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Corona Virus Update

Due to ongoing advice about the Corona Virus we have taken the decision to close the Observatory building to visitors for the foreseeable future. We are still operating our monitoring programme. Please think carefully about Social Distancing before approaching our Wardens. Please forward any Dungeness records to the Warden.
You can still support the Obs by using Give as you Live or Google Smile when shopping online.
Thank You for your understanding
The Trustees.

Covid-19 and Dungeness

The COVID-19 restrictions on access to the Dungeness Estate will be lifted on Friday 29th May. The Observatory building and hides will, however, have to remain closed for the time being. Many thanks for your understanding. 

27th May

A single Buzzard overhead was about the only bird of note seen today.

A couple of just-emerged Rest Harrow moths were seen in the area.

Rest Harrow Aplasta ononaria   Dungeness   27th May 2020.

26th May

Very quiet again with just two Buzzards over, a Redshank on the beach and three Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch of note.

Two Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore while Common Pipistrelle bats were picked up on the bat detector this evening.

A decent enough catch of moths in terms of numbers overnight but the only scarcer individuals were an Oak-tree Pug and a Treble Lines.
Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammmica
Only the eight Observatory record.

25th May

There was the smallest of arrivals of migrants with six Willow Warblers and a Mistle Thrush in the area of some note while birds passing overhead including a Buzzard, two Lapwings, 16 House Martin and two Yellow Wagtails
There was a single first-summer Mediterranean Gull at the Patch this evening and a Shag flew east during the morning.

Seven Porpoises were feeding offshore in the flat calm sea.

Three Grizzled Skippers were seen during the day and a decent catch of moths included only our second record of Caloptilia alchimiella.
Caloptilia alchimiella    Dungeness   25th May 2020
This is only the second observatory record of this oak-feeding moth..

Yellow-wort Blackstonia perfiolata   Dungeness   25th May 2020
A recent addition to the  flora of the recording area but now in large amounts near Lloyds Cottage
and inside the perimeter fence of the power station.

24th May

Very quiet with just a Buzzard seen in the Trapping Area and an Arctic Skua passing east offshore.

Four Brown Hares were seen in the evening and singles of Porpoise and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The first Black-tailed Skimmer of the year was seen and four Grizzled Skippers and three Brown Argus were also seen.

23rd May

Very strong winds made observations difficult but a "booming" Bittern was heard and a Spotted Flycatcher was seen at the Long Pits. The Turtle Dove was seen in the Trapping Area again but remains very elusive and five Chiffchaffs were scattered across the recording area. 

22nd May

Very quiet in windy conditions. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch and the Turtle Dove was seen in the Trapping Area again.

One Porpoise was feeding offshore.

A Clouded Yellow butterfly was seen but the moth trap was a bit disappointing with the best being this Oak-tree Pug - only the fourth record for the Observatory trap.
Oak-tree Pug Eupithecia dodoneata   Dungeness   22nd August 2020
In addition, some exciting news just in regarding a cockroach found at Dungeness. I first became aware of them in August 2015 while looking for Tree Crickets when I saw and caught some individuals which I could not satisfactorily identify. I posted a few images on our (old) website asking for help but they generated very little interest and the story sort of ended there for a while. However, I have continued to see occasional individuals each autumn since then but they have been difficult to see, let alone catch. The problem of their identity has nagged away at me though and on October 9th 2018 I discovered one on the wall of the Observatory presumably attracted to the moth trap light. I potted it up and to cut a long story short the specimen ended up with Professer Horst Bohn at the University of Munich. He has now identified it as Ectobius montanus and is a new species for Britain. Even more remarkably it is previously not known to occur outside of Italy. Obviously many thanks to Horst and also Bjorn Beckman and Judith Marshall for their help along the way. 

Ectobius montanus   male   Dungeness   October 9th 2018
And images of the 2015 individuals.
Ectobius montanus   male   August 22nd 2015
Ectobius montanus   male  August 23rd 2015

Ecobius montanus   female   August 23rd 2015

21st May

A Crossbill seen briefly at the Long Pits and the Turtle Dove in the Trapping Area again were about the best on offer on the land. The sea remains very slow-going with just an eastward trickle of Common Scoters and four Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls of interest.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Four Grizzled Skippers and five Brown Argus were seen and a search for shieldbugs produced several Bishop's Mitres and Tortoise Bugs and a single Slender Leatherbug.

20th May

A male Hen Harrier came in from the south over the Power Station and continued inland and a Little Egret flew over the trapping area. A single Willow Warbler was the only other obvious migrant on the land while a flock of 18 Sanderlings and eight Mediterranean Gulls were of note offshore.

Seven Porpoises and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth trap provided a good number of moths even though variety was still low and included the catching of an Ochreous Pug - only the second trap record with the previous one on June 11th 2008.
Ochreous Pug Eupithecia indigata   Dungeness   20th May 2020
Three Grizzled Skippers and two Brown Argus were seen and two Geotomus petiti shieldbugs were found in the usual spot in the Moat.  

19th May

Another very quiet day with just a Spotted Flycatcher and a flock of 32 Corn Buntings of note.

One Porpoise was seen offshore.

Four Variable Damselflies were seen at the northern end of the Long Pits and another Box Bug was found in the trapping area.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum   Dungeness   19th May 2020