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Ongoing Excavation Works.

Please be aware that there are extensive ongoing excavation works around the Observatory until after Christmas. Please be very careful driving over the moat and note that parking may be difficult. We are, however, open for business and welcome anyone interested in winter birding around Dungeness.

17th Jan

Not a great deal to report today except for a significant improvement in the weather. The morning seawatch produced 571 Kittiwakes and over 1200 auks west in 90 minutes. An adult Little Gull and first- and second-winter Yellow-legged Gulls were seen in the afternoon at the fishing boats.  

Two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

16th Jan

Another breezy day but dry for a change. Plenty of birds offshore again and including 11 Fulmars, 744 Kittiwakes, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, over 1500 Guillemots and 820 auk species.
At least one Firecrest was seen in the trapping area, five Long-tailed Tits visited the feeders and a Snipe was flushed.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

15th Jan

Violent winds overnight and a dark and wet morning restricted most of the coverage to the sea where three Fulmars, two Velvet Scoters, 52 Common Scoters, 340 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls and 43 Razorbills of note.
A Firecrest was seen in the Moat. 

14th Jan

Yet another stormy day with high winds and lots of rain making seawatching and paperwork the only viable options. Seawatching during the morning produced four Velvet Scoters, 272 Common Scoters, 182 Red-throated Divers, seven Fulmars, 389 Gannets, 269 Kittiwakes, 1178 Guillemots and 128 Razorbills.

13th Jan

Lots of birds offshore again and an Eider, seven Fulmars and 400 Kittiwakes of note. Two Firecrests were seen on the land.

12th Jan

A very windy morning produced plenty of birds feeding offshore but not a great deal of through passage. Good numbers of gulls were roosting on the beach at times and included an adult Mediterranean Gull, a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull and a third-winter Caspian Gull.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   third-winter   Dungeness   12th January 2020

11th Jan

Dull and breezy again. A three-hour seawatch this morning produced six Shelducks, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Black-throated Diver and a steady westerly stream of auks of note.

On the ringing front I have just had a notification that male Blackcap ringed at the Observatory on 3rd October 2019 was retrapped at Marais-Moisan-Central, Messanges, Landes, FRANCE on 17th October 2019 - a distance of 811km SSW in 14 days.

Elsewhere, the drake Smew, male Hen Harrier and several Great White Egrets were seen on the RSPB Reserve again, at least two Long-tailed Ducks were still present on Scotney and a Black-necked Grebe was on the pit just south of the Lydd Caravan Park. Further afield, 17 Bewick's Swans were still in their usual field at Midley and another two were seen between Snargate and Brenzett.

10th Jan

More of the same with lots of Red-throated Divers, Kittiwakes and Guillemots offshore along with at least 2000 Cormorants and a single Great Skua.
Very quiet on the land other than two Marsh Harriers over the area and a Great Spotted Woodpecker and lots of Blue and Great Tits at the feeders.

A Grey Seal was seen offshore.

Elsewhere, the drake Smew continues to be seen on the Reserve but is elusive and nine Great White Egrets are in the area. Three Long-tailed Ducks remain at the Sussex end of Scotney.

9th Jan

Another miserable day with almost constant drizzle or light rain. Seawatching produced two Mediterranean Gulls, two Great Skuas and a steady westerly movement of Kittiwakes and Guillemots of note.

8th Jan

A miserable day with mostly very poor visibility. A brief spell of clearer weather in mid-morning produced 123 Red-throated Divers, 88 Kittiwakes and 350 auks west in 30 minutes.