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Local weather


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31st Jan

Three Snipe and a Firecrest were seen in the trapping area and six Teal were seen on the Long Pits. The sea was very quiet. 

30th Jan

A Woodcock and two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits. Two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch and 278 Red-throated Divers were seen offshore.

29th Jan

A Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch while a limited offshore passage included 3465 auks sp, and 249 Red-throated Divers

28th Jan

A fine, sunny day but not a great deal to report. 

27th Jan

A 90 minute seawatch this morning produced seven Brent Geese and a Shelduck, a Mediterranean Gull, 646 auk sp and 876 Red-throated Divers heading east.

26th Jan

Over three hours seawatchng this morning produced 1182 Red-throated Divers and 1200 auk sp heading east but very little else. A check of the trapping area revealed singles of Snipe, Merlin, Chiffchaff and Firecrest.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

25th Jan

Two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits.

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

24th Jan

A two-hour seawatch this morning produced 709 Red-throated Divers, a Red-necked Grebe, 295 Gannets, a Mediterranean Gull and 3310 auks flew east.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

23rd Jan

 Five Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the Patch.

22nd Jan

 Two Firecrests were seen at the Long Pits.

16th Jan

 Ten Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch.

18th Jan

Ten Grey Wagtails feeding around the power station sewage works was a very unusual sighting.

17th Jan

 A Dartford Warbler was seen.

15th Jan

A bright and sunny morning and early afternoon but with a strong westerly wind again. More rain from late afternoon. Thousands of gulls feeding along the shore line again and including five Caspian Gulls and 25 Mediterranean Gulls. A Firecrest was seen in the Trapping Area.

14th Jan

Another thoroughly miserable day with very strong winds and almost continuous rain until late afternoon. Seawatching was the only realistic option but even here the sea was not really visible for much of the day. When the rain did finally stop there was a strong westerly passage of Kittiwakes along with five Mediterranean Gulls and two Great Skuas. Checks through the large numbers of gulls feeding along the beach produced four Caspian Gulls.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

13th Jan

A bright and sunny day but still very windy. There was very little movement offshore but big numbers of gulls were present and included three Caspian Gulls and at least 20 Mediterranean Gulls.

12th Jan

Another thoroughly miserable day of strong winds and heavy rain meant very little birding and plenty of administration being done. A 90 minute session at the Point produced two Caspian Gulls (one of which was a new second-winter individual) but very little else. 

11th Jan

Bright and sunny this morning but turning wet and windy by mid-afternoon with thunder and lightning. Fairly quiet offshore except for a steady westerly movement of Kittiwakes with 650 in 3.25hrs along with four Little Gulls and two of the regular first-winter Caspian Gulls at the fishing boats. A check on the land produced a Marsh Harrier, three Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest of note. 

10th Jan

The wet and windy weather returned with a vengeance today and limited observations to 2.5hrs of seawatching in the morning. Even here it was fairly disappointing with a steady passage of Kittiwakes and auks at first but this soon fizzled out and we were left with another feeding frenzy offshore with thousands of Cormorants dominating the scene. Three Mediterranean Gulls and three Caspian Gulls were seen but the latter all seemed to be individuals that have been around for a few days. 

9th Jan

A bright, sunny day for a change but this meant that despite plenty of birds offshore they were mostly further out and not really moving in any numbers. Birds that did pass through included seven Shelduck, five Gadwall, 57 Wigeon, six Teal and a Sandwich Tern all moving west and a Great Northern Diver which flew round the Point and into Lade Bay. Cormorants were present in huge numbers again along with large numbers of gulls and which included 20 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and six Caspian Gulls. A short visit to the Trapping Area produced a Marsh Harrier, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Redwings.

8th Jan

And so it goes on. Strong winds meant more seawatching again and a steady stream of birds passing west or feeding offshore. Of note were a Mute Swan, 11 Shelduck, 42 Wigeon, five Pintail, six Grey Plover, 35 Knot, 151 Dunlin (with another 94 on the beach), 600 Kittiwakes, 62 Mediterranean Gulls, at least six Caspian Gulls, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 816 auks sp, 289 Red-throated Divers, seven Fulmars and 265 Gannets.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

7th Jan

In near-gale SW winds and frequent showers observation were yet again more or less restricted to seawatching. The impressive numbers of birds offshore continues and nearly five hours of watching produced five Shelduck, 14 Wigeon, 120 Dunlin, 2116 Kittiwakes, 3000 Black-headed Gulls, two Little Gulls, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 500 Common Gulls, a third-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 345 Guillemots, 1818 Razorbills, 816 auks sp, 289 Red-throated Divers and 265 Gannets all heading west. In addition there were at least five Caspian Gulls feeding along the tideline with hundreds of Herring Gulls and 584 Brent Geese moved east. However, the most remarkable site was probably the sheer numbers of Cormorant offshore with an estimated 12,000 passing through/feeding offshore.

Two Common Seals and a Grey Seal were also seen.

6th Jan

This morning's session at the fishing boats produced 35 Mediterranean Gulls, 370 Red-throated Divers and good numbers of auks, moving west and four Caspian Gulls (all first-winters) feeding with large numbers of gulls along the shoreline. Later in the day an afternoon watch saw 1700 Guillemots and 200 Razorbills pass through.

Four Grey Seals were also feeding offshore. 

5th Jan

A better morning for weather and still lots of birds passing offshore mainly during the first couple of hours of daylight and large numbers of gulls feeding offshore. Of note among the birds moving west were eight Wigeon, 560 Kittiwakes, 280 Mediterranean Gulls, three Fulmars, 500 Guillemots, 110 Razorbills, 200 auks sp and 300 Red-throated Divers. Among the large numbers of gulls feeding along the shoreline again were at least eight Caspian Gulls (five first-winters and three second-winters) and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull.

A check of the land produced a Jack Snipe, three Snipe and a Chiffchaff of note

Four Grey Seals and a Common Seal were also feeding just offshore.

4th Jan

Yet another miserable morning but some decent movement offshore with four Velvet Scoters, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 35 Fulmars, 1631 Kittiwakes, 176 Guillemots and 103 Razorbills passing through. A check off the fishing boats in the afternoon saw lots of gulls feeding along the shoreline and including five Caspian Gulls.

3rd Jan

 Lots of Kittiwakes, auks, Red-throated Divers and Gannets offshore again.

2nd Jan

Lots of birds feeding offshore including 240 Great Crested Grebes, three Mediterranean Gulls, two first-winter Caspian Gulls, lots of auks, 80 Red-throated Divers and a Black-throated Diver. For sheer numbers Cormorants certainly dominated the scene with at least 3,000 feeding offshore. On the land, a Dartford Warbler was near the Britannia Inn.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to our ‘Friends’ and to everyone that has supported us by joining our friends, staying at the Observatory, buying our merchandise or following us on social media. Wishing you all a bird filled 2023.

The wet and windy weather continued into the New Year. Three seawatching sessions totaling 5.25hrs produced 25 Brent Geese, 421 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, over 1000 auks, 279 Red-throated Divers, seven Fulmars and 324 Gannets. A couple of checks of the Trapping Area produced three Snipe, a Kingfisher, two Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest of note. 

Singles of Porpoise, Common Seal and Grey Seal were all seen offshore.

In other news we heard over the weekend that DNA analysis by Prof. Martin Collinson at Aberdeen University of the November eastern stonechat confirmed that the bird was indeed a Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus. This becomes the first Dungeness and second Kent record of this species.

Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus   Dungeness   5th November 2022