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Migration Time.

Staying at the Observatory

Autumn migration is here. As well as birds there are moths and crickets to enjoy. Why not join us for a few nights and experience it for yourself. Spaces available, just check out the website for details. 

Project Yellow-browed at Dungeness

Our first reciever array has been installed and is now LIVE on the Motus website. It's an exciting time in the development of technology to further our ongoing scientific research. For more details and information click here. 





14th Oct

Another wet day but with mainly light winds. Most of the interest was on the shore again with 4.5 hours of watching producing a Sooty Shearwater, 120 Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Gulls, a Pomarine Skua and best of all, a Grey Phalarope. Two first-year Caspian Gulls, the bird bearing a colour ring X86C and a new individual, also came to bread at the fishing boats.
Grounded migrants included 80 Chiffchaffs, 14 Blackcaps and four Ring Ouzels and good numbers of finches also passed overhead with five Bramblings, 29 Siskins and 420 Goldfinches of note.

13th Oct

With a fresh southerly breeze this morning and more damp conditions there was a decent movement of birds offshore and passing overhead but still very little to be seen on the land. Prolonged coverage of the sea produced the highlight of a Leach's Petrel at 1000hrs along with eight Sooty Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, three Manx Shearwaters, 920 Gannets, two Little Egrets, a party of 22 Golden Plovers, 49 Little Gulls, 40 Kittiwakes and 14 Mediterranean Gulls, seven Great Skuas, 14 Arctic Skuas and 320 Razorbills.
Birds passing overhead included a Hobby, 152 Swallows, five Grey Wagtails, a Rock Pipit, 420 Linnets, 1500 Goldfinches and 40 Siskins, Grounded migrants were very scarce but did include three Ring Ouzels and a late Willow Warbler.

Two Porpoises, a large bull Grey Seal and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were surprisingly good last night and included a fine Dewick's Plusia (only the fifth Observatory record), a Delicate and two Palpita vitrealis.

Dewick's Plusia  Macdunnoughia confusa   Dungeness   13th October 2019

Palpita vitrealis   Dungeness   23th October 2019

12th Oct

Another miserable day with almost continuous rain making observations difficult. The best of the birds on the land were seven Ring Ouzels and a Firecrest whilst early morning seawatching produced 13 Arctic Skuas and a Mediterranean Gull but little else after mid-morning.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

11th Oct

Yet another wet and windy day with observations again restricted mainly to the sea where three Sooty Shearwaters, a Little Gull, 1100 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas, 42 Arctic Skuas and 61 Razorbills were of note.
The best of some very limited coverage of the land were two Merlins.

Two Porpoises, a Common Seal and a Grey Seal.were feeding offshore.

10th Oct

Several hours of seawatching produced two Grey Plovers, 24 Mediterranean Gulls, 201 Sandwich Terns, three Great Skuas and 47 Arctic Skuas of interest.
Three Ring Ouzels were the best of the birds in the bushes along with 30 Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests whilst birds flying overhead included two Marsh Harriers, 19 Stock Doves, six Collared Doves, two Merlins, two Grey Wagtails, five Bramblings, 20 Siskin and 12 Reed Buntings.   
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochrurus   Dungeness   10th October 2019 (James Dee)
Four Porpoise were feeding offshore.

I have also finally worked my way through the Audiomoth recording made on the night of 5th/6th October. Birds passed through all night long and produced the following totals:
Dunlin 1
Snipe 1
Blackbird 1
Redwing 180
Song Thrush 884 




9th Oct

The Wryneck was seen again but remains elusive with just two observers seeing it today. Other notable birds on the land included 75 Chiffchaffs, four Ring Ouzels, two Grey Wagtails and 100 Goldfinches.
The sea was more productive with 6.5 hours of watching producing three Grey Plovers, two Little Gulls, 28 Mediterranean Gulls, 759 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas, 22 Arctic Skuas and 72 Razorbills.

Ten Porpoise and two Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

8th Oct

A slightly breezy and overcast start to the morning with the wind gradually picking up throughout the day.

The Wryneck was seen again in the Desert this morning but proved elusive. Seven Ring Ouzels were also seen in the scrub south of the trapping area. A Snipe and a Merlin were also seen.

In the trapping area 25 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and two Firecrests were seen in the recording area today with one at the Feeding Station and another present in the Moat.

On the sea five Brent Geese, six Shelduck and a Red-breasted Merganser headed west. A total of six Arctic Skuas were seen along with 27 Mediterranean Gulls and three Common Terns were also seen.

Seven Porpoise were also noted on the sea and a Weasel was seen in the Desert.

7th Oct

A pleasant and still start to the morning, with the wind gradually picking up throughout the day.

The highlight of the day was a Wryneck seen by a single observer, south of the trapping area. The numbers of thrushes present on the point were much lower than the previous day with only 40 Song Thrushes, seven Ring Ouzel and six Blackbirds reported throughout the day. The trapping area held a minimum of five Firecrests, 26 Goldcrests, 90 Chiffchaffs, ten Blackcaps and a Whitethroat.

At least 2000 House Martins and 200 Swallows headed south this morning, a Woodlark headed north. 240 Linnets, 110 Goldfinch, five Siskin, one Greenfinch, 75 Meadow Pipit and singles of Rock Pipit and Tree Pipit were recorded today.

Passage on the sea was rather limited with 467 Gannets heading west. Three Brent Geese, seven Shelduck, five Teal, a Tufted Duck and nine Arctic Skua were also seen throughout the day.

Two Porpoise were seen offshore this morning and a Clouded Yellow was seen along the Power Station Wall.