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Local weather

Update

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11th Apr

Rain at first turning to fog from mid-morning resulted in a decent arrival of migrants with the highlight of five Redstarts along with a Snipe, two Sand Martins, 11 Swallows, 55 Willow Warblers, 21 Blackcaps, four Lesser Whitethroats, 16 Wheatears and 11 Siskins. The Ring Ouzel of recent days was still present at the northern end of the Desert.


Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus   Dungeness   11th April 2024
Images of two birds trapped today.




A Brown Hare was seen.

10th Apr

A fine and calm but ultimately disappointing morning. Grounded migrants were thin on the ground with just 11 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, two Lesser Whitethroats and the long-staying male Ring Ouzel at the northern end of the Desert. Three Siskins flew over and a cock Pheasant was also seen.

9th Apr

Gale-force south-westerly winds and rain made for a difficult day with seawatching producing just two Velvet Scoters, three Mediterranean Gulls, 25 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. Very slow on the land.

8th Apr

With a fresh SE wind blowing this morning it seemed to be good conditions for a seawatch but unfortunately it proved not be the case. Nevertheless a few bits of interest were seen during 6.5hrs of watching including a Garganey, two Goldeneyes, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 22 Whimbrel, five Mediterranean Gulls, 81 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Skua, a Black-throated Diver and a Manx Shearwater. On the land the most notable sightings were of three parties of Ravens over the Point totaling 41 birds. A Buzzard, eight Swallows, 12 Siskins and three Corn Buntings also flew over and a small arrival of migrants in the bushes included 14 Willow Warbler and nine Blackcaps. The Ring Ouzel and Redstart were seen again. A very noisy Alexandrine Parakeet was also seen flying around the Point and seen feeding on tree buds in the trapping area.

Eleven Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

7th Apr

There was a small arrival of migrants on the land today with a Ring Ouzel and the first Sand Martin and Whitethroat of the spring of note along with a Little Egret, ten Swallows, two Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps and a Redpoll. The sea was fairly disappointing with 3.5hrs of watching producing just two Little Gulls, 25 Mediterranean Gulls, 142 Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns, an Arctic Skua and a Black-throated Diver of note.


Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe   and   Whitethroat Sylvia communis   Dungeness   7th April 2024   (images by Tom Wright)



6th Apr

With a strong to gale force SSE wind for most of the day the main interest was offshore. Seven hours of watching produced 299 Brent Geese, nine Shelduck, 22 Shovelers, nine Gadwall, 25 Pintail, 430 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers, 43 Whimbrel, six Little Gulls, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 641 Sandwich Terns, 49 Common Terns, the first Arctic Tern of the spring, 12 Arctic Skuas, 72 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers and 769 GannetsVery quiet on the land although the male Redstart was still present and two White Wagtails were seen.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

A Blossom Underwing was trapped overnight - only the sixth Observatory record.

5th Apr

Another wet and windy start to the day but the skies eventually cleared and the wind dropped a bit in the afternoon and allowed a few migrants to arrive. Of note on the land was a fine male Redstart around the Polish War Memorial along with nine Swallows, a House Martin, 22 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcaps and a Yellow Wagtail. A four seawatch this morning produced 78 Brent Geese, 242 Common Scoters, an Avocet, seven Little Gulls, 307 Sandwich Terns, 53 Common Terns, a Great Skua and, two Arctic Skuas headed east while 14 Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater and 714 Gannets flew west.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus   Dungeness   5th April 2024   ((by Tom Wright)

Nine Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Water Shrew was found under metal sheeting at the Long Pits.

4th Apr

Very quiet in more wet and windy conditions. A 2.25hr seawatch this morning produced just two Mediterranean Gulls, 73 Sandwich Terns, nine Common Terns and an Arctic Skua of note. A Swallow, two Wheatears and 17 Goldfinches were the best on the land.

3rd Apr

Another disappointing day with strong SW winds and lots of rain. Coverage of the land was difficult in the windy conditions and nearly seven hours of seawatching produced just 324 Common Scoters, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 210 Sandwich Terns and 15 Common Terns. A Swallow also arrived.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

2nd Apr

Very little of interest to be seen. Four Mediterranean Gulls and five Arctic Skuas were seen offshore while a party of eight Ravens was of note on the land.

A Brown Hare was also seen.

1st Apr

The early morning seawatch produced just 247 Common Scoters, five Little Gulls and 142 Sandwich Terns. A small arrival of migrants on the land included two Willow Warblers, four Blackcaps, three Black Redstarts, two Song Thrushes and two Siskins.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

31st Mar

A stiff easterly wind brought a reasonable movement of birds offshore but it remains very quiet on the land. Nearly four hours of seawatching produced 86 Brent Geese, 63 Shelducks, 22 Shovelers, eight Teal, a Pintail, five Eider, 662 Common Scoters, four Red-breasted Mergansers, an Avocet, two Little Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls, 61 Sandwich Terns and six Common Terns of note. Still quiet on the land with three Egyptian Geese in the Desert, a Merlin, ten Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, two Song Thrushes and two Siskins being the best on offer. 

Seven Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

30th Mar

A sunny, calm day but with little to be seen. The sea was very disappointing with just over two hours of watching in the morning producing just 311 Common Scoters, eight Little Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls and 27 Sandwich Terns of note. Eight Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Firecrest, two Wheatears, eight Goldfinches and two Siskins were the best the land could offer.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Of note from elsewhere a White Stork flew over the RSPB Reserve before heading NE and over Lade.

29th Mar

More seawatching again today with 4.5hrs of observation producing 200 Brent Geese, three Shoveler, 24 Pintail, 1346 Common Scoters, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, six Little Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, 60 Sandwich Terns, three Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas, 111 Red-throated Divers, 22 Fulmars, five Manx Shearwaters of note.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Brimstone butterfly was seen at the Long Pits.

28th Mar

Strong, increasing to gale force SSW winds, in the afternoon resulted in nearly all the coverage being offshore again. Numbers were dominated by 164 Brent Geese, 536 Common Scoters, 93 Common Gulls, 127 Great Black-backed Gulls, 53 Sandwich Terns, 125 Red-throated Divers and 377 Gannets. A surprisingly high total of 23 Arctic Skuas in the afternoon was a particularly noteworthy while 17 Manx Shearwaters were new for the year. Two Red-breasted Mergansers, eight Mediterranean Gulls and three Little Gulls were also seen.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

27th Mar

A search of the trapping area produced two Jack Snipe of note but it was otherwise very quiet on the land. Most of the attention was focused on the sea where another seven hours of watching produced 1052 Brent Geese, six Shovelers, an Eider, 753 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, 23 Curlew, 151 Kittiwakes, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 307 Common Gulls, 211 Sandwich Terns, our first Common Tern of the year, a Great Skua, nine Arctic Skuas, 266 Red-throated Divers, singles of Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, nine Fulmars and 460 Gannets.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

26th Mar

A fresh south-east wind was blowing so most of the effort today was directed toward the sea. Six hours of watching produced 1067 Brent Geese, seven Shelduck, 15 Shoveler, four Teal, six Eider, 1752 Common Scoters, three Red-breasted Mergansers, three Mediterranean Gulls, 19 Sandwich Terns and a Great Northern Diver of note. Very quiet on the land but a Merlin was seen at the fishing boats.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

25th Mar

With a stiff SSE wind blowing today most of the interest was offshore where 6.5hrs of watching produced 1993 Brent Geese, 15 Shovelers, 14 Teal, 268 Common Scoters, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Dunlin, a Mediterranean Gull, 103 Sandwich Terns, 153 Red-throated Divers, two Black-throated Divers and seven Fulmars of note.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

24th Mar

Very quiet with just one Mediterranean Gull offshore and two Willow Warblers, 12 Wheatears and a Black Redstart on the land.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

I ran the Audiomoth a couple of nights ago but had not been able to check the recordings until this morning. It was very quiet so it was a surprise to hear a short series of four calls from a Stone-curlew.at 0250hrs on 23rd. A Water Rail was also recorded.

23rd Mar

The sea was very quiet with just 45 Common Scoters and four Mediterranean Gulls of any note. A handful of birds on the land included a Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard, four Willow Warblers, ten Chiffchaffs, 12 Wheatears and ten Siskins.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

22nd Mar

A very quiet morning with rain from about 0900hrs. The only birds of note on the land were a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull at the fishing boats, two Willow Warblers at the Long Pits, seven Wheatears around the New Lighthouse and five Siskins overhead. Seawatching produced just four Mediterranean Gulls and 13 Sandwich Terns.

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore.  

21st Mar

A dull, overcast morning which became increasingly foggy during the afternoon. A handful of migrants on the land included the first Willow Warbler and Blackcap of the spring along with a Woodcock, a Snipe, a Merlin and six Wheatears and also ten Siskins overhead. Seawatching was very slow again with just five Teal and seven Sandwich Terns of interest.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

20th Mar

A small arrival of birds on the land with a Woodcock, a Snipe, 30 Chiffchaffs and five Wheatears. Seawatching remains slow with just 14 Shelducks, 26 Shovelers, three Pintails, 151 Common Scoters, two Whimbrel and six Sandwich Terns of note.

Seven Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Red Chestnut was the best of a small overnight catch of moths. Surprisingly this is only the seventh Observatory record. Five Comma butterflies were also seen.

Red Chestnut Cerastis rubicosa   Dungeness   20th March 2024


19th Mar

A few migrants on the land included two Snipe, 13 Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and ten Wheatears. Seawatching was slow going but 233 Brent Geese, three Shelducks, seven Shovelers, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, three Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua were seen during the morning. A Bittern flew over the Observatory calling at 2153hrs.

A Porpoise was seen offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

18th Mar

A lovely, bright and sunny day but not a great deal to be seen. The best on the land were a cock Pheasant, a Water Rail, 44 Jackdaws, 16 Chiffchaffs, three Wheatears and five Siskins.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen in the trapping area.

A Pied Shieldbug found in front of the Observatory was only the second record for the Observatory area. Hundreds of Firebugs were also found.

Pied Shieldbug Tritomegas bicolor   Dungeness   18th March 2024



17th Mar

Heavy rain followed by thick fog severely limited observations today. Seven Teal and a Mediterranean Gull were the best from the sea and a Water Rail, 17 Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests were seen on the land. 

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

16th Mar

A bright and sunny day for a change meant some good coverage of the land which produced four Egyptian Geese, a Golden Plover, a Woodcock, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Merlin, 11 Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, 19 Redwing, three Wheatears and three Siskins of interest. The sea was slow-going but 280 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, two Mediterranean Gulls and three Sandwich Terns were seen.

Four Porpoise were seen offshore.


15th Mar

A fairly quiet day on both land and sea. The morning seawatch produced just 85 Common Scoters, five Mediterranean Gulls, ten Sandwich Terns and six Fulmars of note whilst the meagre highlights on the land were a Jack Snipe, ten Chiffchaffs and three Wheatears. Two Egyptian Geese also landed on the Point.

Five Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

14th Mar

The first Wheatear of the spring was seen but it was otherwise fairly quiet on both land and sea. A trickle of birds on the sea included 237 Brent Geese, a Gadwall, 14 Shovelers, four Pintail, 15 Teal, six Velvet Scoters (west) and 233 Common Scoters. Other bits on the land included a Rock Pipit, 19 Chiffchaffs and a Siskin

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Small White, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were all seen.

13th Mar

Despite light rain and a massive movement of Redwings overnight it was fairly quiet on the land by the morning but with a Woodcock, three Firecrests, 70 Redwings and 80 Chaffinches of note.  The sea was reasonably good this morning with 1880 Brent Geese, 68 Pintails, three Velvet Scoters, three Sandwich Terns and two Spoonbills being noteworthy. A first-winter Caspian Gull and a Merlin were seen at the fishing boats.

As already mentioned there was a huge passage of birds overnight with the Audiomoth recorder registering an incredible 14,000 Redwing calls, 74 Fieldfare calls and 25 Song Thrushes calls along with a singles flocks of Wigeon and Common Scoter, a Water Rail, a Grey Plover and a Bullfinch.

Only one Porpoise was seen offshore.

12th Mar

The miserable weather continues and very little moving offshore. Also very little on the land despite a massive movement of thrushes overnight so a couple of Woodlarks which spent a few minutes just south of the trapping area were a nice surprise.

Woodlark Lullula arborea   Dungeness   12th March 2024 (by Tom Wright)

As suggested above there was another massive nocmig overnight. Redwings were easily the most abundant with 4200 calls in seven hours but the most interesting record was of two sets of Stone-curlew calls. Other notable records included a Grey Plover, four Snipe, three Redshanks, five very close passages of Mediterranean Gulls, 122 Fieldfare calls and a Bullfinch.

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.


11th Mar

A miserable, wet day grounded a few Chiffchaffs with at least 17 seen and also five Goldcrests and three Song Thrushes. Seawatching was dominated by Brent Geese with 2,229 east along with eight Wigeon, five Teal and three Sandwich Tern of note.

The Audiomoth recorder was deployed last night with some remarkable results. Nine flocks of Brent Geese, an Avocet, 233 Curlew calls, 136 Snipe calls, three Redshanks, 20 Fieldfare calls, 32 Song Thrush calls and an outstanding 4005 Redwing calls were recorded. 

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert.

10th Mar

Birds continued to move east offshore with 2459 Brent Geese, four Shoveler, 34 Pintails, nine Teal, 398 Common Scoters, a Goldeneye, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 30 Little Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls, an Arctic Skua, an excellent total of 722 Red-throated Divers and 410 Gannets. Single Velvet Scoter and Sandwich Tern passed west. A cock Pheasant was seen in the Desert  and grounded migrants included a Merlin, five Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests, four Redwings and seven Song Thrushes.

Fifteen Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

9th Mar

Seawatching was the order of the day where the best movement of the spring so far included 1692 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, three Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Shelducks, 15 Shovelers, 12 Wigeon, 46 Pintails, 29 Teal, three Tufted Ducks, a flock of seven Velvet Scoters, six Curlews, three Sandwich Terns, 443 Red-throated Divers, five Fulmars and 1625 Gannets

A Chiffchaff was seen in the Lighthouse garden.

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore along with single Common and Grey Seals.

8th Mar

Another morning with a stiff easterly wind and a decent seawatch. A three hour watch produced four Shelducks, 57 Shovelers, 33 Wigeon, 71 Pintails, 122 Teal, two Avocets, a Black-tailed Godwit, six Sanderlings, three Mediterranean Gulls, 86 Red-throated Divers, four Fulmars and 740 Gannets. A Chiffchaff was also seen in the Lighthouse Garden.

One Porpoise was feeding close inshore. 

7th Mar

With a stiff easterly wind blowing the sea was the place to be. A six-hour watch this morning produced 410 Brent Geese, 28 Shelducks, 27 Shovelers, 124 Pintails, 61 Teal, 96 Common Scoters, 23 Avocets (flocks of 15 and 8), eight Curlews, two Bar-tailed Godwits, two Mediterranean Gulls, 68 Common Gulls, 376 Guillemots, 73 Razorbills, 129 Red-throated Divers and 138 Gannets. Two Black Redstarts were also seen near the seawatch hide but the trapping area was very quiet.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

6th Mar

Rain overnight and then a foggy morning. A small arrival of migrants on the land included a Woodcock, a Chiffchaff, five Firecrests, a Goldcrest, five Redwings, three Song Thrushes, two Rock Pipits and a Siskin. Seawatching was a bit limited due to the fog with just 138 Brent Geese and two Mediterranean Gulls of interest.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

5th Mar

A damp morning which brightened up later. Seawatching produced 270 Brent Geese, ten Wigeon, 36 Pintail, four Teal, a drake Eider, four Mediterranean Gulls and Fulmars of interest. There was also a small arrival of birds on the land and including two Woodcocks, three Chiffchaffs, three Firecrests and a Goldcrest.

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert. 

4th Mar

Most of the observations involved seawatching where 4.25hrs of watching producing 208 Brent Geese, five Velvet Scoters, three Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Northern Diver of note.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.


3rd Mar

A bright and sunny morning for a change. Seawatching produced 54 Brent Geese, four Eider (all drakes), 70 Great Crested Grebes on the sea, 25 Mediterranean Gulls and 225 Red-throated Divers. A check of the trapping area produced seven calling Water Rails and what was presumably the first migrant Firecrest of the spring was seen in a private garden,

There was lots of Porpoise activity this afternoon with at least 20 individuals seemingly showing mating behaviour. A Grey Seal was also seen. 

2nd Mar

Another windy morning with a two hour seawatch in the morning 154 Brent Geese, 15 Pintails, 78 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and 10 Fulmars of note.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen after dark.

1st Mar

Another very windy day with seawatching the only sensible option but even here it was quiet after the first two hours of the morning. Of note were 119 Kittiwakes, 90 Fulmars and 386 Gannets.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

29th Feb

The clear highlight of the day was two Waxwings which flew south over the Long Pits. Seawatching produced a Velvet Scoter, 193 Brent Geese and ten Mediterranean Gulls. Three Water Rails were heard calling in the trapping area and a Chiffchaff was feeding in the Lighthouse Garden.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.


28th Feb

Very quiet with just 526 Great Crested Grebes offshore and a Water Rail in the Trapping Area of interest.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

The Mediterranean Stick-insect was seen in the Observatory Garden again.

27th Feb

Fresh northerly winds and little to be seen. The best the sea could offer was five Red-breasted Mergansers and 592 Great Crested Grebes. Four Water Rails were calling in the Trapping Area.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

26th Feb

A gale-force NE wind and torrential rain overnight resulted in some major problems in the house and limited observations to seawatching where the highlight was an immature Iceland Gull heading east offshore. Also of note were four Pintail, 341 Great Crested Grebes, 89 Dunlin and five Mediterranean Gulls. A Merlin was hunting along the beach.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore. 

25th Feb

More wind and rain. With SE winds it was hoped that the sea might produce something but in the end over five hours of watching saw just 68 Brent Geese, 17 Shovelers, three Wigeon, two Pintail, two Velvet Scoters and 47 Mediterranean Gulls of note.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

24th Feb

A bright sunny morning for a change but with just a Chiffchaff, four Stonechats and 20 Meadow Pipits on the land of note. Two Velvet Scoters. 55 Mediterranean Gulls and eight Fulmars were of note offshore.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

23rd Feb

Yet more rain and wind but little to be seen with just two Velvet Scoters and ten Mediterranean Gulls and a stream of Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls heading west offshore, two Water Rails in the Trapping Area and a Chiffchaff at the Long Pits.

A Grey Seal was seen offshore.

22nd Feb

Fog and drizzle for most of the day and very little to be seen through the murk.

Three Porpoise were feeding offshore.

21st Feb

More miserable weather and fewer birds offshore with just 20 Brent Geese, 640 auks and 84 Red-throated Divers of any interest. A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull was roosting at the fishing boats.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The Mediterranean Stick-insect was still alive in the Observatory garden.

20th Feb

A breezy day with the morning seawatch producing over 6,000 auks along with 11 Teal, 23 Common Scoters, six Dunlins, 357 Kittiwakes, four Mediterranean Gulls, 303 Red-throated Divers and four Fulmars. Quiet on the land.

One Porpoise was feeding offshore.

19th Feb

Not a great deal to be seen other than a Mediterranean Gull and a few auks offshore.

Seven Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Only six moths were attracted to two moth traps last night but they did include a Silver Y and a Dark Swordgrass.

18th Feb

Another miserable day with little to be seen. Seawatch produced 49 Brent Geese heading east in an hour this morning, a Redpoll flew over and seven Stonechats were scattered across the Point.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

17th Feb

A return to thoroughly miserable weather and very little be seen. Thirty Brent Geese, two Gadwalls and eight Mediterranean Gulls and a Black-throated Diver were seen offshore. 

16th Feb

A clear and dry morning for a change allowed for a bit of coverage on the land with a Firecrest at the Long Pits, two Chiffchaffs on the Point, two Water Rails and a Fieldfare in the Trapping Area, a Mistle Thrush on the wires at the Observatory, eight Stonechats scattered around the Point and 12 Chaffinches, six Goldfinches and a Siskin overhead. Seawatching produced 33 Brent Geese, four Shelduck, a Mediterranean Gull and 249 Red-throated Divers.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.


15th Feb

Limited coverage in pretty miserable weather. Just 85 Brent Geese and six Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore and three Ravens over the Observatory where the only birds of note.

One Porpoise was feeding offshore.

14th Feb

Another mostly miserable day with rain and strong winds for the most part. Seawatching produced just six Wigeon and two Mediterranean Gulls of note. Great Crested Grebe numbers increased to 356.

Two Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

13th Feb

Fresh south-westerly winds and rain from md-day. Seawatching produced a Dunlin, 200 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and 249 Red-throated Divers in 3.5hours. Great Crested Grebe numbers feeding offshore increased to 142.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.  

12th Feb

A bright sunny day for a change but very little to be seen. The best from a one-hour seawatch this morning were just two Wigeon and seven Mediterranean Gulls.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

A Dark Swordgrass was the first 'macro' moth of the year to be trapped.

The Mediterranean Stick-insect continues to be seen in the Observatory garden.

11th Feb

More heavy rain for most of the morning. Of note offshore were three Shelducks, 160 Kittiwakes, two adult Little Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls, 172 Red-throated Divers and three Fulmars. A Chiffchaff was seen at the Long Pits.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.  

10th Feb

A trickle of birds passing offshore included 175 Brent Geese, a drake Shoveler, two Pintails, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 196 Red-throated Divers and three Fulmars of interest. A check of the land was notable for a fly-over Woodlark along with a Water Rail, a Chiffchaff, two Redwings and five Siskins.

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

The Mediterranean Stick-insect remains.

9th Feb

Another day of poor weather. Seawatching produced just a Ringed Plover, 52 Sanderlings, 298 Guillemots and five Fulmars of any note. 

Two Porpoises were seen offshore.

The Mediterranean Stick-insect remains in the Observatory garden.

8th Feb

Rain all day meant limited coverage and an opportunity to catch up on some paperwork. Four Wigeon and 361 Red-throated Divers were the only birds of any note.

7th Feb

A mostly wet and cold day. Most of the observations were offshore again where 220 Brent Geese passed through along with 688 Guillemots, 300 auk sp, and 445 Red-throated Divers. Two Mediterranean Gulls, four Caspian Gulls (all first-winters) and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen on the beach. A Water Rail was heard in the Trapping Area.

In addition, this very pale first-winter Herring Gull has been lingering in the area for the last few days.




Herring Gull Larus argentatus   first-winter   Dungeness   7th February 2024

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Mediterranean Stick-insect remains in the garden.

6th Feb

A miserable day and limited coverage. Seawatching produced just 25 Kittiwakes, a first-winter Caspian Gull, 200 Guillemots and two Fulmars.

A Mediterranean Stick-insect was seen in the Observatory Garden.

5th Feb

A two-hour seawatch this morning produced 118 Brent Geese, a Shelduck, 57 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, 242 Guillemots, 47 Razorbills, 268 Red-throated Divers and seven Fulmars. A Water Rail was heard in the Trapping Area.

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

4th Feb

The morning seawatch produced a Shelduck, four Mallard, 17 Pintails, 47 Kittiwakes, three Mediterranean Gulls, 135 Guillemots, 565 Red-throated Divers and 122 Gannets.

A Porpoise was seen offshore. 

3rd Feb

Three Pintails, a Mediterranean Gull, 200 Guillemots and 294 Red-throated Divers were the only sightings of note.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

2nd Feb

A 2.25hr seawatch this morning produced five Gadwall, an excellent total of 116 Pintail west, 74 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, a first-winter Caspian Gull, 25 Razorbills, 887 auks, 415 Red-throated Divers, two Fulmars and 165 Gannets.

However, the clear highlight of the day was a White-tailed Eagle which flew NE over the peninsula just after mid-day. It was a bird from the Isle of Wight re-introduction project (ringed G542) and was also seen here in March last year.

1st Feb

Seawatching produced 55 Brent Geese, 600 Guillemots and 61 Red-throated Divers while five Sanderlings, a Mediterranean Gull and two first-winter Caspian Gulls were on the beach. Two Ravens flew over the Observatory and a Chiffchaff and a Siskin were seen in the Trapping Area.

A Porpoise was seen offshore.

Three Mediterranean Stick-insects were still surviving in the Observatory Garden and a few Firebugs were also seen.

31st Jan

Still high numbers of gulls around with two Mediterranean Gulls and two Caspian Gulls of note. The high tide wader roost produced 40 Turnstones, 34 Sanderlings and 357 Dunlin. A Chiffchaff was seen in the Moat.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter    Dungeness   31st January 2024

Three Grey Seals and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

30th Jan

More of the same with thousands of gulls feeding offshore and including four Mediterranean Gulls, six Caspian Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls while 100 Dunlin and 80 Turnstones were roosting on the beach. Seventy Brent Geese and 330 Red-throated Divers also passed through.


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   30th January 2024

Gulls on the beach

A Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.


29th Jan

Gull watching continues to dominate proceedings with six Mediterranean Gulls, four Caspian Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls among the feeding hoards. Also seen offshore were 190 Brent Geese and 457 Red-throated Divers. A check of the land produced just two Water Rails and a Chiffchaff of note. 


Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus   adult   Dungeness   29th January 2024



Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   29th January 2024

A Porpoise and three Grey Seals were also feeding offshore.

28th Jan

Most coverage was of the sea where nine Pintails, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 2000 Guillemots, 1330 auks and 342 Red-throated Divers. Thousands of gulls continue to feed along the beach and included another four Mediterranean Gulls, a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull and four first-winter Caspian Gulls

And some late info. Whilst preparing some images of the masses of gulls for the web page I noticed a previously unseen gull in their midst - a second-winter Iceland Gull. It must have flown almost straight through as it has not been seen in the flesh either before or after these were taken. 





Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   second-winter   Dungeness   28th January 2024
Unfortunately not noticed through the camera lens at the time,



Gulls and Cormorants   Dungeness   28th January 2024
I don't think there is anything hiding in plain sight in these images.
Three Grey Seals were feeding just offshore.

Elsewhere, the six Pink-footed Geese were seen again at Dengemarsh.

27th Jan

Searching of the pools at the north end of the recording area produced a Jack Snipe and three Snipe, a Water Rail was calling in the trapping area and a Chiffchaff was seen in a private garden. Seawatching produced six Pintail, three Velvet Scoters and 570 Guillemots and 150 Dunlin were seen at the fishing boats.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, a party of six Pink-footed Geese were seen briefly at Dengemarsh and the Great Northern and Black-throated Divers remain on Burrowes Pit. A Glossy Ibis and a Cattle Egret continue to be seen.

26th Jan

Not a great deal to be seen other than large numbers of gulls feeding offshore again. Seawatching produced 42 Brent Geese, three Teal, 116 Kittiwakes, six Mediterranean Gulls and 1000 auks. Twenty Sanderlings and 50 Turnstones were feeding on the beach. A Water Rail was calling in the trapping area and a Chiffchaff was seen in the Lighthouse Garden.

Four Grey Seals and Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Fire-bugs were showing in the Observatory garden in the sunny conditions. 

25th Jan

Another fairly miserable day but with huge numbers of gulls feeding along the shore line again. Of note were seven Caspian Gulls (six first-winters and a second-winter), three Yellow-legged Gulls along with 90 Brent Geese east, 12 Pintails west, four Mediterranean Gulls and 218 Red-throated Divers. At least 85 Turnstones and 26 Sanderlings were also feeding on the beach.

A Porpoise, a Common Seal and four Grey Seals were also seen. 

24th Jan

A better day for a change although still very quiet on the land with just two Water Rails in the Trapping Area of note. After two severe storms in quick succession there were suddenly thousands of gulls feeding offshore and with four first-winter Caspian Gulls and a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull of note.

A Common Seal and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

23rd Jan

Another wet and windy day with seawatching producing a Red-breasted Merganser, 64 Kittiwakes, four Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 1229 Guillemots, 552 Razorbills and 177 Red-throated Divers of note.

22nd Jan

Storm Isha passed through overnight but wasn't quite so bad here as had been predicted and fortunately there was little sign of any damage. It did remain windy throughout the day and restricted to coverage to the sea again where three Pintails, seven Velvet Scoters, a Great Skua, 591 Red-throated Divers and six Fulmars of interest. Two Mediterranean Gulls and two first-winter Caspian Gulls were also seen.

21st Jan

Mostly seawatching again with the rapidly approaching Storm Isha on the horizon. A 2.5hour watch this morning produced 89 Great Crested Grebes, 475 auks, four Fulmars and 435 Red-throated Divers. A first-winter Caspian Gull was also seen off the fishing boats.

20th Jan

Most of the coverage was offshore again where four Curlews, 48 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, 919 auks, 1030, six Red-throated Divers, six Fulmars and 712 Gannets were seen. A first-winter Caspian Gull briefly came into the roost on the Point in the morning.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

19th Jan

A Little Egret flew over the Point and two Chiffchaffs were feeding around the Lighthouse Garden.

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

18th Jan

 A brief visit to the trapping area produced two Fieldfares, two Redwings and a Siskin.

17th Jan

Seawatching produced a Mediterranean Gull, 919 auks and 939 Red-throated Divers but little to be seen.

16th Jan

Very quiet but a first-winter Caspian Gull was on the beach at the Patch and a Chiffchaff was feeding in the Observatory garden.

Four Grey Seals were seen offshore.

15th Jan

Limited coverage today but an adult Caspian Gull was seen at the Point and two Water Rails were heard in the trapping area.

14th Jan

 Very quiet.

13th Jan

Only the sea was covered where 2.75hrs of watching this morning produced two Gadwall, 1890 auks and 892 Red-throated Divers.

Six Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Mediterranean Stick-insect was found in the Observatory garden again.

12th Jan

The morning seawatching produced three Wigeon, 256 Great Crested Grebes, three Mediterranean Gulls, a Sandwich Tern, 2129 auks, 1300 Red-throated Divers and 3500 Cormorants.

Three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

11th Jan

Very quiet. Several seawatches during the day produced five Shovelers, 26 Wigeon, an Eider, 110 Razorbills, 532 Red-throated Divers and 3000 Cormorants.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

10th Jan

A slightly improved day weatherwise but not a great deal to be seen. A check of the the land produced just six Teal on the Long Pits, a Water Rail and two Collared Doves. One Mediterranean Gull and 415 Red-throated Divers were of note offshore.

9th Jan

Another bitterly cold day and limiting most of the observations to the sea although a Dartford Warbler was seen. Four Mediterranean Gulls, 138 Razorbills, 1870 auks, 328 Red-throated Divers and 3160 Cormorants were of note.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

8th Jan

A biting, cold day with very strong NE wind and snow from mid-morning. The only coverage was on the sea where two hours produced a Sandwich Tern, just under 3000 auks and 128 Red-throated Divers. First-winter Caspian Gulls were seen at the Patch and coming to offerings at the fishing boats.



Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   8th January 2023


7th Jan

A cold, wet and windy day with most of the coverage offshore again. Five Wigeon, eight Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, 336 Razorbills, 2000 auks sp., and 107 Red-throated Divers.

A Chiffchaff was seen in the Observatory garden.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

6th Jan

Seawatching was the order of the day with the unusual sighting of two Sooty Shearwaters being the highlight along with five Shelducks, 81 Wigeon, three Velvet Scoters, a Red-breasted Mergansers, 18 Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Caspian Gull, 423 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver.

A Siskin flew over the Observatory.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore.

An unexpected find was a lingering Mediterranean Stick-insect in the Observatory garden.

5th Jan

A decent westerly movement of birds offshore this morning with 15 Shovelers, 373 Red-throated Divers and 277 Gannets. A check of the Patch in the afternoon produced an adult Little Gull and eight Caspian Gulls.

Five Water Rails, a Jack Snipe, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Firecrest were seen on the land. 


4th Jan

There was little sign of any passage offshore with just three Red-breasted Mergansers, three Fulmars and 201 Red-throated Divers seen during the morning. However there were huge numbers of gulls feeding at the Patch and with a minimum of 14 Caspian Gulls seen along with ten Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull. A Dartford Warbler was seen at the Point.

One Porpoise was seen offshore. 

3rd Jan

Strong winds and heavy showers for much of the day again. Kittiwakes and Common Gulls  passed through in large numbers but other movement was mainly limited to Red-throated Divers and Gannets. Good numbers of gulls were feeding offshore again and included a first-winter Little Gull, three Mediterranean Gulls and at least two first-winter Caspian Gulls. A check on the land produced a few goodies in the form a Jack Snipe, four Snipe, a Woodcock and a Firecrest.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

The highlight from elsewhere on the shingle was a Dotterel seen briefly amongst several thousand Golden Plovers at Scotney. The two Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver continue to show very well on Burrowes Pit and 12 Cattle Egrets were feeding alongside the access road to Lydd Airport again.

2nd Jan

Very wet and windy yet again. Seawatching was the only option with a Sooty Shearwater and six Caspian Gulls of note.

1st Jan

Wishing all our followers a Happy New Year.

No change in the weather with strong to gale force SW winds and lots of rain limiting coverage to the sea again. A Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, three Caspian Gulls, a Great Skua and 100 Red-throated Diver. A Merlin was also seen at the fishing boats and three Peregrine Falcons were in dispute over the power station.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also seen offshore.

Elsewhere on the Point, two Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver were still on Burrowes, anther Great Northern Diver was seen at Scotney, 13 Cattle Egrets were around a manure heap alongside the Lydd Airport access road and four Glossy Ibis were seen in the Cockles Bridge area.