Dungeness - cold, wet, s 5 - 0900-1100hrs - A rapidly developing low pressure system out in the Western Approaches during the early hours peaked this morning resulting in strong onshore winds forcing a variety of seabirds close to land. Comprising primarily several hundred Fulmars, also in their midst was a small but unprecedented number of dark phase birds, or so called Blue Fulmars, a type more associated with Atlantic waters further north. We joined PB, MH and the new DBO Assistant Warden, David Campbell, in a wet seawatch hide with the rain and spume lashing in through the flaps as a big sea pounded away just in front; infact, at one stage the sea got a bit too close for comfort, if I`m honest, as the waves appeared to undercut what remained of the shingle bank!
However, by the time we arrived the movement had already slowed to a trickle, but there was still plenty on offer with Gannets, Kittiwakes, Red-throated Divers and parties of Brents moving up-Channel, plus single figures of Shoveler, Eider, Common Scoter, Curlew, Oystercatchers, Med Gull and Bonxie. Inevitably, given the sea state, many of the gulls, including a few Kittiwakes, foraged along the shoreline where the rollers crashed onto the beach, while just offshore both Grey Seal and Harbour Porpoise were noted. An interesting seawatch; welcome to Dungeness, David - a host of Blue Fulmars is a good start!
We gave the sea another hour this afternoon from the fishing boats, but it was a dead loss with only a few auks, Red-throated Divers, Gannets and a Med Gull noted. The only passerines along the foreshore were 2 Mipits and a flock of 30 Starlings.