Data Protection

At Dungeness Bird Observatory we take security of your data very seriously. The data we hold is kept securely on a password protected device and we never pass on any information to a third party. For more information please read our Data Policy available here.

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. 

16th Sep

A calm, overcast morning resulted in another small arrival of migrants with 80 Chiffchaffs and 25 Blackcaps present. A Garden Warbler, four Goldcrests, a Whinchat and six Wheatears were also of interest. Birds passing overhead during the morning included three Buzzards, five Yellow Wagtails and two Grey Wagtails.
The sea was very quiet although a sudden influx of "anting" gulls in the late afternoon included 100 Mediterranean Gulls. Four Arctic Skuas flew east and a Little Tern was also feeding offshore.

Six Porpoises were seen offshore.

A Scarce Bordered Straw was caught overnight.

15th Sep

Another reasonable arrival of migrants on the land with 55 Chiffchaffs, 30 Blackcaps, a Firecrest, a Spotted Flycatcher and four Whinchats,  There was probably a good movement of hirundines overhead as calling birds could be heard throughout the morning but they were flying so high that they were virtually invisible. At least 600 Swallows and 120 House Martins were seen during the day but this was certainly a gross underestimate. A late Swift, 28 Yellow Wagtails and three Grey Wagtails also flew over. 
Quiet offshore except for 576 Sandwich Terns passing west and six Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas flying east.
Just after dark a calling bird flew south-east over the trapping area and towards the Point which sounded very much like a Night Heron although it could not be seen. It called about 15 times as it passed over and Owen Leyshon was quick with his phone and managed to get one call recorded. Click hear to listen You can also hear the Tree Crickets in the background.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A search after dark this evening found a single Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and large numbers of singing Tree Crickets

14th Sep

There was a decent arrival of migrants on the land with 90 Chiffchaffs, 125 Blackcaps, 20 Lesser Whitethroats and 50 Whitethroats providing the numbers and variety in the form of a Garden Warbler, two Spotted Flycatchers and three Whinchats. Overhead passage included four Buzzards, a Snipe, 11 Yellow Wagtails, seven Grey Wagtails and five Reed Buntings

Very little movement offshore with just a Great Skua and two Arctic Skuas of interest.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were extremely quiet with a grand total of seven "macro" moths but a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found in the Heligoland Trap.

13th Sep

There was a good movement of birds offshore today with two Manx Shearwaters, two Mediterranean Gulls, over 1400 Sandwich Terns, 38 Arctic Skuas and four Great Skuas of note.
Very quiet in the bushes with 36 Chiffchaffs, two Spotted Flycatchers and three Whinchats of note but there was a decent bit of overhead passage which included 250 Sand Martins, 400 Swallows, eight Grey Wagtails, two Tree Pipits and 11 Reed Buntings.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

12th Sep

A calm morning which saw an increase in migration overhead and a few birds in the bushes but little movement offshore. Visible migrants included a Redshank, 250 Sand Martins, 750 Swallows and 100 House Martins, eight Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and eight Reed Buntings. A Spotted Flycatcher, two Redstarts, three Whinchats and 15 Wheatears were of note on the land.
A first-winter Caspian Gull was seen at the fishing boats and three Arctic Skuas were chasing terns offshore.

Seven Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.


11th Sep

A day of heavy cloud and a fresh westerly breeze resulted in very few birds on the land but a constant westerly movement of Sandwich Terns and a few other bits offshore. Seven hours of watching produced 1100 Sandwich Terns and 25 Arctic Skuas as well as a Grey Plover, a Knot, two Black Terns, singles of Arctic and Little Terns. Two first-year Caspian Gulls and five Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen on the beach.

Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   juvenile/first-winter   Dungeness   11th September 2019
Two Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also feeding offshore. 

The highlight of a very quiet night for moths was another Scarce Bordered Straw.

10th Sep

A decent morning with a few birds in the bushes including 20 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackcaps,12 Lesser Whitethroats, a Firecrest, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, three Whinchats and eight Wheatears while a Wood Sandpiper, ten Yellow Wagtails, seven Grey Wagtails and five Tree Pipits passed overhead.
Large numbers of birds were feeding offshore but actual passage was limited again. Two first-year Caspian Gulls and three first-year Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the fishing boats. 

Two Porpoises and a Common Seal were seen offshore.

After yesterdays dragonfly excitement it was followed up today with a superb Blue-eyed Hawker - the second Observatory area record.
Blue-eyed Hawker Aeshna affinis   Dungeness   10th September 2019
It was pretty cold overnight and very few moths were trapped but remarkably they included a Convolvulus Hawkmoth. Three Hummingbird Hawkmoths and four Clouded Yellows were also seen during the day along with large numbers of Painted Ladies and Red Admirals.
Convolvulus Hawkmoth Agrius convolvuli   Dungeness   11th September 2019

9th Sep

Fairly quiet on the land with just 20 Chiffchaffs, ten Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers and a Whinchat of note.

Lots of birds were feeding offshore again with eight Mediterranean Gulls, 1400 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, two Black Terns and at least nine Arctic Skuas along with lots of Gannets and Herring Gulls.

At least ten Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A long awaited addition to the area dragonfly list was Willow Emerald with one found in the moat this afternoon.

Willow Emerald Chalcolstes viridus   Dungeness   7th September 2019
A Clouded Yellow was also seen at the Observatory.

8th Sep

Another quiet day on the land in cold and clear conditions although a Grasshopper Warbler was a nice surprise from the nets. Other migrants on the land were fairly thin spread with around 40 Chiffchaffs, a Whinchat, a Grey Wagtail and three Tree Pipits of note.
There were lots of birds feeding offshore although relatively little in the way of obvious passage. Two Whimbrel, two Redshank, at least five Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and a minimum of ten Arctic Skuas were noteworthy.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia   Dungeness   8th September 2019
At least ten Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were also feeding offshore.