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Corona Virus Update

We are glad to say that the Observatory is now clear and visitors are very welcome. We are very pleased to be accepting bookings at the Observatory. In order to keep staff and visitors as safe as possible, we may request that you take a Lateral Flow Test (provided) before you first come in. The hides will be open for 'Friends of DBOT'. However, we would request that you continue to observe safe practises and sanitiser and spray will continue to be provided to clean down the handles and closures in the hide after you have used it.

Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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12th Aug

There was a nice arrival of migrants this morning but ringing activities were reduced by a rapidly freshening breeze. Of note were 30 Willow Warblers, 20 Reed Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 15 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whinchat and our first two Pied Flycatchers of the autumn. Overhead was limited to just 25 Swallows and 12 Yellow Wagtails. It was very quiet offshore except for three Arctic Skua heading east into Lade Bay.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

The moth traps remain disappointing but at least 12 Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

11th Aug

There was another small arrival of migrants with a Redstart, a Whinchat and a Spotted Flycatcher of note along with 200 Sand Martins overhead. It was very quiet offshore.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Another evening search for orthoptera produced eight male Large Cone-heads and a Mediterranean Stick-insect was seen again in the Observatory garden. The moth traps were disappointing although a Jersey Tiger was flying around the garden at first light and at least ten Hummingbird Hawk-moths were seen during the day. A Lesser Emperor dragonfly was seen on the southern Long Pit.

10th Aug

A few migrants continue to arrive with a juvenile Cuckoo, 20 Willow Warblers, five Reed Warblers and four Yellow Wagtails of interest. An evening seawatch produced five Mediterranean Gulls flying east and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding at the Fishing Boats.

Three Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Common Pipistrelle bat was feeding over the Long Pits after dark.

An evening survey for orthoptera produced two Large Cone-heads and a Great Green Bush-cricket at the north end of the recording area and a further Large Cone-head in front of the Observatory. A Mediterranean Stick-insect was also found in the garden. The moth-traps were unbelievably quiet with just five moths caught from two traps. 

9th Aug

Coverage was reduced today but early morning saw a Redshank and seven Yellow Wagtails overhead and a handful of grounded migrants including 20 Willow Warblers, eight Reed Warblers and a Garden Warbler.

8th Aug

There was another small arrival of migrants overnight with 35 Willow Warblers, ten Reed Warblers and a Garden Warbler of interest. Overhead passage was limited to five Ringed Plovers, nine Redshanks, a Hobby and eight Yellow Wagtails. The sea was very quiet except for four Mediterranean Gulls and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding at the fishing boats.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Willow Emerald Damselfly was seen in the Trapping Area and seven Small Red-eyed Damselflies were seen at the southern end of the Long Pits. A nymph Rhomboid Shieldbug was also caught in the trapping area.

Rhomboid Shieldbug Syromastes rhombeus   nymph   Dungeness   8th August 2022

7th Aug

There was another decent little arrival of migrants in the bushes with 50 Willow Warblers, 12 Reed Warblers and two Garden Warblers of note and 200 Sand Martins flew through.

There were six Mediterranean Gulls and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull feeding offshore.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

6th Aug

Migrants continue to arrive on the land with a Grasshopper Warbler, two Garden Warblers and 80 Willow Warblers of note. 

There was some passage of waders overhead including six Lapwings, eight Ringed Plovers and two Redshanks and two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore.

A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Mediterranean Stick-insect was seen in the Observatory garden and three Large Cone-heads were singing in the Trapping Area.

5th Aug

There were a few migrants including 40 Willow Warblers in the bushes but mist netting was limited by windy conditions and a total of 550 Sand Martins passed through during the day.

There was a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull and eight Mediterranean Gulls offshore and single Arctic Skua and Great Skua were chasing the handful of Sandwich Terns offshore

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

A Willow Emerald damselfly was seen in the Trapping Area and a Southern Oak Bush-cricket was caught in one of the moth traps..  

4th Aug

Today saw the first decent drop of migrants into the bushes with 125 Willow Warblers, an excellent 22 Sedge Warblers and a Garden Warbler of note. Birds passing overhead included a Golden Plover, 350 Sand Martins and 16 Yellow Wagtails. Three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were seen on the beach.

A pair of Kestrels have nested in the area. Their first attempt was on a window-ledge at the Old Lighthouse where eggs were laid but they quickly failed. They then moved to the electricity pylon between the Observatory and Power Station, taking over a crow's nest, and quickly tried again. There are now five young and all are very close to fledging. One individual actually made its virgin flight this afternoon.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus   nest with young about to fledge   Dungeness   4th August 2022

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Badger was seen in the Trapping Area.

A Brimstone butterfly was seen on the Point and a Lesser Emperor dragonfly was seen on the northern Long Pit again.

3rd Aug

Three Mediterranean Gulls and three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were seen offshore along with the first juvenile Arctic Tern of the autumn. It was very quiet on the land.

Two Grey Seals and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

An Antler was the highlight from the moth traps.

Antler Cerapteryx  graminis   Dungeness   3rd August 2022

However, the insect highlight came with finding of an Ant-lion Euroleon nostras in the trapping area - only the second Observatory recording area record

Ant-lion Euroleon nostras   Dungeness    3rd August 2022

The evening search for the rarer orthoptera produced five Large Cone-heads and three Mediterranean Stick-insects were seen in the Observatory garden. of note, one of the cone-heads was of the rarely seen brown morph.

Large Cone-head Ruspolia nitidula   Dungeness   3rd August 2022

Large Cone-head Ruspolia nitidula brown morph male   Dungeness   3rd August 2022

Mediterranean Stick-insect Bacillus rossius   Dungeness   3rd August 2022