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2016 Report

Our 2016 Report is now available from the Observatory for £8.00 plus P&P if needed. Please contact the Warden: dungenessobs@vfast.co.uk

20th Sep

Another breezy day with most of the interest offshore. Coverage for most of the day produced ten Balearic Shearwaters, a Sooty Shearwater, 21 Arctic Skuas, two Mediterranean Gulls, a remarkable total of 2243 Sandwich Terns, two Arctic Terns, 102 Common Terns and a Black Tern. The best of the bunch arrived late in the afternoon though when a Grey Phalarope came in and landed on the sea at the fishing boats and then proceeded to feed just offshore.
Swallows continued to move south with at least 1000 passing through and a Redstart was also seen but the land was generally quiet.








Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius   Dungeness   20th September 2018
At least eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Delicate moth was found in the kitchen this morning.

19th Sep

With very windy conditions it was tough going on the land with just a Spotted Flycatcher in the moat and a steady flow of Swallows and House Martins through the morning. A Kestrel caught in the Crow Trap was an uncommon bird for us to ring here.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus   Dungeness   19th September 2018
The main interest was at sea but even here it was fairly tough going but five hours of watching eventually produced four Balearic Shearwaters, a Little Gull, 881 Sandwich Terns, two Black Terns, a Great Skua and 20 Arctic Skuas.

At least eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A small catch of moths included another Delicate.

In the evening a male Southern Oak Bush-cricket was found clinging to the kitchen window. 
Southern Oak Bush-cricket Meconema meridionale   male   Dungeness   19th September 2018

18th Sep

With the wind increasing quickly during the night most of the observations involved seawatching but the Wryneck was seen again though still elusive and a Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher were also seen. Lots of Swallows and House Martins also passed through.
Several hours of seawatching produced two Balearic Shearwaters, a Great Skua, 16 Arctic Skuas, a Mediterranean Gull, 518 Sandwich Terns and two Black Terns.

At least five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The best of the moths trapped overnight were a Clancy's Rustic (the first at the Observatory since 2013) and another two Delicates.

Elsewhere, the Cattle Egret population on the Reserve has increased to seven birds.

17th Sep

The Wryneck was still present but it has become much more elusive over the last few days and is being seen only a few times during the day. Grounded migrants were fairly scarce again but they did include two Firecrests, a Redstart, two Whinchats and eight Wheatears. Passage overhead was dominated by Swallows with fewer House and Sand Martins and also two Swifts.
The sea was also quiet except for a short run of ten Arctic Skuas and some Sandwich Terns in the afternoon.

At least ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Clouded Yellow and at least 10 Painted Ladies were seen.

An evening search for orthoptera produced a female Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and hundreds of singing Tree Crickets.

Four Delicates were the best the Observatory moth traps could come up with but Martin Casemore trapping at his house in Lydd really came up with the goods when he found this sensational Oleander Hawk-moth in his trap. 
Oleander Hawk-moth Daphnis nerii   Lydd   17th September 2018


16th Sep

Quiet on the land with just the long-staying Wryneck and a Whinchat of note while birds passing overhead included 1000 Swallows, a Grey Wagtail and a Rock Pipit.
The sea was a bit more productive with five hours of watching producing two Manx Shearwaters, a Sooty Shearwater, 16 Ringed Plovers, 24 Dunlin, nine Sanderling, 17 Arctic Skuas, seven Mediterranean Gulls and 1322 Sandwich Terns.

Twenty Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.




15th Sep

Highlights today were the long-staying Wryneck and an adult Pomarine Skua west offshore. Other bits and pieces on the ground and overhead included a Buzzard, a Golden Plover, 12 Kestrels, 150 Sand Martins, 1000 House Martins, 700 Swallows, a Redstart, two Whinchats, a Tree Pipit and ten Reed Buntings. Five Arctic Skuas were also seen offshore.

Another Delicate moth was trapped overnight and five Hummingbird Hawkmonths were feeding at Red Valerian.

Five Cattle Egrets were seen at Boulderwall and ARC.

14th Sep

The highlight of the day was the finding of an Ortolan Bunting seen briefly in the moat before it flew off around the Point and then appearing to settle near the Railway Station. Despite searching it was not again until the late afternoon when it was on the access road to the Observatory. There was a decent spread of other common migrants with the best being 35 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, three Pied Flycatcher and a Redstart. The Wryneck remained in its usual spots in the southern Desert area throughout the day.
There was also some overhead passage with two Merlins, 430 Sand Martins, 1000 Swallows, 2000 House Martins, 15 Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails, six Tree Pipits, five Siskins and 14 Reed Buntings
About 13 Arctic Skuas were seen offshore during the day and eight Black Terns flew west..

Six Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

The moth traps did not produce much overnight but this aberrant Treble-bar was of interest.
An unusually marked Treble-bar Aplocera plagiata   Dungeness   14th September 2018
The Cattle Egret flock increased to five birds and are still being seen with the cattle in the fields at Boulderwall or at ARC.

13th Sep

A pretty decent arrival of birds occurred this morning with three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 15 Willow Warblers, 30 Chiffchaffs, two Sedge Warblers, 30 Blackcaps, three Garden Warblers, ten Lesser Whitethroats, four Spotted Flycatchers, four Redstarts and three Whinchats. The Wryneck remained and gave good views at times.
Overhead passage was also of interest with at least 20 Common Buzzards, four Golden Plovers, 16 Yellow Wagtails, six Grey Wagtails, 560 Meadow Pipits, five Tree Pipits and the first ten Siskins of the autumn. 
Two first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding around the Fish Hut but the sea was very quiet. 
Wryneck Jynx torquilla   Dungeness  12th September 2018
Another shot of this crowdpleaser

Tree Pipit Anthus trivalis   Dungeness 13th September 2018
A species we rarely ring at Dungeness
Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Another Delicate was trapped overnight and two Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

12th Sep

There was very little change today with just Meadow Pipits and Linnets increasing into the hundreds but very else in the way of migrants. The Wryneck continues to show very well.
Also very quiet offshore with just five Arctic Skuas of note.
Wryneck Jynx torquilla   Dungeness   12th September 2018
Two Delicates were trapped overnight but the most surprising record was that of a Hummingbird Hawk-moth caterpillar also inside the moth trap.
Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossom stellatarum   Dungeness   12th September 2018
The four Cattle Egrets and up to 12 Great White Egrets were still present on the RSPB Reserve.

11th Sep

A very breezy day with most of the attention offshore although a Wryneck continued to show in the scrub south of the trapping area. A Hobby and a Redstart were also seen there.
Five hours of seawatching resulted in three Balearic Shearwaters and singles of Manx and Sooty Shearwaters being seen along with two Mediterranean Gulls and six Arctic Skuas but not much else other than the continuing westward stream of Sandwich Terns.

Eight Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A male Southern Oak Bush-cricket was found in the front garden Privet bush.