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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)