Another quiet day with two Hobbies being about the best on offer.
Just one Porpoise was seen.
Today saw a small arrival of late migrants with 13 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart and five Willow Warblers of note. The sea was very quiet.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
A few Grizzled Skippers continue to be seen and a handful of Variable Damselflies were seen at the Long Pits.
Very quiet on both land and at sea. The best on offer were eight Swifts, two Sand Martins, a Spotted Flycatcher at the northern end of the Long Pits and a Corn Bunting over the Trapping Area.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
This moth was caught by hand as it warmed itself in the rising sun this morning. Although it is worn I think it is likely to be an example of the Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria. This species was only added to the British list in 2019 but is now considered to be fairly widespread along the east coast of Kent. This is the first record at the Observatory since this date although photographs of "ferns" taken prior to this date show that it had already occurred here.
|Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria Dungeness 12th May 2022|
Grizzled Skippers and Small Coppers continue to be seen in excellent numbers and another worn example of the aberration radicata was found in the Trapping Area.
|Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab radicata Dungeness 12th May 2022.|
In addition, a third individual of the rare (only found at Dungeness) shieldbug Geotomus petiti was found in the Moat.
Grounded migrants remain hard to come by and the sea was also quiet today with four hours of watching producing just five Eiders, an Avocet and two Arctic Skuas of note. The first Spotted Flycatcher of the spring was seen at the Long Pits.
Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A Downy Emerald dragonfly was a notable find at the Long Pits whilst Grizzled Skippers continue to be seen in good numbers with at least 15 noted today.
Much quieter offshore today with five hours of seawatching producing just nine Shelducks, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Black Tern, singles of Great and Pomarine Skuas and three Arctic Skuas. A Little Ringed Plover and 63 Swifts passed overhead but grounded migrants remain almost non-existent.
Five Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.
Today was dominated by seawatching but the individual bird of the day was our fourth Black Kite of the spring. Coverage from dawn to dusk at the seawatch hide produced 19 Shelduck, two Pintail, 475 Common Scoters, four Black-throated Divers, 79 Grey Plover, 114 Whimbrel, 51 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Knot, 73 Sanderling, a Greenshank, 18 Little Gulls. 28 Little Terns, 5491 Common/ic Terns, 142 Arctic Terns, 48 Black Terns, four Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and a superb total of 86 Pomarine Skuas.
|Black Kite Milvus migrans Dungeness 9th May 2022|
Comparing the flight feather damage against images of the earlier birds
confirm that this is a different individual to the previous three birds.
At least 40 Porpoise were feeding offshore along with three Grey Seals.
Ten Grizzled Skippers were seen.
A day of reasonable seawatching although most of the birds passed in the early morning and late evening. The highlights from nearly nine hours were 30 Grey Plovers, three Avocets, 99 Bar-tailed Godwits, 262 Whimbrels, 135 Knot, 53 Sanderlings, a Greenshank, nine Black Terns, 41 Arctic Terns, a Great Skua, 11 Arctic Skuas and five Pomarine Skuas. A Hobby and two Swift also came in. A Common Sandpiper was seen on the Long Pits, 70 Swallows flew through and a Ring Ouzel was seen in the Desert.
A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were feeding offshore.
It remains very quiet on the land with just six Buzzards, 40 Swallows, three Willow Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, eight Yellow Wagtails and two Siskins of any note. The sea was also slow-going with nearly six hours of watching producing just a single Velvet Scoter, 22 Whimbrel, 12 Sanderling, three Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Little Terns, three Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua.
At least eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.
The bird of the day was seen on the RSPB Reserve when a drake Ring-necked Duck was found on Burrowes Pit.
Just four Willow Warblers, a Ring Ouzel and four Corn Buntings were seen in the bushes and three Buzzards flew over. Fairly quiet offshore as well with over five hours of watching producing just one Velvet Scoter, three Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Skua of interest.
A Nathusius's Pipistrelle was flying around the Observatory this evening and a Brown Hare was seen in the morning. Offshore, at least six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding.
The highlight from the moth trap was our fourth record of Scalloped Hazel and searching through the hoards of Small Coppers produced a smart aberrant form named radiata+caeruleapunctata.
|Scalloped Hazel Odontopera bidentata Dungeness 6th May 2022|
|Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas Dungeness 6th May 2022|
Just a few of the large numbers to be seen at the moment.
|Small Copper Lycaeana phlaeas ab radiata+caeruleopunctata Dungeness 6th May 2022|
Barely a migrant to be seen on the land and almost no offshore passage but with the highlight of a Red Kite over the area in the morning. Other bits and pieces included five Buzzards, a Swift, 32 Swallows, two Yellow Wagtails and 16 Goldfinches.
Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.
Notable insects included seven Variable Damselflies and an example of the rare beetle Hister quadrimaculatus.
A cloudy start to the day saw the first arrival of migrants of any significance for some times. Overall numbers were fairly small but variety was good with notable highlights of a Turtle Dove and a singing Wood Warbler at the Long Pits and a Wood Lark over the Observatory. Other more typical migrants included two Hobbies, five Sand Martins, 80 Swallows, 30 Willow Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, five Garden Warblers, 15 Wheatears, seven Yellow Wagtails and two Tree Pipits. Seawatching was fairly quiet with 6.25hrs of observations producing just three Great Skuas, two Pomarine Skuas and seven Arctic Skuas of note.
The highlight on the sea was a party of three White-beaked Dolphins along with ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal and in the evening a Badger came to scrounge food in the Observatory garden.
Ten Grizzled Skippers and a Holly Blue were of note among the butterflies seen.
The highlight today was another Black Kite which flew around the Point before heading inland but other migrants on the land were almost non-existent with just a Buzzard, 25 Swallows, a Garden Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail of any interest. The sea was also generally quiet with a Manx Shearwater, a Little Egret (W), 11 Little Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns, four Pomarine Skuas and nine Arctic Skuas the best from nine hours of watching.
A Grey Seal and 25 Porpoise were feeding offshore.
Almost dawn 'till dusk coverage of the sea produced some good totals although birds were mostly distant in the morning and with the bulk of the numbers passing through from late afternoon. Of note were a drake Goosander, a Great Northern Diver, five Manx Shearwaters, two Little Egrets (west), two Avocets, 43 Whimbrel, 559 Bar-tailed Godwits, ten Mediterranean Gulls, 1216 Common Terns, 363 Arctic Terns, 3435 "Commic" Terns, five Black Terns, eight Pomarine Skuas, 23 Arctic Skuas and a Puffin. A Hobby also came in. Grounded migrants remain very scarce with just five Willow Warblers of any interest. The first fledged Stonechats were also seen.
At least 50 Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore
Seawatching continues to dominate proceedings with 11.5 hours of coverage producing two Gadwall, 12 Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 2245 Common Scoters, four Black-throated and four Great Northern Divers, 43 Whimbrel, 53 Little Terns, 1442 "commic" Terns, 14 Great Skuas, 20 Pomarine Skuas and 20 Arctic Skuas. Migrants on the land remain very scare although a Jay was seen in the Trapping Area, 115 Swallows passed through and two Ring Ouzels were still in the Desert.
A Grey Seal and ten Porpoises were seen offshore again and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.
Most of the coverage involved seawatching again today. Nearly ten hours of coverage produced four Velvet Scoters, 430 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers, two Black-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, 71 Whimbrel, two Little Gulls, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Little Terns, 15 Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 22 Arctic Skuas of note. It remains very quiet on the land with just a Buzzard, our first Swift and Garden Warbler of the year, and three Siskin of note. Swallow numbers have been very poor so far so it was good to record 185 birds today.
Mammals seen today included six Porpoises and two Grey Seals, a Weasel in the Trapping Area another evening visit to the garden by a Badger.
The wind finally dropped this afternoon and with sunny conditions there was a mass emergence of Grizzled Skippers with at least 30 seen and of Small Coppers with at least 700 seen. The latter included an example of the aberration radiata.
The clear highlight of the day on the land was a Wood Warbler which was singing at the north-east corner of the Trapping Area during the morning. Three Ring Ouzels were also seen nearby. The sea continues to receive lots of coverage with nearly 12 hours today producing two Tufted Ducks, three Eider, three Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, three Manx Shearwaters, 67 Whimbrel, 142 Bar-tailed Godwits, 17 Little Terns, 761 Common Terns, 22 Arctic Terns, ten Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 20 Arctic Skuas of note. A Merlin also came in.
Ten Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.
The seemingly endless cold and strong north-easterly winds continue. The lack of migrants on the land continues but seawatching was much more productive. The only interest on the land was the two Ring Ouzels at the north end of the Desert again and 30 Swallows, a House Martin and a Siskin flew over. Almost ten hours of watching the sea produced a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 329 Bar-tailed Godwits, 66 Whimbrel, a Knot, two Little Terns, ten Great Skuas, 18 Pomarine Skua (all this afternoon) and 16 Arctic Skuas.
The sea also provided some major excitement in the form of a pod of at least six White-beaked Dolphins which passed east in the morning as well as ten Porpoise and two Grey Seals.
The fresh and cold NE wind continues with very few birds on the land but the offshore passage was maintained although in smaller numbers. Twelve hours of seawatching produced four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Manx Shearwaters, a Red-necked Grebe, 466 Gannets, 12 Grey Plover, 247 Whimbrel, 637 Bar-tailed Godwits, six Knot, 17 Little Gulls, 40 Little Terns, 319 Common Terns, 67 Arctic Terns, 1031 "commic" Terns, a Black Tern, six Great Skuas and 13 Arctic Skuas.
Twenty Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore and a Brown Hare in the Desert.
A single Grizzled Skipper was also seen.
Another day of clear skies and a cold NE wind meant a few birds on the land including a Hobby and two Ring Ouzels. The morning seawatch saw a good variety of species but numbers were fairly small but a much heavier passage took place in the afternoon. Notable species and totals included 14 Shelduck, nine Teal, ten Velvet Scoters, 1187 Common Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, two Manx Shearwaters, six Grey Plovers, a second-best ever day total of 684 Whimbrel, 1171 Bar-tailed Godwit, 131 Little Gulls, seven Little Terns, 849 Common Terns, 596 Arctic Terns, 4301 "Commic" Terns, two Black Terns, 13 Great Skuas, 29 Arctic Skuas and a Pomarine Skua.
Ten Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.
A Grizzled Skipper and a Holly Blue were of note along with at least 220 Small Coppers.
Elsewhere, a Black Kite was seen on the RSPB Reserve.
Seawatching continues to dominate proceedings with a strong ENE wind and clear skies but barely a migrant to be seen on the land. Of note offshore were three Velvet Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, three Manx Shearwater, 140 Whimbrel, 611 Bar-tailed Godwits, 140 Little Gulls, four Little Terns, 563 Common Terns, 277 Arctic Terns, four Black Terns, four Great Skuas, two Pomarine Skuas and 27 Arctic Skuas and a Puffin.
Fifteen Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.
The highlight of the day was our second Black Kite of the spring but other than this most of the interest was offshore. Over 11 hours of seawatching produced 25 Teal, four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Manx Shearwaters, two Grey Herons, four Grey Plovers, 159 Whimbrel, 709 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Wood Sandpiper, 33 Little Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls, three Great Skuas and ten Arctic Skuas. Other birds of interest included three Sand Martins, three Yellow Wagtails and two Siskins.
|Black Kite Milvus migrans Dungeness 24th April 2022|
Butterflies of note included three Brimstones and a Grizzled Skipper.
At least 15 Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore
Another day of strong NE winds and most of the observations coming from seawatching. Highlights included a Velvet Scoter, a Manx Shearwater, a Great Northern Diver on the sea, a party of six Avocets, 21 Grey Plover, 72 Whimbrel, 2507 Bar-tailed Godwits, six Knot, 32 Sanderling, 77 Little Gulls, 750 Common Terns, seven Little Terns, a Black Tern, seven Great Skuas and 24 Arctic Skuas.
|Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta Dungeness 23rd April 2022|
Fifteen Porpoises were showing well offshore as well as three Grey Seals.
|Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus Dungeness 23rd April 2022|
With little change in the weather seawatching was the order of the day again with nearly 11 hours of coverage. Highlights were four Velvet Scoters, an excellent total of 103 Grey Plovers, 111 Whimbrel, another 1576 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Little Gulls, 46 Arctic Terns, a Great Skua and eight Arctic Skuas. Migrants on the land were almost non-existent but did include a male Hen Harrier.
Last nights' Nocmig recording (perhaps not surprisingly) showed 21 passes by flocks of Bar-tailed Godwit but also of note was our first Common Sandpiper of the spring.
At least 20 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
With fresh to strong north-east winds most of the interest was offshore again. Almost full day coverage was achieved with the highlights being five Black-throated Divers and an excellent total of 2491 Bar-tailed Godwits with other bits and pieces including 307 Common Scoters, 31 Whimbrel, five Knot, seven Little Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls, two Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas. Terns were surprisingly low in number but did include 73 Arctics. Coverage of the land was limited but one observer saw a Red Kite flying over the Trapping Area.
Around 40 Porpoises were feeding offshore again along with a Grey Seal and two Brown Hares were seen on the land.
A bright, sunny but virtually birdless day. Seven hours of seawatching recorded just seven Whimbrel, seven Bar-tailed Godwits, 156 Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Skuas of interest. The merest trickle of birds overhead included six Swallows and two Yellow Wagtails but grounded migrants were virtually non-existent except for a small party of Wheatears around the Observatory.
Two Grey Seals and 25 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Two Terrapins were seen at the Long Pits.
A Grizzled Skipper was seen in the Trapping Area.
A few migrants arrived on the land and included a male Pied Flycatcher at the Long Pits and a Ring Ouzel over the Observatory of note along with two Buzzards, a Merlin, 17 Willow Warblers, a Yellow Wagtail and two Siskins. It was very slow offshore with just 26 Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Skua of any interest.
Thirty Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore again.
Another calm but clear morning and still very few commoner migrants on the land although two Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit were new for the year as was an Osprey which came in at the Lifeboat Station and then head north this afternoon. There was a decent trickle of birds moving east offshore this morning with 327 Brent Geese, six Velvet Scoters, 228 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 51 Whimbrel, three Great Skuas and seven Arctic Skuas. Numbers were much reduced in the afternoon but a Pomarine Skua and a Puffin flew east and 60 Mediterranean Gulls flew west.
The impressive numbers of Porpoises continue to feed offshore with 40 present and a Grey Seal was also seen.
Three Grizzled Skippers were seen.
The clear highlight of today was a Black Kite which spent a couple of hours this morning flying around the Point and even landing for a time in the Desert, before heading off north-east. Other migrants on the land were almost non-existent but did include a Jay. Nearly ten hours of seawatching produced three Garganey, 59 Shoveler, six Pintails, 28 Velvet Scoters, 636 Common Scoters, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, six Black-throated Divers, 118 Whimbrels, 11 Little Gulls, 17 Mediterranean Gulls, 611 Sandwich Terns, five Little Terns and nine Arctic Skuas.
Thirty Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore, a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert and a Badger came into the Observatory garden this evening.
An example of the rare beetle Hister quadrimaculatus was found in the Moat.
Seawatching provided of the interest today with 36 Shovelers, two Pintail, two Goldeneyes, 211 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Arctic Terns, three Great Skuas and three Arctic Skuas of note. Four Little Egrets and a Redpoll also flew over and a Coal Tit was heard in the Trapping Area.
Around 30 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Two Light Orange Underwing moths were seen at the Long Pits.
Highlights on the land were a wing-tagged Red Kite, a Coal Tit, a singing Grasshopper Warbler and a Redstart whilst seawatching produced just a Black-throated Diver, 37 Bar-tailed Godwits, nine Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and two Arctic Skuas of any note.
There was a minimum of 52 Porpoises feeding offshore along with two Grey Seals.
Among a few insects seen were our first Geotomus petiti shieldbug of the year and singles of Brimstone and Grizzled Skipper butterflies.
|Geotomus petiti Dungeness 15th April 2022|
A very quiet day on both land and sea. A Black-throated Diver, six Mediterranean Gulls and 30 Sandwich Terns were the best from the sea. A small arrival of migrants on the land included 25 Willow Warblers, 18 Blackcaps, eight Whitethroats, seven Bramblings and a Redpoll.
At least 40 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
No doubt about the bird of the day when a Red-breasted Flycatcher was found by David Bunney in his garden. It gave excellent views at times through the afternoon for the gathering of locals. This was a totally unexpected bird and over a month earlier than any other Kent record. Other migrants seen during the day included five Swallows, five Willow Warblers, five Whitethroats and a Ring Ouzel. A Buzzard and a Merlin were also seen.
|Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva Dungeness 13th April 2022|
Seawatching was fairly quiet but over five hours of watching produced 208 Brent Geese, five Red-breasted Mergansers, two Little Gulls, 197 Sandwich Terns, seven Great Skua, 12 Arctic Skuas and a very early Pomarine Skua.
Although the sea was quiet for birds it provided the mammalian highlight of the day with a pod of at least five White-beaked Dolphins along with ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal. A Brown Hare also seen on the land.
Seawatching was quieter than yesterday but still good with 7.5hrs of observation producing six Gadwall, 15 Velvet Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, four Manx Shearwaters, 92 Whimbrel, 16 Mediterranean Gulls, 20 Little Gulls, seven Little Terns, a Great Skua and 34 Arctic Skuas of note. The bulk of the passage consisted of 1320 Common Scoters, 297 Gannets, another very high count of 1584 Sandwich Terns, 158 Common Terns and 374 auks.
It remains very quiet on the land although a Redstart in the trapping area was new for the year and six Crossbill flew over.
Six Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Badger was feeding in the Observatory garden this evening.
With winds coming from the south-east today all the interest was offshore and where 13 hours of coverage was achieved. A spectacular passage occurred and of particular note were 13 Garganey (taking the spring total to remarkable 111 individuals), 72 Velvet Scoters, two Avocets, 14 Little Gulls, 29 Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Terns, 24 Arctic Terns and 23 Arctic Skuas. Numbers were provided by 40 Shelduck, 315 Shovelers, 47 Gadwalls, 123 Pintail, 202 Teal, 1672 Common Scoters, 30 Red-breasted Mergansers, 1194 Gannets, 277 Whimbrels, 124 Kittiwakes, 2898 Sandwich Terns (a new spring day record), 235 Common Terns and 687 auks species.
A singing Reed Warbler at the Long Pits was our first of the year..
Fifteen Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Badger was seen in the Observatory garden again this evening.
A calm, clear morning saw a decent arrival of migrants on the land and birds moving east offshore throughout the day. Of note on the land were 37 Willow Warblers, 25 Chiffchaffs, the first Sedge Warbler of the year and 15 Blackcaps while five Swallows, a Brambling and 22 Siskins passed overhead. Over 11 hours of seawatching from 0700hrs produced two Garganey, ten Velvet Scoters, 945 Common Scoters, 232 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 916 Gannets, 148 Whimbrels, five Mediterranean Gulls, 155 Little Gulls, 1088 Sandwich Terns, 53 Common Terns, two Great Skuas and eight Arctic Skuas.
At least 12 Porpoises were feeding offshore where a Grey Seal was also seen and a Stoat was hunting in the Moat.
Not a great deal to be seen on a cold and breezy day. A Great White Egret came in over the Fishing Boats, two Buzzards flew over the Long Pits and a Merlin was seen at the Point. Three Willow Warblers and 12 Chiffchaffs were seen in the bushes and a Brambling and 14 Siskin also flew over.
Five Porpoises were seen offshore and a Badger was seen in the Observatory garden at first light.
The wind finally dropped this morning and allowed a small arrival of migrants on the land and a few seabirds continued to trickle east. The highlights on the land were our first Willow Warblers of the spring and 20 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and 20 Robins. Two Bramblings also flew over. Numbers of birds moving offshore were generally small but did include our first Common Terns of the year, four Mediterranean Gulls, two Little Gulls and a decent total of 13 Arctic Skuas.
|Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus Dungeness 8th April 2022|
At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
More strong winds and rain made observations difficult with seawatching the best option. Even here it was hard-going but over five hours of watching eventually produced an Eider, 1097 Common Scoters, seven Manx Shearwaters and 593 Gannets. A most-unexpected Sooty Shearwater also which passed west this afternoon which was only the fourth April record.
Two Porpoises were seen.
A day of strong south-westerly winds with frequent rain meant that seawatching was the main option. Over six hours of watching produced 297 Brent Geese, 13 Velvet and 819 Common Scoters, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater, three Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas of note. It was virtually birdless on the land.
Four Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
With a strong WSW wind blowing most of the interest was offshore with birds moving mainly east and passerines arriving from the south. Over six hours of seawatching produced 588 Brent Geese, six Velvet Scoters, 563 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls and 20 Sandwich Terns. Birds coming in from the south included a House Martin, a Swallow, 717 Meadow Pipits and 90 Linnets.
Four Porpoises were seen offshore.
A cold northerly breeze for most of the day which saw a trickle of movement offshore and a handful of migrants on the land. The highlight on the land was the first Swallow of the year along with four Buzzards, a Merlin, five Chiffchaffs, 14 Redwings, 25 Robins, six Black Redstarts, three Wheatears and a Brambling. Seawatching produced two Pintails, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, six Mediterranean Gulls and 32 Sandwich Terns of note.
Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Badger visited the Observatory garden again this evening.
The most significant event of the day was waking up to a light covering of snow with snow flurries continuing through the morning. Several seawatching sessions eventually produced 121 Brent Geese, three Shelducks, three Teal, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, 62 Fulmars, 1237 Gannets, six Little Gulls and 82 Sandwich Terns. It was very quiet on the land.
A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A fairly quiet day on the land which produced six Chiffchaffs, 84 Redwings, two Song Thrushes, seven Black Redstarts, six Wheatears and 45 Siskins and also the first Blackcap of the year.
The sea was also fairly quiet but nearly three hours of watching this morning produced 448 Brent Geese, a Pochard, four Red-breasted Mergansers and 19 Sandwich Terns. A check at the fishing boats this afternoon produced a Polish-ringed first-winter Caspian Gull.
|Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans first-winter Dungeness 30th March 2022|
A murky, damp and breezy morning saw a small arrival of migrants with a notable increase in Robin numbers along with a Merlin, two Fieldfares, ten Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, six Black Redstarts, two Wheatears and a White Wagtail whilst a trickle of birds overhead included a Buzzard, a Redshank and 21 Siskins.
Seawatching saw a steady of trickle of mainly wildfowl moving east including two Garganey, 38 Shovelers, five Pintails, eight Teal, 548 Common Scoters, nine Red-breasted Mergansers and 50 Sandwich Terns.
A check of a few gulls roosting at the fishing gulls this afternoon produced a second-winter Caspian Gull - intriguingly it is metal-ringed and from what can be seen from some images of it it is likely to be of Czech origin.
|Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans Dungeness 29th March 2022|
At least 12 Porpoises and singles of both Common and Grey Seal were seen offshore and two Badgers were seen on the land.
A misty/foggy day which produced very little in the way of migrants. The best of the grounded migrants were eight Chiffchaffs, 15 Redwings, five Black Redstarts and four Wheatears and five Bramblings and 57 Siskins passed overhead. The sea was also very quiet although 40 Mediterranean Gulls were of note along with 12 Shovelers and five Pintails.
There was a small arrival of grounded migrants with 12 Chiffchaffs, 65 Redwings and seven Black Redstarts while birds continue to pass overhead including a Little Ringed Plover, six Grey Wagtails and another 65 Siskins. The sea was very quiet.
Two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert and 12 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Two species which have featured in remarkable numbers so far this spring have been Garganey and Siskin and today saw another record spring day total of 411 Siskins moving south-east throughout the morning. Other migrants were a bit limited but did include a Little Ringed Plover, two Merlins, 70 Jackdaws, seven Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest, a White Wagtail, a Rock Pipit, 150 Chaffinches and a Brambling.
It was very slow offshore but a flock of four Garganey was of note and brings the spring total to 94 birds. Also of note were three Mediterranean Gulls and just six Sandwich Terns.
Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Most of the days interest was in an overhead movement of finches with another very high count of 140 Siskins of particular note along with 55 Chaffinches, nine Bramblings, a Crossbill and 16 Goldfinches and a Rock Pipit and 75 Jackdaws. The rarest bird of the day was a female Bullfinch in the Trapping Area. It was very quiet offshore.
Three Porpoises were seen.
A lovely day but very quiet on the migration front. The best on the land were a Merlin, 57 Jackdaws, nine Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest, seven Song Thrushes, three Black Redstarts and two Bramblings. The best on the sea were 370 Brent Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers and five Mediterranean Gulls. A Great White Egret was also feeding at the Long Pits.
At least 26 Porpoises were feeding offshore.
A day with no wind and clear conditions overhead meant there was very little in the way of grounded migrants and little to be seen offshore in comparison to recent days. The highlights on the land were three Buzzards, four Black Redstarts and a Wheatear. It was very hazy offshore but the morning seawatching session still produced 851 Brent Geese, 23 Shoveler, 29 Teal, 568 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls and 23 Sandwich Terns of interest.
At least 31 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Badger was feeding in the back garden this evening.
Only five moths were caught overnight but they did include a Satellite which is a fairly scarce visitor to the traps.
Another excellent day for offshore passage with the Garganey extravaganza continuing and another 25 passing through along with 159 Pintail, 15 Velvet Scoters, two Black-necked Grebes, five Avocet, 16 Little Gulls and 84 Sandwich Terns of note. There were also 1869 Brent Geese, 57 Shovelers, seven Gadwall, 15 Teal, three Eiders, 1277 Common Scoters, 347 Red-throated Divers, five Bar-tailed Godwits and five Mediterranean Gulls making up the numbers. A Red Kite flew west along the beach and other birds passing overhead included 30 Chaffinches, two Bramblings and five Siskins. Grounded migrants remain fairly scarce but a Jack Snipe, Firecrest and a total of ten Black Redstarts were of note.
Ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A Comma was seen at the Long Pits.
A spectacular day of offshore movement involving mostly wildfowl. Of particular note were a new second-best day total of 32 Garganeys (also see entry for 21st Mar), 18 Gadwall, a third best-ever spring day total of 369 Pintails. 19 Eider, 14 Velvet Scoters, two Long-tailed Ducks, four Little Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls. A party of six Canada Geese along the beach was also an unusual sighting and of note in terms of numbers were 3600 Brent Geese, 74 Shoveler, 45 Teal, 1041 Common Scoters and 59 Sandwich Terns. Coverage on the land was limited but a Red Kite flew over the beach where three Black Redstarts, three Wheatears and a Rock Pipit were also seen.
|Canada Geese Branta canadensis Dungeness 21st March 2022|
An uncommon species on seawatches.
|Garganey Spatula querquedula with Brent Geese Dungeness 21st March 2022.|
|Pintail Anas acuta with Brent Geese Dungeness 21st March 2022|
|Pintail Anas acuta with Brent Geese Dungeness 21st March 2022|
|Pintail Anas acuta with a couple of Wigeon Dungeness 21st March 2022|
Ten Porpoise and three Grey Seals were seen offshore.
More easterly winds resulted in another day of seawatching. Nearly nine hours of observations produced 2371 Brent Geese with a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 53 Shoveler, 16 Gadwall, 71 Pintail, 88 Teal, a Scaup, an Eider, 321 Common Scoters, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, 17 Grey Plovers and 143 Sandwich Terns. A Buzzard and 17 Siskins flew over the area and nine Chiffchaffs and three Wheatears were found on the land.
Fifteen Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A fresh and cold NE wind limited observations on the land and seawatching was also fairly quiet but did produce two Garganey of note along with 14 Teal, five Shoveler, two Pintail and 427 Gannets during the morning. Four Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear were seen on the land.
Twelve Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
With crystal clear skies and a cold NW breeze during the morning there was not a great deal to be seen. The only birds of note from nearly fours of seawatching were a Slavonian Grebe, two Mediterranean Gulls and 14 Sandwich Terns. The best on the land were eight Chiffchaffs, 31 Redwings and three Bramblings.
At least 22 Porpoises were feeding offshore in the calm conditions this morning.
In the warmer sheltered spots on the land three Commas, nine Peacocks and three Small Tortoiseshells were found.
On what felt like a fairly quiet day there was actually quite a lot seen. Of particular note were the continuing presence of the Iceland Gull at the Patch while 551 Brent Geese, six Teal, 11 Eider, 30 Knot, seven Mediterranean Gulls and 65 Sandwich Terns also passed by offshore.
A bit of overhead passage included ten Buzzards, 17 Jackdaws, 3580 Starlings, 61 Chaffinches, a Brambling and six Siskins while grounded migrants included eight Chiffchaffs, 32 Redwings, seven Black Redstarts and five Wheatears.
Six Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.
A Brimstone butterfly was seen in the Trapping Area.
With a light south-east wind the highlight of the seawatch this morning was our second-best ever day total of 31 Garganey passing east along with 621 Brent Geese and 227 Common Scoters but variety was otherwise limited to six Teal, 19 Pintail, an Eider, a Red-breasted Merganser, 149 Red-throated Divers, 60 Sanderlings, seven Mediterranean Gulls and 14 Sandwich Terns. Although grounded migrants were scarce there was an excellent movement overhead with a record spring day total of 202 Siskin (previous best was 116 on 6th April 1980) as well as three Fieldfares, a White Wagtail, 295 Chaffinches and ten Bramblings.
Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A calm, sunny day with a handful of birds on the land but very quiet offshore. Of note on the land were a Woodcock, a Merlin, two Firecrests, four Black Redstarts, five Wheatears and three Bramblings. The best of the seawatch were just 19 Pintail, four Velvet Scoters and three Red-breasted Mergansers and the Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again.
|Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Dungeness 15th March 2022|
Porpoises showed well in the flat sea with at least 12 seen.
A fine morning saw a small arrival of birds on the land with the highlights being 11 Black Redstarts along with a Merlin, nine Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, 62 Redwings, two Bramblings and two Siskins of note. It was very quiet offshore with just an Eider and 15 Mediterranean Gulls passing through and a brief reappearance of the Iceland Gull.
|Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochrurus Dungeness 14th March 2022|
One of two fine males ringed today.
|Mediterranean Stick-insect Bacillus rossius Dungeness 14th March 2022|
Fresh southerly winds at first meant more seawatching but passage seems to be dwindling now after several days of similar weather. Over four hours this morning 492 Brent Geese, two Shovelers, five Eider, 226 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, 22 Fulmars, 823 Gannets, 302 Kittiwakes, four Little Gulls, ten Mediterranean Gulls, 22 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. The first Wheatear of the spring was seen on the beach but the only other interest were a single Firecrest and two Black Redstarts.
The highlight of the day was probably a pod of seven Bottle-nose Dolphins which passed east close inshore in the morning. Four Porpoises were also seen.
Yet more southerly winds saw another large push of Brent Geese up-channel with 2370 counted along with 104 Mediterranean Gulls but the variety of other species involved was reduced with three Velvet Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers and a single Sandwich Tern of interest. A good search of the land produced ten Chiffchaffs, four Firecrests, a Mistle Thrush, 14 Stonechats, three Grey Wagtails and a White Wagtail.
Seven Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Two Peacock butterflies were seen.
Virtually all the coverage was offshore in continuing south-south-east winds and rain from late morning. Numbers were provided by 808 Brent Geese, 22 Shovelers, 67 Teal, 174 Red-throated Divers, 22 Fulmars, 2004 Gannets, 780 Kittiwakes and 1432 auks. More notable records included two Gadwall, 30 Pintail, six Tufted Ducks, an excellent flock of 34 Black-tailed Godwits, two Little Gulls and 27 Mediterranean Gulls. Three Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were also roosting on the beach.
A Belgian-ringed Chiffchaff was caught late in the day and a Firecrest was also seen.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
A fresh south-easterly wind continued today and most of the interest was offshore although even here it was not particularly exciting. A total of 5.5hrs of seawatching producing 469 Brent Geese, three Mallard, 11 Pintails, 149 Common Scoters, 161 Red-throated Divers, 82 Oystercatchers, 299 Kittiwakes, four Mediterranean Gulls and three Sandwich Terns. Migrants on the land included 27 Skylarks, six Chiffchaffs, two Firecrests, two Fieldfares, 25 Chaffinches and four Siskins.
Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
The wind was still coming from the south-east today and large numbers of birds continued to move up-channel. Over eight hours of watching produced a Light-bellied Brent Goose, 2197 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 34 Shoveler, 22 Gadwall, four Pintail, 40 Teal, ten Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 312 Common Scoters, six Red-breasted Merganser, 290 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 11 Fulmars, five Curlews, an excellent total of 2819 Kittiwakes, 43 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Sandwich Terns and 1485 auks. It remains fairly quiet on the land but a Long-eared Owl in the Trapping Area was an obvious highlight and four Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and a Siskin were also noted.
Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.
With a strong south-east blowing nearly all the interest today was offshore. Over 8.25 hours of seawatching produced 2321 Brent Geese, 11 Greylag Geese, 35 Shoveler, two Gadwall, 44 Wigeon, 146 Pintail, 48 Teal, 12 Tufted Ducks, two Eider, two Velvet Scoters, 162 Red-throated Divers, 17 Dunlin, 121 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, 94 Common Gulls, two Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua. It was very quiet on the land with just a Merlin and a Chiffchaff of note.
Three Porpoises were seen offshore.
A cold day with a strong easterly wind saw a little bit of movement on the sea with two Pintail, a drake Eider, 17 Fulmar, 508 Gannets, 71 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and a Sandwich Tern in two hours this morning. Hard going on the land with just three Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests of note.
Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.
There was a good mix of grounded migrants and birds passing overhead this morning with three Snipe, three Firecrests, 760 Starlings, 20 Blackbirds, 12 Fieldfares, 40 Redwings, five Song Thrushes and 150 Chaffinches and a surprising three flocks of Grey Herons totalling 15 birds heading east. Offshore passage was a bit slow but eventually produced 60 Brent Geese, 58 Common Scoters, two Mediterranean Gulls, nine Sandwich Terns and two Great Skuas.
Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.
There was a bit of visible migration this morning with 246 Starlings, four Fieldfares, 112 Redwings, two Song Thrushes, two Bramblings and a Siskin passing overhead while three Firecrests were seen in the bushes. It was quiet for offshore passage but 480 Great Crested Grebes were seen on the sea and the regular Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again.
A "nocmig" recorder was used overnight and produced a Hawfinch of note along with a Moorhen, a Lapwing, two Golden Plovers, three Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, 91 Blackbirds calls, ten Fieldfare calls, 1464 Redwing calls and 256 Song Thrushes calls.
Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.
A Woodlark gave good views for a while between the Sanctuary and the Retreat this morning and there was a sizable arrival of Stonechats with at least 17 birds present although many of these appeared to be returning breeding birds. Other migrants on the land were fairly scarce but included 20 Jackdaws, five Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests. A Black Redstart and a Grey Wagtail were seen at the sewage works again and at least 81 Pied Wagtails came in to roost inside the power station complex this evening. Seven hours of seawatching was also productive with 1942 Brent Geese, ten Shelduck, 12 Shoveler, 12 Pintail, 66 Common Scoter, 143 Red-throated Divers, 133 Kittiwakes, seven Mediterranean Gulls, three Sandwich Terns and 1128 auks passing through. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again.
After dark large numbers of Blackbirds, Redwings and Song Thrushes and a few waders were passing overhead.
Two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert and three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
Offshore movement picked up a bit of steam today with nearly six hours of watching producing 860 Brent Geese, eight Shovelers, 14 Wigeon, an excellent total of 186 Pintails, 14 Teal, six Fulmars, 307 Gannets, 38 Sanderlings, 127 Kittiwakes, three Mediterranean Gulls and 1725 auks and the regular second-winter Iceland Gull again. There was also a bit of interest on the land with two displaying Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 11 Jackdaws, a visit from two immigrant Ravens which were rapidly chased off by the resident pair, six Chiffchaffs, two Firecrests, a Goldcrest, two Stonechats, 21 Chaffinches and 12 Goldfinches.
Nine Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.
A handful of migrants on the land included two Chiffchaffs, the first Firecrest of the year and a Song Thrush. Seawatching was fairly slow with 149 Brent Geese, three Shelduck, 184 Kittiwakes and a Little Gull of interest along with one of the regular Iceland Gulls.
Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Most of the interest was in a continuing trickle of birds moving east offshore including 28 Brent Geese, eight Teal, two Shovelers, two Velvet Scoters, 12 Fulmars, 288 Kittiwakes, eight Mediterranean Gulls, a Sandwich Tern, a Great Skua (west) and 972 auks.
A Porpoise was feeding offshore.