26th May

Virtually all of the days interest was in the Laughing Gull first seen yesterday at Hastings which duly arrived at the Patch this morning. It remained throughout the day and occasionally gave fantastic views. This is the sixth Observatory record of this American gull. There were also six Mediterranean Gulls feeding at the Patch during the day.
The only birds of note in the trapping area were a couple of migrant Reed Warblers.

Click here for a video of the Laughing Gull.

Four Grizzled Skippers were seen in the area along with good numbers of Common Blues and Small Heaths.

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla   adult   Dungeness   26th May 2016

25th May

Very little to report. A Mediterranean Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen at the Patch and a Corn Bunting flew over the Observatory.

One Grizzled Skipper was seen.

Late in the afternoon we heard about an adult Laughing Gull on the beach at Hastings so a quick visit was made to see it. We had fantastic views of this beauty for about ten minutes before it disappeared whilst we were distracted rescuing some Herring Gulls from an enclosed sports court. Perhaps it will find its way to the Patch in the next day or so.

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla   adult   Hastings   25th May 2016

24th May

Very quiet. A Buzzard and a Hobby overhead and a Garden Warbler and two Spotted Flycatchers in the bushes were about the only birds worth mentioning on the land whilst the only bird of note at the Patch was the adult hybrid Black-headed x Mediterranean Gull. (See below).




Black-headed Gull x Mediterranean Gull Larus ridibundus x melanocephalus hybrid   adult   Dungeness   240516 

Butterflies included two Brown Argus, three Grizzled Skippers and a big increase in the number of Large Whites in the area.

23rd May

Frequent torrential downpours made for difficult conditions but there was no sign of any migrants on the land. There were plenty of birds feeding at the Patch again including four Mediterranean Gulls and three Yellow-legged Gulls (all second-summers).

One Porpoise was seen.

There was no sign of yesterdays Gull-billed Tern.

22nd May

A Pomarine Skua and a Great Skua flew east this morning and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch but very little else was seen offshore.
A Spotted Flycatcher was seen on the land.

No question about the bird of the day though when a Gull-billed Tern was found in the early afternoon on Burrowes Pit on the RSPB Reserve. It then gave excellent views until around 1900hrs when it flew north. The views were just a bit distant for really good photographs but a selection of some reasonable shots are shown below.






Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica    Burrowes Pit, RSPB   22nd May 2016

21st May

Another very quiet day. Large numbers of gulls and terns were feeding at the Patch and included a second-summer Yellow-legged Gull but very little else was seen.

Three Brown Hares were seen near the fishing boats.

Only two Grizzled Skippers could be found but conditions were far from ideal for looking for them.

20th May

Seawatching was very slow but did produce a Great Northern Diver whilst large numbers of birds feeding at the Patch included a first-summer Mediterranean Gull and four Yellow-legged Gull and a first-summer individual among around 400 Common Terns.
A Garden Warbler was singing in the area.

If its is possible to have a favourite Cormorant then the individual shown below is it. It was colour-ringed with 8E3 as a chick at a nest in Denmark in June 2000. It is therefore a sinensis bird and has been seen in most years at Dungeness since 2006.


Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis   8E3   Dungeness   20th May 2016
A family party of Stoats gave some fantastic entertainment at the southern end of the trapping area.


Stoat Mustela erminea   Dungeness   20th May 2016
Click here for video of the Stoats: (It was a bit windy - you may want to turn the volume down).


More checking of the butterflies produced a Holly Blue in the trapping area and another variant Small Copper in the moat.

Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus and Small Copper Lycaeana phlaeas   Dungeness   20th May 2016
Note the larger than normal black spotting on the forewing.