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 May

There was another very small arrival of migrants on the land with five new Chiffchaffs ringed as well as a Common Sandpiper on the Long Pits, a Sedge Warbler trapped in the moat  and a Spotted Flycatcher in the Lighthouse Garden.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Several Grizzled Skippers and Brown Argus butterflies were seen in the afternoon once the sun came out.

Elsewhere, another good bird appeared on the RSPB Reserve with a Kentish Plover seen from Dennis's Hide for much of the day. The last Dungeness record was on 17th April 2005. The Hoopoe was seen on several occasions during the day and the Bee-eater was seen at ARC for a while in the morning before it flew off.

19th May

Yet another quiet morning in the Observatory recording area with just ten Whimbrel and a trickle of Common Terns east offshore and a very small arrival of Chiffchaffs and a Whinchat on the land and eight Buzzards and four Hobby overhead.
(Late news concerns a party of three Pomarine Skuas this afternoon).

Twenty Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.


Most of the interest was elsewhere on the Point with the Hoopoe showing well again at times along Dengemarsh Road (usually just south of Springfield Bridge) and a Bee-eater which was seen briefly in the morning at Dengemarsh and then presumably relocated at the  ARC Pit in the evening which it showed very well for a time.

Bee-eater Merops apiaster   ARC   19th May 2018 

18th May

Very quiet on both land and sea. An Arctic Skua and four Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore and three Garden Warblers were singing at the Long Pits.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Six Grizzled Skippers and five Brown Argus were of note among the butterflies seen.

Elsewhere, a Hoopoe was initially found at Galloways Road on the Ranges and later relocated feeding along the edge of Dengemarsh Road.
Hoopoe Upupa epops   Dengemarsh Road   18th May 2018
For those visiting Dungeness in the next few days the Screen Hide on the ARC Pit is well worth a visit as up to three Bitterns have been showing very well there at times.


Bittern Botaurus stellaris   Screen Hide, ARC Pit   17th May 2018

17h May

Two Manx Shearwaters, 31 Whimbrel, four Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua, seven Arctic Skuas and seven Mediterranean Gulls all flew west during the day.
Very quiet on the land with just a Grey Wagtail of interest.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

It was a decent day for butterflies with four Grizzled Skippers and three Brown Argus being the highlights and the hoverfly Xanthogramma citrofasciatum was also seen.
Xantogramma citrofasciatum   Dungeness   17th May 2018
Some time was also spent looking for some of the scarcer flowers growing on the Point with Clustered Clover being one of the best finds.


Clustered Clover Trifolium glomeratum   Dungeness   17th May 2018    

16th May

Very quiet in a cold, strong northerly wind. Two Little Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls and the hybrid Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull were feeding at the Patch whilst two Manx Shearwaters and two Arctic Skuas passed through. Very little to report on the land other than a Common Sandpiper on the Long Pits. 

Mediterranean Gull x Black-headed Gull   adult   hybrid   Dungeness   16th May 2018

At least five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

15th May

Three Spotted Flycatchers in the bushes and a Black Tern at the Patch were about the only migrants of note. A first-winter Mediterranean Gull and an adult hybrid Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull were also feeding at the Patch.

Four Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

An improvement in the weather saw lots of butterflies on the wing with an Orange Tip at the Long Pits, ten Grizzled Skippers, five Brown Argus and at least 250 Small Coppers seen and including this rare variant form radiata.

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas var radiata   Dungeness   15th May 2016  


14th May

After a calm but cold start to the day the wind rapidly freshened from the NE. There was little sign of any migration with just a Garden Warbler and a Tree Pipit of note on the land and nothing much to report from the sea except for two Hobbies arriving.

The first Bishop's Mitre Shield-bug Aelia acuminata of the spring was found and six Grizzled Skippers were seen in the sheltered parts of the trapping area.

13th May

There was a very small arrival of migrants on the land today which included a Common Sandpiper on the Long Pits, our first Spotted Flycatcher of the year, two Garden Warblers, a female Redstart in the Lighthouse Garden, a Whinchat and best of all, a female Red-backed Shrike on the east side of the Long Pits.

One of our pairs of Stonechats had recently fledged young in tow.

Seawatching was generally slow for numbers but after five hours did produce two Manx Shearwaters, five Pomarine Skuas, two Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas


Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio   female   Dungenesss   13th May 2018




Stonechat Saxicola torquatus   Dungeness   13th May 2018
Male, female and very new fledgling.
The male (at least) would appear to be of the race rubicola.
At least six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

12th May

A day of mixed weather with thick fog at times during the morning and heavy rain from late afternoon. There was very little on the land (again) but the sea was more productive with five Manx Shearwaters, a Great Skua, two Pomarine Skuas, an Arctic Skua and a steady movement of Sandwich and "Commic" Terns. A Hobby also arrived.

A Grey Seal and at least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

11th May

A day of quality rather than quantity. It remains extremely quiet on the land so a pair of Bee-eaters at the New Lighthouse was a nice surprise for one observer. What wasn't so surprising was the speed with which they departed the area. Other migrants included singles of Garden Warbler and Yellow Wagtail and just two Willow Warblers.

A decent four hour seawatch this morning produced a Black-throated Diver, 44 Manx Shearwaters, three Great Skuas, two Pomarine Skuas and four Arctic Skuas, ten Little Terns and 1391 "commic" Terns. Things improved a bit in the afternoon when a party of four Pomarine Skuas passed through along with another ten Arctic Skuas, four Little Terns, 16 Arctic Terns, 526 "Commic" Terns and a single adult Roseate Tern.

At least ten Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seals were feeding offshore.

Butterflies numbers are beginning to increase now with 15 Grizzled Skippers, 220 Small Coppers, a Common Blue and the first Brown Argus of the year.



Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas   Dungeness   11th May 2018