Elsewhere, for the new year listers the now regular Black-throated Diver, Glossy Ibis and Dusky Warbler were still present at ARC Pit. Two Whooper Swans and a large flock of White-fronted Geese were in the area and two Scaup and a Long-tailed Duck were seen at Scotney.