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Local weather


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28th Apr

It remains quiet on the land and there was just a trickle of birds passing east offshore. The best on the land were a Merlin, a Cuckoo, a Swift and a Garden Warbler. Seawatching produced just four Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver of note.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen in the Trapping Area.

27th Apr

Another morning with some passage offshore but still very little on the land. Over five hours of seawatching produced four Teal, an excellent total of 19 Velvet Scoter, 558 Common Scoters, 278 Whimbrels, 42 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Mediterranean Gulls, two Arctic Skuas, a Black-throated Diver and a Manx Shearwater.

Elsewhere, the Night Heron reappeared at Hookers on the RSPB Reserve.

26th Apr

A cold day with a fresh easterly wind. A few birds moved upchannel including 32 Whimbrel, 207 Bar-tailed Godwit, nine Knot, a Mediterranean Gull,  98 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, two Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver. It remains very quiet on the land.

25th Apr

Very quiet with a cold northerly breeze. The only birds of note were a Jack Snipe, an Arctic Skua, three Buzzards, five Lesser Whitethroats and two Siskins.

The first Small Copper of the year and two Red Admirals were seen.

Elsewhere, an adult Night Heron was seen on the Reserve in the afternoon and the Black-winged Stilt was seen again along with the regular two Glossy Ibis and a Red Kite.

24th Apr

A cold, clear morning and frequent heavy rain in the afternoon and evening. Migrants remain scarce but did include the first Cuckoo, Hobby and Garden Warbler of the spring and a Pied Flycatcher at the Long Pits. One more unusual sighting was that of an Alexandrine Parakeet which was seen several times during the day. Very quiet offshore with just three Eider, four Little Terns and an Arctic Skua of note.

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca   Dungeness   24th April 2023

The Black-winged Stilt reappeared in the Hayfields at Dengemarsh.

23rd Apr

With fresher winds and a spell of rain during the morning the sea continued to provide most of the interest. Six hours of coverage produced 368 Brent Geese, four Velvet Scoters, 543 Common Scoters, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, 27 Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 13 Little Terns, 960 Common and 1482 "commic" Terns, a Great Skua, two close Pomarine Skuas, 31 Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver of note.

Coverage on the land was a bit limited but a Pied Flycatcher by the Pumphouse at the Long Pits was noteworthy and a Redstart was also seen.

Two Porpoises were seen offshore.

22nd Apr

A calm, bright morning with mist offshore saw a good movement of birds and a handful of migrants on the land. Over eight hours of seawatching produced 284 Brent Geese, two Shoveler, a Gadwall, ten Teal, four Eider, two Velvet Scoter, 1162 Common Scoters, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, 43 Whimbrel, 430 Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 304 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, two Great Skuas, 26 Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver. A Little Egret also flew south. Of note on the land were at least seven Buzzards, two House Martins, four Lesser Whitethroats, two Ring Ouzels, three Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin.

Ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Brimstone butterfly was seen at the Long Pits and a Box Bug was found in the Trapping Area.

There was also excitement elsewhere with a Black-winged Stilt found at Dengemarsh along with the two regular Glossy Ibis and a smart breeding plumage Spotted Redshank.

Glossy Ibis Himantopus himantopus   Dengemarsh, RSPB   22nd April 2023
Very distant views.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus    Dengemarsh, RSPB   22nd April 2023 

21st Apr

The strong winds of recent days finally relented and with heavy rain for a couple of hours in the morning resulted in a small arrival of migrants, mainly involving three Ring Ouzels and a few Wheatears. Seawatching was fairly slow in the morning but improved considerably in the afternoon with 9.5hrs of coverage during the day producing 128 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, three Red-breasted Mergansers, 87 Whimbrels, 1634 Bar-tailed Godwits, 74 Little Gulls (all this evening), 134 Sandwich Terns, 199 Common/ic Terns, an Arctic Tern, two Arctic Skuas, the first three Pomarine Skuas of the spring and two Black-throated Divers. A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull was among the gulls roosting at the Point. 

Four Porpoises, a Common Seal and a Grey Seal were all seen offshore.

20th Apr

Another slow day with just a trickle of birds offshore and virtually birdless on the land although a Hooded Crow did make a very brief appearance. The morning seawatch produced eight Shelduck, 20 Shoveler, two Gadwalls, three Pintails, 33 Teal, a Grey Plover, 16 Whimbrel, 125 Bar-tailed Godwits and 18 Mediterranean Gulls of note.

Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore.

19th Apr

The strong and cold NE wind continues and saw some passage offshore but migrants on the land remain hard to come by. Over seven hours of seawatching eventually produced 39 Shovelers, seven Pintail, nine Grey Plover, 43 Whimbrel, 880 Bar-tailed Godwits and two Mediterranean Gulls. Tern numbers continue to disappoint and no skuas were seen. The best on the land were three Lesser Whitethroats in the Trapping Area.

Eight Porpoises were seen offshore and two Brown Hares were seen on the land. 

18th Apr

A disappointing day with very little offshore or on the land. Over three hours of seawatching produced just two Pintail, 35 Bar-tailed Godwits and an Arctic Skua of note.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

17th Apr

With light NE winds there was a reasonable seawatching during the day. Nearly four hours of coverage produced 58 Brent Geese, six Pintail, five Shovelers, 559 Common Scoters, six Red-breasted Mergansers, 67 Whimbrel, 31 Bar-tailed Godwits, 117 Sandwich Terns, 275 Common/commic Terns, two Little Terns and eight Arctic Skuas of note. Despite tales of massive falls of migrants to the west of us it remains extremely quiet on the land with seven Willow Warblers the first three Lesser Whitethroats of the spring and a Fieldfare in the Desert.

At least eight Porpoises were feeding close inshore.

16th Apr

Another day with an easterly trickle of birds offshore but very little on the land. Over fours of seawatching produced five Shelduck, four Velvet Scoters, 140 Common Scoters, a flock of three Black-necked Grebes, three Whimbrel, 250 "commic" Terns, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua and also a Hooded Crow which came in. The highlights on the land were two male Pheasants, a Tree Sparrow and a Yellow Wagtail.

15th Apr

Very quiet. Three hours of seawatching produced just two Red-breasted Mergansers, ten Bar-tailed Godwits, a Great Skua(west) and the first Little Tern of the year. Five "Greenland" Wheatears and a flyover Redpoll were the only birds of note on the land.

Eleven Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th Apr

The wind had switched overnight to a light SE but hopes for a decent morning seawatch were dashed with 2.75hrs of watching producing just two Velvet Scoters, 146 Common Scoters, three Arctic Skuas and a Black-throated Diver. Whilst we were in the hide a commotion among the local gulls revealed an Osprey flying over the beach and eventually flew west along the beach. Things improved a bit in the afternoon though with a 1.5hr watch now producing 41 Whimbrel, 390 Bar-tailed Godwits and three Mediterranean Gulls. Very quiet on the land.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen on the beach.

13th Apr

The strong wind continued for most of the day but was from the WNW so any movement offshore was limited to a single Arctic Skua of note. However there was a significant influx of gulls which included two Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Very quiet on the land with just a male Redstart of interest.

A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

12th Apr

A very windy and ultimately wet day with most of the coverage involving looking offshore. However, it was very quiet with 3.5hrs of watching producing just one Mediterranean Gull, six Common Terns, three Arctic Skuas and ten Fulmars of interest. Two Egyptian Geese which flew around the Long Pits, a Jack Snipe at the Wigwams and a Redstart were the only birds of note on the land.

Seven Porpoises and two Grey Seal were seen. 

11th Apr

 Very quiet with just four Eiders of note.

10th Apr

Seawatching was the order of the day where 10.5hrs of coverage produced 313 Brent Geese, four Eiders, three Velvet Scoters, 1044 Common Scoters, three Whimbrel, 56 Little Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, the first three Arctic Terns of the year, 130 Common Terns, 257 Sandwich Terns, five Arctic Skuas, 93 Red-throated Divers and 11 Fulmars. It remains very quiet on the land with just a Redstart in the Moat of note.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

9th Apr

A day spoilt by the arrival of thick fog at around 0700hrs which then remained all day. A Bittern was booming  from the Long Pits reedbed in the evening but very little else to report.

8th Apr

The morning seawatch was entertaining enough with 26 Shelduck, 19 Shoveler, 33 Teal, 16 Pintail, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, three Mediterranean Gulls, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver passing east. Very quiet on the land.

An excellent total of a minimum of 28 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

7th Apr

A bright, sunny morning with a light westerly wind. Migrants on the land were in low numbers but remarkably included our earliest-ever Nightingale singing in a bush just to the south of the Trapping Area and a flyover Serin. A Whitethroat in the Moat was also the first of the spring and other migrants included six Swallows, eight Willow Warblers, three Blackcaps, three Firecrests and four Siskins. The sea was very quiet.

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

6th April

A miserable morning of rain and poor visibility produced a decent seawatch with 1024 Brent Geese, a Garganey, 12 Eider, two Velvet Scoters, 1140 Common Scoters, six Little Gulls, 125 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Skua and a Great Northern Diver of note. Two Common Redstarts were seen at the Long Pits but other migrants on the land were almost non-existent.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

5th April

The day dawned with a heavy frost and a light breeze and resulted in a surprisingly good seawatch. Seven hours of coverage eventually produced a remarkable total of nine Slavonian Grebes along with 845 Brent Geese, ten Pintails, three Eiders, 818 Common Scoters, two Velvet Scoters, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Whimbrel, five Little Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 109 Sandwich Terns, 130 Red-throated Divers and five Black-throated Divers.

There was also a small arrival of migrants on the land with eight Swallows, ten Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, six Firecrests and five Black Redstarts. The rarities of the day though involved Serins with one seen at the Long Pits in the morning and then in the late afternoon a party of three birds feeding along the roadsides and tracks around Southview Cottage. The flighty nature of the birds and rapidly failing light made photography very difficult but in the third image all three individuals can just about be made out.

Serins Serinus serinus  Dungeness   5th April 2023

Four Light Orange Underwing moths were seen at the north end of the Long Pits.

Eighteen Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore. 

4th Apr

Lighter east winds and clear skies saw a reasonable seawatch but migrants on the land remained in short supply. The best on the land were eight Chiffchaffs, eight Firecrests, two Wheatears and two Siskins. Highlights from the morning seawatch included three Garganeys, ten Shovelers, a Pintail, 25 Teal, 338 Common Scoter and 17 Red-breasted Mergansers, four Mediterranean Gulls and 21 Sandwich Terns.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

3rd Apr

Very quiet offshore with just a Velvet Scoter, four Red-breasted Mergansers, nine Mediterranean Gulls, 34 Sandwich Terns, seven Common Terns and ten Fulmars of note. Very quiet on the land although a Blackcap was the first of the year.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the Penduline Tit showed very well again at ARC and an Alpine Swift made a very brief appearance over the Water Tower in the afternoon.

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus   ARC   3rd April 2023

2nd Apr

Very quiet offshore with just two Grey Plovers and 28 Sandwich Terns of note offshore and a 2cy Caspian Gull was in the roost at the Point. A Merlin, five Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and two Black Redstarts were seen on the land.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   2cy   Dungeness   2nd April 2023

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Three Light Orange Underwing moths and the first Comma butterfly of the year was seen.

Elsewhere, the clear highlight of the day was a male Penduline Tit at ARC with back up in the form of an Osprey and a Water Pipit and the two regular Glossy Ibis at Cook's Pool.

1st Apr

The morning seawatch produced 103 Brent Geese, four Velvet Scoters, 76 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, an Avocet, two Little Gulls, nine Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua of note. A check of the Point then produced a Hooded Crow among a flock of 60 Carrion Crows. However the highlight of the day came in mid-afternoon when two Alpine Swifts arrived over the area. One bird seemed to linger in the Observatory recording area and the second bird fed over the Dengemarsh area. Later in the day one of these appeared to roost on the power station. Other bits on the land included a Merlin, a Firecrest and a Wheatear.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix   Dungeness   1st April 2023

Alpine Swift Apus melba   Dengemarsh   1st April 2023

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

31st Mar

A reasonable seawatch this morning produced 77 Brent Geese, 398 Common Scoters, a Mediterranean Gull, 31 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, two Arctic Skuas, 19 Fulmars and 348 Gannets. A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull was also in the roost at the Point. Single Chiffchaff and Firecrest were seen on the land.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis   second-winter   Dungeness   31st March 2023

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a dead Brown Hare was found at the Point.