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Local weather


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31st Dec

Gale force south westerly winds and prolonged spells of rain brought the year to an end with yet more seawatching. Of note were two Shovelers, 15 Wigeon, four Pintails, 465 Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, a Great Skua and 612 Guillemots. Five Caspian Gulls (three first-winters and two third-winters) were on the beach.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

30th Dec

Lots of birds offshore again with 29 Wigeon, two Pintails, 550 Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, 700 Guillemots and 655 Gannets. 60 Sanderlings, 150 Dunlins and three Caspian Gulls were also on the beach.

29th Dec

The rough weather continues and limited observations to the sea again. Ten Pintails, 481 Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, 2860 Guillemots and 330 Red-throated Divers were of note.

28th Dec

The gale force SW winds continue and produced two Pintail, two Eiders, four Velvet Scoters, 2301 Kittiwakes, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, a Caspian Gull, 2710 Guillemots, 291 Razorbills, 748 auks sp., 137 Red-throated Divers and 15 Fulmars. A Merlin was also seen. 

A Grey Seal was seen.

27th Dec

Gale-force SW winds again resulted in a decent morning seawatching with 13 Shelducks, 37 Wigeon, 24 Grey Plover, eight Knot, 259 Kittiwakes, two Little Gulls, two Caspian Gulls, a Great Skua, 291 Razorbills, 549 auks sp., a Sooty Shearwater and 549 Gannets.

Two Porpoises and singles of Grey Seal and Common Seal were seen.

25th Dec

 A Little Gull and two first-winter Caspian Gulls were seen offshore.


24th Dec

Another miserable day of wind and rain with 128 Brent Geese, 100 Kittiwakes and 249 Razorbills.

23rd Dec

Strong westerly winds brought a bit of seawatching with 700 Razorbills, 500 auks sp., and 554 Gannets and also four Caspian Gulls off the fishing boats.

Seals were a feature of the day with seven Greys and a Common Seal on the beach or feeding offshore.

22nd Dec

There was a decent easterly movement of Red-throated Divers this morning and a Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Mergansers flew west. Good numbers of auks and Gannets seemed to be mainly feeding offshore.

21st Dec

The early morning seawatch produced 60 Kittiwakes, a Great Skua and plenty of auks heading west but not much else. A check of the bushes found three Chiffchaffs.

Five Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

20th Dec

A better day but still quiet. A good search of the land produced a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin and two Chiffchaffs of interest. A few auks continued to pass west and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen at the Patch.

19th Dec

A thoroughly miserable day of wind and rain limited observations to a morning seawatch which produced 32 Brent Geese heading west and 95 Kittiwakes and 351 Razorbills west of note.

18th Dec

Two Mediterranean Gulls and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull were feeding at the Point and a Black-throated Diver flew west. A Marsh Harrier, two Chiffchaffs and a Siskin were seen on the land.

Two Porpoises, a Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

17th Dec

 A Woodcock in the Trapping Area and two Little Gulls feeding at the Patch were of note.

16th Dec

 A Chiffchaff in the Observatory garden was the only bird of note.

15th Dec

The most surprising bird of the day was a Great Northern Diver on the northern Long Pit whilst other birds of interest on the land were four Water Rails, four Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests and a Siskin. Two Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Gull were of note on the sea.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

14th Dec

Seawatching for most of the morning was productive with ten Wigeon, 15 Teal, two Velvet Scoters, 131 Common Scoters, a Goldeneye, a drake Goosander, three Little Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and 351 Red-throated Divers of note. A first-winter Caspian Gull was also in the roost on the beach. A Marsh Harrier came in from the east and two Chiffchaffs were in the Observatory garden.

A Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Surprisingly, two Mediterranean Stick-insects were found around the Observatory and Firebugs were still showing. 

13th Dec

 Very quiet with a Great Northern Diver being the only bird of note.

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

12th Dec

Another dreary day which produced very little. The highlights from a two-hour seawatch this morning were just two Red-breasted Mergansers, three Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and five Fulmars. A check of the gulls at the Point in the afternoon produced a third-winter Caspian Gull.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

11th Dec

Very quiet with just one Mediterranean Gull of any note.

A Grey Seal was seen.

Wheatear Pings the Motus Tower

Recent checks of our Motus Tower revealed that a Wheatear, tagged in Heliogoland on August 28th. passed Dungeness around 3.40am on the 30th Aug. It travelled south, pinging Wenduine on the 30th. It was around for about 15/20 minutes.

10th Dec

There were good numbers of gulls on the Point including five Caspian Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls and a Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull hybrid. Two Firecrests were seen in the bushes.

A Common Seal was seen.

There were two Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver on Burrowes and three Glossy Ibis were feeding in the fields at Cockles Bridge.

9th Dec

A miserable day of wind and rain. Four Little Gulls and a first-winter Caspian Gull were feeding along the tideline.

8th Dec

Four Caspian Gulls (adult, third-winter and two first-winters) and four Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the Patch. A check of the land found four Water Rails, three Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests and a Fieldfare of note.

7th Dec

A stiff southerly wind this morning resulted in a bit of movement offshore with 55 Common Scoters, 48 Kittiwakes, two Little Gulls, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 40 Guillemots, 53 Razorbills, 357 auks sp., 21 Red-throated Divers, a Fulmar, 476 Gannets and 1800 Cormorants. Two Caspian Gulls (a first-winter and a third-winter) were seen at the Point this afternoon.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

6th Dec

A very cold morning with a heavy frost produced very little offshore but allowed a decent check of the trapping area and Long Pits which revealed four Water Rails, four Chiffchaffs and five Firecrests of note. Two Black Redstarts were feeding along the power station wall.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore. 

5th Dec

A damp and cold day saw a little bit of movement offshore with four Teal, a Mediterranean Gull, 70 Guillemots, 101 Razorbills, 367 Auk sp and 47 Red-throated Divers and 108 Gannets of note and also a first-winter Caspian Gull at the Patch. Three Black Redstarts were feeding alongside the power station wall.

Six Grey Seals were feeding offshore from the fishing boats. 

4th Dec

Another fairly miserable day of weather with a moderate SSE wind and intermittent rain. Again decent numbers of Gannet offshore, mainly moving westwards and a smattering of Brent Geese passing east.

Seawatch per MC/RW/OL (08:00 to 09:30): Brent Goose 56E, Common Scoter 1W, Great-crested Grebe 2W, Kittiwake 68W, Little Gull 3W, Mediterranean Gull 1E, Great Black-backed Gull 47W, Lesser Black-backed Gull 3W, Sandwich Tern 1W, Guillemot 13W, Razorbill 112W, Auk sp. 145W, Red-throated Diver 61W, Fulmar 13W and Gannet 958W.

Grey Seal 1

Black-headed Gull (TJVV) - Martin Casemore

Map of Black-headed Gull (TJVV) Ringing Location to Dungeness Point

Dungeness Point: Caspian Gull 1 (1st Win), Yellow-legged Gull 1 (3rd Win) both noted in the gull roost on the point. Also of note, the Black-headed Gull photographed above was colour-ringed in Poland and has returned to the peninsula for its fourth year in succession. The bird was originally ringed as an adult on the 6th June 2020 in Lubczyna, Poland some 980km from Dungeness (MC).

Long Pits: A Firecrest was seen at the end of the pits (JT-M).

Dungeness RSPB: The single Great Northern Diver was once again moving between Burrowes Pit and New Diggings. A drake Goldeneye was also on Burrowes, whilst a Great White Egret and two Brent Geese were around the Boulderwall Farm area (DB/MC/RW). 

Lastly the family of three White-fronted Geese had moved over to Lydd Fields and could be viewed from Robin Hood Lane (MC).

3rd Dec

A horrid day weather-wise with persistent rain and fairly strong southerly winds made for a fairly unpleasant day. Bird wise not much change from the past few days with the bulk of the birds still in situ. It does however look like the Glossy Ibis have moved on due to the cold snap. A few bits and pieces made the seawatch worthwhile with another Great Skua being the highlight.

Seawatch Hide per RW (08:15 to 10:15): Wigeon 1W, Teal 12W, Common Scoter 1W/9E, Kittiwake 11W/6E, Mediterranean Gull 1W/2E, Great Skua 1E, Auk sp. 47W/44E, Red-throated Diver 41W/13E and Gannet 144W/737E.

Dungeness RSPB: The single Great Northern Diver was still present on Burrowes Pit from Dennis’s Hide. Three White-fronted Geese (2 ad/1 juv) were still in the Boulderwall Farm area late morning (MC/RW/NB).

Slightly out of area but of note, the herd of 33 Bewick Swans were still on Walland Marsh viewed from Hook Wall in the company of four Whooper Swans. A male Hen Harrier was also seen near Caldecot Lane, Lydd (NB).

2nd Dec

A morning of freezing fog meant there was little noted on the bird front across the recording area and little coverage throughout the day. The weather forecast for Sunday looks like heavy rain and strong southerly winds so perhaps more challenging weather to follow tomorrow.

Dungeness RSPB: Only one of the Great Northern Divers was reported today, still in its usual haunt of Burrowes Pit from Dennis’s Hide. Finally some winter geese graced the peninsula with the discovery of six White-fronted Geese and two Brent Geese in with the Canada Goose flock at Boulderwall Farm (MW/DB/RW/MC).

1st Dec

A bitterly cold start to December with sub-zero temperatures early morning and a biting northerly wind. An increase in Caspian Gull numbers across the recording area perhaps bodes well for the winter period. 

Seawatch Hide per MC/RW/OL (08:00 to 09:15): Teal 1W/27E, Shoveler 6W, Common Scoter 6E, Great-crested Grebe 12 o/s, Oystercatcher 4E, Kittiwake 2W, Great Black-backed Gull 23W, Lesser Black-backed Gull 3W, Guillemot 1W/2E, Razorbill 2W/4E, Auk sp. 19W/32E, Red-throated Diver 10W/9E, Gannet 84E, Cormorant 142W and Merlin in off.

Red Fox 1 and Grey Seal 1

Dungeness RSPB: The two Great Northern Divers ended the day back on Burrowes Pit from the Dennis’s Hide having been between here and New Diggings earlier in the day. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was still on Burrowes and was joined by four Caspian Gulls (Adult, 3rd win and 2x 1st win). Also of note, two Goldeneye were on Burrowes (RW/MC)

30th Nov

A gentle north-westerly for most of the day and a decent amount of cloud cover made for much better viewing conditions for sea watching. Another Velvet Scoter was the highlight but also a good mix of common wildfowl too.

Seawatch Hide per MC/RW (07:30 to 09:30): Brent Goose 1E, Shelduck 4W, Gadwall 2W, Shoveler 2W/21E, Teal 10W/41E, Wigeon 20E, Velvet Scoter 1W, Common Scoter 10W/1E, Great-crested Grebe 1 o/s, Oystercatcher 4E, Kittiwake 2W, Sandwich Tern 1W, Guillemot 1E, Razorbill 4W/2E, Auk sp. 94W/57E, Red-throated Diver 29W/20E/1 o/s, Gannet 308E, Cormorant 277W and Starling 385 in off.

Common Seal 1 and Grey Seal 1

Dungeness RSPB: Two Great Northern Divers were both on New Diggings, whilst an adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen on Burrowes Pit. The Chiffchaff was still around the Visitor Centre bushes and finally, two Goosander were seen from Springfield Bridge (MC/RW/MH).

29th Nov

A calm and cold day on the peninsula with a light northerly wind; clear to start with sunny intervals later in the day.

Seawatch Hide per MC/RW (08:00 to 09:00): Brent Goose  seven E, Common Scoter six E, Great-crested Grebe 27 o/s, Turnstone two, Lesser Black-backed Gull two, Guillemot four on sea, Razorbill two on sea, Auk sp. 16E, Red-throated Diver 11E, Gannet 200 feeding, Cormorant 500 feeding, Starling 850 in off, Pied Wagtail one.

Grey Seal 1

Dungeness RSPB: A single Great Northern Diver was present on New Diggings, a Chiffchaff was seen by the Visitor Centre and two Glossy Ibis were in the Cockles Bridge/Boulderwall Farm area. (MC/MH/PM)

28th Nov

A quiet day around the peninsula with very little coverage due in the main to a biting northerly wind. Highlight of the day were the two Great Skua which passed the Seawatch Hide this morning. They have been few and far between on seawatches lately due to the decimation of the breeding populations from avian influenza.

Seawatch Hide per MC/RW (08:00 to 09:00): Tufted Duck 1W, Great-crested Grebe 9 o/s, Turnstone 2, Oystercatcher 2W, Kittiwake 6W, Black-headed Gull 14W, Mediterranean Gull 1W, Common Gull 14W, Great Black-backed Gull 9W, Lesser Black-backed Gull 2W, Great Skua 2E, Guillemot 4E, Razorbill 3E, Auk sp. 23E, Red-throated Diver 13W/14E, Gannet 96E and Cormorant 943W.

Grey Seal 1

Dungeness RSPB: The single Great Northern Diver was still present on Burrowes Pit from Dennis’s Hide and a male Hen Harrier was seen over the Dengemarsh Reedbed during the morning (MC/RW).

27th Nov

The winds swung back to a WNW direction and as a result the temperature was significantly warmer. Generally a quiet day on the peninsula with little moving from the seawatch hide and very few new birds around the area.

Seawatch Hide per MC/RW (08:00 to 09:30): Velvet Scoter 2E, Common Scoter 8W/2E, Great-crested Grebe 5o/s, Kittiwake 51W, Black-headed Gull 37W, Common Gull 9W, Great Black-backed Gull 56W, Lesser Black-backed Gull 9W, Arctic Skua 1E, Guillemot 13W, Razorbill 27W, Auk sp. 49W, Red-throated Diver 10W/1E, Gannet 668W and Cormorant 537W.

Grey Seal 1

Dungeness RSPB: Just one Great Northern Diver remained on Burrowes Pit today, again from Dennis's Hide. Only other report of note was the 3 Glossy Ibis were still present around the Homeleigh Farm/Cockles Bridge area. (MC/RW/MH)

26th Nov

 Another chilly morning with a slight change to a gentle north-easterly wind. Generally quiet in the bushes around the Observatory due, in the main to dog walkers. 

Fishing Boats per MC/RW (08:00 to 09:00 & 13:30 to 14:30): Brent Goose 1E, Teal 3W, Wigeon 3W, Velvet Scoter 1W, Common Scoter 19W/2E, Great-crested Grebe 12o/s, Oystercatcher 4W/1E, Turnstone 2 present, Kittiwake 7W, Guillemot 8 o/s, Razorbill 15 o/s, Auk sp. 44W, Red-throated Diver 7W/10E/2 o/s, Gannet 65 feeding and Cormorant 1000+ o/s.

Grey Seal 1

Dungeness Point: A single Dartford Warbler seen by the Polish War Memorial (JY)

Dungeness RSPB: The two Great Northern Divers were still present from Dennis's Hide as well as a drake Goldeneye. Late afternoon the herd of 24 Bewick Swans (20 adults/4 juv) from Walland Marsh came into ARC Pit with four Whooper Swans for company. Up to eight Cattle Egret were feeding around Cockles Bridge and the Glossy Ibis flock has lost its fourth member, down to three again today! (MC/RW).

Dengemarsh Gully: Generally quiet with just a Raven overhead and six Goldcrests of note (MC). 

25th Nov

An overnight frost followed by a fresh north-westerly wind made for a fairly uncomfortable day on the peninsula however there were still some good bits on offer. Again no sign of the Dusky Warbler so presumably it has departed.

Fishing Boats per MC/RW (08:00 to 09:00): Brent Goose 10W,  Shelduck 2E, Wigeon 11W, Common Scoter 25W/4E, Great-crested Grebe 16o/s, Turnstone 8 present, Kittiwake 9W, Mediterranean Gull 4 present, Guillemot 3 o/s, Razorbill 12 o/s, Auk sp. 24W, Red-throated Diver 5E/1W, Gannet 220+ feeding, Cormorant 1000+ o/s, 1 Merlin out to sea and 40 Starling in off.

Grey Seal 3

Dungeness Point: An adult Yellow-legged Gull with two first-winter Caspian Gulls on the beach. Other bits included a single Dartford Warbler, six Pied Wagtail, two Black Redstart and a single Barn Swallow still finding enough to eat around the lighthouse. A Short-eared Owl was also noted around the Fishing Boats at dusk. (MC/RW/OL et al)

Trapping Area: An increase in Blackbirds generally and several Song Thrush. Total of 11 Chiffchaff was notable. Also of interest three Common Darter still on the wing. (OL)

Long Pits: A juvenile Marsh Harrier seen at the northern end. (MC)

Dungeness RSPB: Two Great Northern Divers still present on Burrowes and 15 Avocet flew west over the pits. Neither the Slavonian Grebe or the Black-necked Grebe were reported today. Today we were back down to four Glossy Ibis which spent the day in the vicinity of the Rhea Field. (MC/DB/GP et al)

24th Nov

A blustery day on the peninsula with a chilly northerly wind meant unsurprisingly there was no sign of the Dusky Warbler today. 

Dungeness Point: Two Caspian Gulls (1x Adult/1x 1st winter) were noted on the beach off the Power Station. 

Dungeness RSPB: 2 Great Northern Diver were still on Burrowes Pit from Dennis's Hide however there was no sign of the Black-throated Diver today. The Black-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe were both still present from the Firth Lookout. 

The 'flock' of five Glossy Ibis were present once again favouring the fields around Homeleigh Farm and were joined by five Cattle Egret this afternoon. Up to four Chiffchaff were noted around the Reserve trails and a Great White Egret was seen from the entrance track.

23rd Nov

Undoubted highlight of the day was the discovery of a Dusky Warbler on the RSPB Reserve behind the Scott Viewpoint this afternoon found by Stephen Message. 

Fishing Boats per MC/RW (07:30 to 09:00): Brent Goose 2W, Shoveler eight W, Common Scoter four W, Great-crested Grebe 12o/s, Little Egret one S, Turnstone 11 present, Kittiwake 77W, Little Gull one W, Mediterranean Gull 5W/2E, Lesser Black-backed Gull seven W, Guillemot 21W, Razorbill 67W, Auk sp. 374W, Red-throated Diver eight E, Diver sp. 1S, Gannet 126W and Cormorant 281o/s.

Grey Seal 1

Dungeness Point: Up to four Barn Swallow were seen as well as two Black Redstarts and a single Merlin.

Dungeness RSPB: On Burrowes Pit the 2 Great Northern Diver and single Black-throated Diver were still present from the picnic tables at Dennis's Hide. A Black-necked Grebe joined the Slavonian Grebe which were best seen from Firth Lookout. 

Elsewhere on the Reserve the four Glossy Ibis have been joined by the fifth individual today and they spent the day in the field opposite the horse paddocks. Up to 30 Cattle Egret were noted around the site

22nd Nov

A calm and sunny morning but generally quiet for birds. Fifty-six Wigeon, five Lapwings and six Mediterranean Gulls were the best the sea had to offer. A Snipe and three Chiffchaffs were seen in the Trapping Area and a Rock Pipit, six Swallows and five Redpolls flew over..

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Mediterranean Stick-insect was still showing in the Observatory garden.

21st Nov

A 2.5hr seawatch this morning produced four Velvet Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, the highlight of the day in the form of a Grey Phalarope, 90 Kittiwakes, 19 Mediterranean Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull and 200 Razorbills. Two Merlins and 2000 Starlings also came in. 

At least eight Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

20th Nov

Another miserable morning. A check off the fishing boats once the rain cleared through proved worthwhile with the highlight of another juvenile Sabine's Gull along with 15 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Gull. A Red-breasted Merganser and an Arctic Skua also flew west.

Four late Swallows were also of note.

19th Nov

A bright and sunny morning but with very little to be seen although coverage was a bit limited due to WEBS and roosting harrier counts. Nineteen Little Gulls were feeding along the tideline in the afternoon.

18th Nov

Yet another wet and breezy day. Most of the coverage involved looking offshore but it was even slow going here with just a Shoveler, eight Teal, a drake Tufted Duck, 25 Common Scoters, 14 Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, a Dutch-ringed first-winter Caspian Gull, a Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua of note.

Two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

The most exciting find of the day though were two (sadly dead) Colombus Crabs among the clusters of Goose Barnacles on a washed up piece of marine equipment.

Colombus Crab Planes minutus, Goose Barnacles Lepas species and marine equipment
Dungeness   18th November 2023


17th Nov

The wind dropped overnight and with clear skies this meant most of the coverage was on the land. The highlight was a Siberian Chiffchaff at the Long Pits along with a Woodcock, seven Chiffchaffs, four Firecrests and six Song Thrushes. Birds passing overhead included a Golden Plover, 3500 Starlings, a Brambling, five Redpolls and 35 Siskins

16th Nov

Another day of almost continuous rain. A couple of seawatching sessions produced 665 Brent Geese, 15 Wigeon, 70 Pintails, seven Teals, 13 Mediterranean Gulls and two Sandwich Terns. A Brambling flew over the Trapping Area.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. 

15th Nov

Three Egyptian Geese flew over the Long Pits while a Short-eared Owl over the beach and six Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests were of note in the bushes.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

14th Nov

Wet and windy yet again. Seawatching was the order of the day again but it was actually fairly quiet with just three Shelducks, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 20 Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a first-winter Caspian Gull, an Arctic Skua  and a Great Northern Diver of note.

One Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

13th Nov

More wet and windy weather limited observations to the sea again where four Wigeon, four Teal, 14 Pintail, a Red-breasted Merganser, four Grey Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 43 Little Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, an Arctic Tern and three Arctic Skuas were of note.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus   Dungeness   13th November 2023

Single Common and Grey Seals were seen.

12th Nov

Most of the day was spent seawatching were there was an excellent passage of birds. Numbers were provided by 1561 Brent Geese, 42 Wigeon, 189 Pintails, 205 Common Scoters, 1955 Kittiwakes, 466 Little Gulls, 63 Mediterranean Gulls, 25 Sandwich Terns and 733 Gannets. The highlights included two adult Sabine's Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, three Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas while the Arctic Tern remains.

Pintails Anas acuta   Dungeness   12th November 2023

Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla   Dungeness   12th November 2023

Little Gulls Larus minutus   Dungeness   12th November 2023

Sabine's Gulls Xema sabini   adults   Dungeness   12th November 2023

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   12th Noember 2023

Arctic Skuas Stercorarius parasiticus   Dungeness   12th November 2023

Limited coverage on the land produced a Woodcock, a Merlin, a Firecrest and a Dartford Warbler.

A Common Seal and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore. 

11th Nov

A bright and sunny morning saw a bit of visible migration included a Short-eared Owl, a Tree Sparrow, a Rock Pipit, three Bramblings, five Redpolls and ten Siskins whilst birds in the bushes included just two Chiffchaffs, a Dartford Warbler and six Goldcrests of note.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus   Dungeness   11th November 2023

The water levels in the Trapping Area and Desert continue to rise with wellies virtually essential but even then some areas are only accessible with chest waders.

A Sabine's Gull was reported off the fishing boats in the morning but a couple of hours of watching failed to find it until a visit to the previously non-existent Patch revealed an adult bird among the throng which also included 60 Mediterranean Gulls and ten Little Gulls. The regular first-winter Arctic Tern was seen again.  

Sabine's Gull Xema sabini   adult   Dungeness   11th November 2023

A Common Seal and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

There was a notable passage of Red Admirals butterfly this afternoon with 30 seen coming across the bay and arriving at the Point. A Large White was also seen.

10th Nov

A one-hour seawatch this morning produced 15 Teal, 54 Kittiwakes, 95 Little Gulls and 64 Mediterranean Gulls of note but coverage of the land was virtually impossible in the very wet conditions.

9th Nov

Rain, frequently torrential, for most of the day. Nine Little Gulls and five Mediterranean Gulls were the only birds of note offshore and a Buzzard and a Swallow flew over. A handful of birds in the bushes included two Chiffchaffs, six Goldcrests and five Song Thrushes

One Porpoise was seen offshore.

8th Nov

With more dismal weather the only realistic option was seawatching where the highlights were a Leach's Petrel, two Sooty Shearwaters and a first-winter Caspian Gull. Starlings arrived during the morning with 480 seen coming in off from the east.

A Grey Seal was seen offshore.

7th Nov

The morning seawatch produced 38 Mediterranean Gulls but very little else although the Sabine's Gull was at the fishing boats again in the afternoon. A trickle of visible migration included a Woodlark, 11 Swallows, three Fieldfares, ten Redpolls and 15 Siskins and five Chiffchaffs, a Dartford Warbler and a Firecrest were seen in the bushes. A Little Egret was feeding in the flooded Desert again. An evening check of the Trapping Area revealed a Long-eared Owl.

Four Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

6th Nov

A morning check of the deeply flooded Desert and Trapping Area produced a Cattle Egret and two Little Egrets, three Snipe and a Water Pipit around the floodwaters and five Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, a Dartford Warbler and a Firecrest in the bushes. Overhead passage included 13 Swallows, two Bramblings, five Redpolls,150 Goldfinches and ten Siskins

There were fewer birds offshore but still produced the highlight of a Leach's Petrel as well as two Red-breasted Mergansers, 18 Little Gulls, 94 Mediterranean Gulls, the juvenile Sabine's Gull still present, a first-winter Caspian Gull, a first-winter Arctic Tern, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Northern Diver.

Extensive flooding of the Desert

Little Gull Larus minutus   first-winter   Dungeness   6th November 2023

Sabine's Gull Xema sabini   juvenile   Dungeness   6th November 2023

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   6th November 2023

Great Northern Diver Gavia immer    Dungeness   6th November 2023

A Porpoise, five Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the local Cattle Egret population increased to at least 41 birds.

5th Nov

A much nicer day with clear skies and a decreased westerly wind. The Trapping Area, Moat and Desert are now seriously flooded and even had a Cattle Egret feeding in the Desert in the afternoon. There was some decent visible migration with an excellent total of 700 Stock Doves of particular note along with two Snipe, 40 Skylarks, 15 Swallows, three Bramblings, 80 Redpolls and 55 Siskins while five Chiffchaffs, eight Goldcrests, 16 Blackbirds, 15 Song Thrushes and two Rock Pipits were on the ground.

Seawatching seemed a bit tame after the excitement of recent days but 5.25hrs of coverage eventually produced a Sabine's Gull and a Leach's Petrel of note along with 108 Sanderlings, 91 Dunlin, ten Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 1,596 Gannets and an Arctic Tern.

Five Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Stoat was seen in the Trapping Area.

4th Nov

Another day dominated by seawatching in strong SE veering SW and torrential rain during the morning. Nine hours of coverage produced the highlights of two Purple Sandpipers on the beach, a brief Grey Phalarope, an adult Sabine's Gull, 135 Little Gulls, four Caspian Gulls, 13 Great Skuas, 28 Arctic Skuas, a Long-tailed Skua, a Black-throated Diver, three Storm Petrels, seven Leach's Petrels and nine Sooty Shearwaters. Numbers were provided by 4,000 Gannets, 800 Kittiwakes and 300 Razorbills.

Common Scoters Melanitta nigra   Dungeness   4th November 2023

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima   Dungeness   4th November 2023

Sanderling Calidris alba   Dungeness   4th November 2023

Arctic Skuas Stercorarius parasiticus   Dungeness   4th November 2023

Great Skua Stercorarius skua    Dungeness   4th November 2023

Gannets Sula bassana    Dungeness   4th November 2023

Two Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.