22nd Mar

The day dawned clear but with a strong south to south-east blowing which provided the best seawatching conditions for some time. A four-hour stint in the morning followed by nearly three hours in the afternoon produced 638 Brent Geese, 31 Pintails, 13 Shovelers, 394 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, 51 Red-throated and two Black-throated Divers, a Great Skua, 251 Gannets, four Little Gulls, seven Mediterranean Gulls and 211 Sandwich Terns moving east. In addition, a Sooty Shearwater passing west was an unusual record and the majority of  the 110 Fulmars seen also moved west. 

The two regular Iceland Gulls and new two Caspian Gulls were feeding at the Patch.

Conditions were not good for finding small birds on the land but there was obviously a small arrival of grounded migrants with seven Firecrests and 19 Chiffchaffs of note.

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

21st Mar

A bright and sunny but still cold and windy day. Very little movement offshore except for the 13 Sandwich Terns and three Mediterranean Gulls moving west (and a further two birds seen during the day) and one of the first-winter Iceland Gulls at the Patch.
A few grounded migrants included three Firecrest, one in the Lighthouse Garden and two in the trapping area, and 25 Chiffchaffs - mostly around the Long Pits. A handful of birds also passed overhead including a few Chaffinches and Linnets and five Siskins.

Three Porpoises were seen.

20th Mar

A thoroughly miserable day of strong, cold winds and almost constant heavy drizzle. The morning seawatch produced 524 Brent Geese east, 22 Fulmars and three Sandwich Terns west whilst three Mediterranean Gulls, a Yellow-legged Gull, two Caspian Gulls and the two regular Iceland Gulls.
A check of the Long Pits produced nine Chiffchaffs and four Wheatears were seen near the Lighthouse Station.

Three Porpoises were also seen.

19th March

A few Fulmars flew west and 287 Brent Geese passed east this morning and the regular two Iceland Gulls and three first-winter Caspian Gulls were seen at the Patch. A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was seen at the Fishing Boats in the afternoon.
Five Chiffchaffs were seen at the Long Pits.

18th March

An overcast day with a strong cold westerly wind throughout. Three seawatches totalling six hours during the day resulted in just over a thousand Brent Geese and low numbers of common seabirds. This morning's seawatch was slightly curtailed as the Seawatching Hide is being refurbished by local birder and builder Chris Philpot, It was great to see the progress during the day and look forward to trying it out very soon.
A search though the excellent numbers of gulls along the beach produced one Glaucous, one Iceland, three Caspian, two Yellow-legged and one Mediterranean Gull.
Few land migrants were observed with eleven Chiffchaffs and two Wheatears which were presumably birds already present rather than freshly arrived migrants.





Seawatching Hide refurbishment   Dungeness   18th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus   Dungeness   18th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)
Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides   Dungeness   18th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   Dungeness   18th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)
Four Porpoise were feeding offshore.


At the RSPB Reserve one Long-eared Owl was roosting by the Dipping Pool, drake Ring-necked Duck and two Smew on Tanner's Pool plus the escaped drake Hooded Merganser was still present on Hooker's Pit.

17th March

A good arrival of Chiffchaff this morning with a minimum of forty-five birds around the Point and trapping area. The only other migrants were three male Wheatears along the beach.
At the Patch one Iceland Gull and this evening by the Fish Hut two new Caspian Gulls a first and second winter. The sea was pretty quiet with a small movement of Brent Geese, Gannet, Red-throated Diver and a single Great Skua.
Clear skies overnight meant the moth trap contained just two species, mid-morning the wind picked up and turned quite cool the only butterflies recorded were four Small Tortoiseshell.


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   Dungeness   17th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)


Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   Dungeness   17th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)
On the RSPB Reserve on Tanner's Pool were a pair of Smew, pair Garganey, drake Ring-necked Duck, four Great White Egret and five Pintail.

16th March

A day of thick fog which tried to clear several times but failed. It did clear for a while at the Long Pits enough to bring a few Insects out but on the bird front very little of note was seen except six Chiffchaff and one of the Iceland Gulls on the beach opposite the Patch late on.

At the Long Pits good numbers of bumblebees were attracted to Sallow blossom mostly Buff-tailed and one White-tailed. Butterflies recorded were the first Red Admiral of the year and six Small Tortoiseshell. The overnight moth trap caught ten Hebrew Character, three Clouded Drab, Common Quaker and two Agonopterix scopariella.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris   Dungeness   16th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)


White-tailed Bumblebee Bombus leucorum   Dungeness   16th March 2017   (Lee Gregory)


Clouded Drab Orthosia incerta   Dungeness   15th March 2016   (Lee Gregory)

Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi   Dungeness   15th March 2016   (Lee Gregory)


Agonopterix scopariella   Dungeness   15th March 2016   (Lee Gregory)
Highlights from the RSPB Reserve were the drake Ring-necked Duck, three Smew, two GoosanderYellow-legged Gull and Long-eared Owl.