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Local weather


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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.

3rd Nov

A brighter but still breezy day with heavy rain again from late afternoon. Seawatching continued to be the main interest with another remarkable movement of reorienting Storm Petrels (44) and Leach's Petrels (57 after yesterdays storm. A juvenile Sabine's Gull continued to fly up and down the beach along with 318 Kittiwakes, 80 Little Gulls, 173 Mediterranean Gulls, a Black-throated Diver, two Great Northern Divers, three Velvet Scoters, a Long-tailed Duck and three Arctic Skuas. A few Goldfinches, Siskins and 18 Redpolls flew south along the beach and a couple of Merlins were hunting around the Point. A Cattle Egret was also seen near the Fish Shack

Sabine's Gull Xena sabini   juvenile   Dungeness   3rd November 2023

Little Gull Larus minutus   adult   Dungeness 3rd November 2023

Gannets Sula bassana    Dungeness   3rd November 2023   

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.