|July 1st||A very hot day with a little movement including a flock of 19 Shelduck east offshore and a Yellow Wagtail overhead. Seven Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore.There was a fair bit of insect interest with the moth traps producing two notable Observatory 2nd records in the form of a Red-necked Footman and Marbled White-spot. The former appears to be one of a significant arrival of this species overnight. Also noteworthy in the trap was a Small Seraphim.|
Red-necked Footman Atolmis rubricollis Dungeness July 1st 2015There were also large numbers of butterflies with Large White arriving in their hundreds and the first second brood Brown Argus being seen.
|July 2nd||Very little to report on the bird side of things other than eight Mediterranean Gullsfeeding offshore.However, it was another very interesting night for moths with the traps producingOrange Moth and Beautiful Hook-tip (both new species for the Observatory) and aBrussels Lace (the second record for the Observatory).|
Orange Moth Angerona prunaria & Beautiful Hook-tip Laspeyria flexula Dungeness July 2nd 2015
|July 3rd||Three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and four Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch this morning and 200 Swifts passed through.Of greater note was this Broad-bodied Chaser photographed at the Long Pits this afternoon. This species is remarkably rare in the Observatory recording area with the only other record I can find since 1994 being of one on 26th May 1999.|
Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa Dungeness 3rd July 2015A Clouded Yellow was also seen but the moth traps were very disappointing.
|July 4th||Little to report other than four Mediterranean Gulls feeding at the Patch.|
|July 5th||Limited coverage during the morning amidst thunderstorms which produced a fewSwifts and a Grey Wagtail passing over. Most of the days interest was offshore where a juvenile Mediterranean and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding along the shore-line along with a super adult Roseate Tern.|
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii Dungeness 5th July 2015Notable among the moths trapped last night were Marbled White-spot and Green Silver-lines (both third records for the Observatory.
Marbled White-spot Protodeltote pygarga and Green Silver-lines Pseudoips prasiana
|July 6th||There were nine Mediterranean Gulls including two juveniles and ten juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding offshore. The Roseate Tern was seen again from the fishing boats during the afternoon.|
|July 7th||There were five Mediterranean Gulls and five juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding offshore. Overhead, 125 Swifts and singles of Grey and Yellow Wagtails flew south.Having finally got around to checking my photographs of the Roseate Tern on Sunday it now appears there were two birds present. during the afternoon. One with and one without rings.|
|July 8th||On a day with strong to near gale force NW winds the main interest was in Swifts with around 4000 moving south during the morning. A Mediterranean Gull and two juvenileYellow-legged Gulls were feeding offshore.|
|July 9th||Eight Mediterranean Gulls and six juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the Patch and a Manx Shearwater flew east this morning and there was a trickle of passage overhead including a Grey Heron, a Ringed Plover, two Yellow Wagtails, four Grey Wagtails and seven Siskins.The highlight of the day on the insect front was this rare form of Small Copperbutterfly found in the moat by Paul Hogben.|
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas var radiata Dungeness 9th July 2015
|July 10th||Five Mediterranean Gulls and six juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding offshore and a Whimbrel flew west. The trickle of birds passing overhead continued with singles of Grey Wagtail and Siskin and two Yellow Wagtails. A Cuckoo was seen at the Long Pits and a Redstart was seen in a private garden.Moth trapping produced the first Tansy Plume Gillmeria ochrodactyla for Dungeness for many years whilst Sean Clancy caught the pyralid Sciota rhennella - the third British record and second area record..|
The Small Copper var radiata was still in the moat.
Elsewhere in the area this week the two Spoonbills continued to be seen daily at Scotney and the first small signs of returning waders were noted with a scattering ofLittle Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshanks and Common Sandpipers. A Red Kite was seen a number of times yesterday.
|July 11th||Singles of Tree Pipit, Grey Wagtail and Siskin passed overhead.Moth trapping finally produced three Small Mottled Willows along with a Poplar Lutestring and two True Lover's Knots.|
|July 12th||Two Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls (all juvs) feeding offshore where the only birds of note today.Moth trapping produced a True Lovers Knot.|
|July 13th||A fairly miserable day with fresh SW winds and frequent drizzle/light rain for most of the day. Little sign of anything much on the land but five adult Dunlin came in off the sea and 230 Swifts flew south.A total of five hours seawatching during the day eventually returned a Sooty Shearwater and four Manx Shearwaters whilst a couple each of juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore.|
|July 14th||Most of the day's observations were offshore with 6.5hrs of seawatching producing 53Common Scoters, 428 Gannets and 124 Sandwich Terns and seven Mediterranean Gulls and four juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding along the beach.The only land birds of significance were a few Swifts, a flock of 52 Sand Martinsheading out to sea and a Siskin over the Observatory.|
The highlight of the nights moth trapping was a Purple Clay - only the second Observatory record.
Purple Clay Diarsia brunnea Dungeness 14th July 2015
|July 15th||Most of the limited interest was offshore again where 89 Common Scoters, 378Gannets, a Tufted Duck and 120 Sandwich Terns were seen and six Mediterranean Gulls were feeding.The best of the moth was a Buff Footman - only the second Observatory record and hot on the heels of the first on July 12th last year.|
|July 16th||At least eight Mediterranean Gulls and five Yellow-legged Gulls (four juveniles and an adult) were feeding around the Point and a Shelduck flew east.The first Small Red-eyed Damselflies of the year were seen on the southern Long Pit.|
|July 17th||A Sooty Shearwater flew east in the evening and five Lapwings and a Siskin flew over the Observatory during the morning.Elsewhere during the week. the two Spoonbills remained at Scotney and there were small numbers of waders on the pits and an unusual arrival of Redshanks today with at least 145 being seen. Good numbers of Swifts and Sand Martins are already building up and heading south.|
|July 18th||An adult Mediterranean Gull was seen at the Patch and 150 Swifts and three Siskinsflew over the area on an otherwise quiet day in the Observatory area.Of note in the moth trap was the third Marbled White-spot of the year.|
A good proportion of the day was spent at the ARC Pit on the RSPB Reserve were a superb adult (just beginning to shows signs of moult into winter plumage) White-winged Black Tern was found.
|July 19th||With other commitments very little time was spent in the field. Five juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the fishing boats.The moth traps provided all the day's interest with the highlight being an Orache Moth(a new species for the Observatory) and a supporting cast including a Least Carpet, V-Pug, four Sussex Emeralds, Buff Arches, two Small Mottled Willows and aLangmaid's Yellow Underwing.|
Orache Trachea atriplicis Dungeness 18th July 2015
|July 20th||Not a great deal of coverage again with just a few Swifts and Sand Martins passing south and also a couple of Siskins over. Two Ravens were also flying around the power station. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore. Moth trapping continues to provide most of the interest with our first-ever Splendid Brocade and third records of Four-spotted Footman and Brussels Lace along with aLatticed Heath, a Small Mottled Willow and two Langmaid's Yellow Underwings.|
Splendid Brocade Lacanobia splendens and Four-spotted Footman Lithosia quadra Dungeness 20th July 2015
|July 21st||Still pretty quiet for migrants. There were two Common Sandpipers on the Long Pits and a Marsh Harrier, a few Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail flew over. AMediterranean Gull and three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the Patch.Another Small Mottled Willow was the best of a much reduced overnight catch.|
|July 22nd||There was a trickle of passage offshore with 28 Sanderlings, 12 Whimbrels and nineKittiwakes whilst a Greenshank flew over the Observatory. Three juvenileMediterranean Gulls and seven juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding offshore.On the moth front a Double-lobed was trapped overnight and is only the fifth Observatory record.|
|July 23rd||During the day 300 Gannets, nine Dunlin, three Whimbrel and 11 Kittiwakes flew west and an immature Pomarine Skua was harassing a small feeding flock of terns in the evening. A Marsh Harrier flew over and the first Great Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Warbler of the autumn were seen.|
|July 24th||There was a reasonable passage of Common Terns during the morning and aBalearic Shearwater came into the bay to feed in the afternoon. Two Little Stints and an Arctic Skua flew east. Six Mediterranean Gulls and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen.|
Large numbers of Swifts and Sand Martins were gathered over the Point this morning and more surprisingly there were also good numbers of Swallows which seems very early.
Of note amongst a large catch of moths was a Double Kidney (12th Observatory record) and four Small Mottled Willows.
|July 25th||After a very wet and windy night there was a small movement of birds offshore with over five hrs of watching producing a Manx Shearwater, around 600 Gannets, sixWhimbrel, an Arctic Skua and a party of three Black Terns moving west. Overhead , some 2300 Swifts were seen as they moved in a mainly SW direction.|
|July 26th||On a day when the weather rapidly deteriorated to wet and windy conditions most of the interest was offshore. Over seven hrs of watching produced two Balearic and twoManx Shearwaters, 21 Fulmars, 900 Gannets, 100 Dunlin, 50 Sanderling, sixWhimbrel, an Arctic Skua, two Little Gulls, a Little Tern, the first juvenile Arctic Tern of the summer and 18 adult Black Terns including a flock of 15 feeding off the fishing boats in the evening. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen.The highlight from the moth traps was another Small Mottled Willow.|
|July 27th||A day of very strong winds made land observations almost impossible and the sea was not much better with just a westward trickle of Gannets and three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding along the beach at the fishing boats.|
|July 28th||Another very windy day. Despite the conditions the sea was very quiet with just a steady westward trickle of Gannets during the afternoon along with five Fulmars and a few terns.There was very little on the land although a Grey Wagtail flew over.|
The tortrix moth Pammene aurita was found on the Sycamore in the trapping area and appears to be a new species for the Observatory area.
Pammene aurita Dungeness 28th July 2015
|July 29th||Good numbers of Gannets moved west during the day and the morning seawatch also produced singles of Manx Shearwater and Arctic Skua.There was the first, small arrival of Willow Warblers of the autumn with eight being seen whilst 41 Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail passed overhead.|
Of note elsewhere, a Bee-eater was seen briefly at ARC on the RSPB Reserve.
|July 30th||There was another small arrival of Willow Warblers with ten birds seen during the morning and a Common Sandpiper was seen at the Long Pits. There was a decent bit of movement overhead including 700 Swifts, 50 Sand Martins, a Yellow Wagtailand two Siskins. Two Yellow-legged Gulls (an adult and a juvenile) where seen at the Patch.Two Clouded Yellow butterflies were seen in from of the power station and a Holly Blue was seen in the trapping area and there was a noticeable increase in the numbers of Painted Ladies and Red Admirals. Overnight moth trapping produced anotherSmall Mottled Willow.|
|July 31st||There was another very small migrants on the land this morning with two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, seven Willow Warblers and three Sedge Warblers whilst aWood Sandpiper and 200 Sand Martins flew through.Although the sea was very quiet in terms of numbers of birds seen a watch in the mid-afternoon did produce a light-phase Pomarine Skua and a Black Tern passing east. Four juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen.|
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Ongoing Excavation Works.
Please be aware that there are extensive ongoing excavation works around the Observatory until after Christmas. Please be very careful driving over the moat and note that parking may be difficult. We are, however, open for business and welcome anyone interested in winter birding around Dungeness.