16th Aug

There was a good scatter of migrants in the bushes and with good netting conditions a total of 66 birds were ringed during the day. The bulk of the migrants were Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats and Common Whitethroats but other bits and pieces included three Grey Herons, five Wheatears, 34 Yellow Wagtails and two Tree Pipits
The sea was fairly quiet with just the ongoing westerly movements of Gannets, Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes and five Arctic Skuas of note.

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

Four Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day but the moth traps were fairly quiet. One Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and a couple of Tree Crickets were found in a brief search this afternoon.

15th Aug

The highlight of the day was a party of two Great White Egrets and a Spoonbill which flew over the trapping area and out to the east in the morning. Other birds passing overhead included a Buzzard, a Green Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 50 Swallows, 36 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and another Corn Bunting. There was also a decent scatter of grounded migrants after the thunderstorms in early hours and including 32 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, ten Lesser Whitethroats, three Sedge Warblers, a Redstart, a Whinchat and 23 Wheatears.
Offshore, 11 Arctic Skuas were seen along with a few Sandwich Terns and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the Patch.

At least 12 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Two Clouded Yellows and seven Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day and the mothtraps produced another Rest Harrow (with another seen by day) and a Gem of note.

A daylight search of the main area for the rarer crickets produced a female Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and this Tree Cricket.

Tree Cricket Oecanthus pelluncens   Dungeness   5th August 2017

14th Aug

A decent day with a good numbers of migrants on the land and passing overhead and a few birds offshore.
Birds passing overhead included three Marsh Harriers and four Buzzards, two Common Sandpipers, 24 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and a Corn Bunting (first of the year) whilst grounded migrants included a Turtle Dove and a Cuckoo, 30 Willow Warblers, 14 Lesser Whitethroats, 170 Whitethroats, seven Sedge Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and seven Wheatears.
Offshore, two Teal and singles of Arctic and Great Skuas were seen and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was feeding on emerging flying ants near the Britannia.

Buzzard Buteo buteo  Dungeness   14th August 2017
One of the birds was a very pale individual.

At least 12 Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

A Red-eared Terrapin was seen in the Southern Long Pit.

Butterflies included two Clouded Yellows whilst the highlights of the moth trapping overnight a Rest Harrow and a Jersey Tiger whilst a Bordered Straw was seen feeding at the Red Valerian in the moat. At least eight Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also noted during the day.
Rest Harrow Aplasta onoraria    Dungeness   14th August 2017
Formerly considered a very scarce migrant to Dungeness this species is now breeding here and even expanding its range in the Observatory recording area.

Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria   Dungeness   14th August 2017
A torchlight search for orthoptera this evening produced three Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and an excellent chorus of singing Tree Crickets with several individuals seen.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata    Female above, male below   Dungeness    14th August 2017



13th Aug

There was another decent spread of migrants on the land with a Kingfisher at the Long Pits, 70 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 15 Lesser Whitethroats, 60 Whitethroats and seven Sedge Warblers whilst four Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard, 1050 Sand Martins and 12 Yellow Wagtails flew over.

The sea remains fairly quiet although three Arctic Skuas were lingering offshore and 383 Sandwich Terns and two Mediterranean Gulls flew west.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day and two Scarce Bordered Straws were of note from the moth traps. Butterflies included three Painted Ladies, 80 Small Coppers and three Brown Argus.

A Sunflower Helianthus annuus was found growing on the road side yesterday and survived the weekend. The only previous record of a "wild" plant appears to have been in 2000.  
Sunflower Helianthus annuus   Dungeness   13th August 2017



12th Aug

There was a decent arrival of migrants in the bushes with a total of five Lesser Whitethroats of particular note along with 20 Willow Warblers, 30 Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher. Fourteen Swifts and a couple of Yellow Wagtails also flew over.

Terns continue to move westwards at sea with two Black Terns and 544 Sandwich Terns counted along with 143 Common Scoters, 455 Gannets and five Arctic Skuas of interest.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore and a visit to the Long Pits with the Kent Bat Group this evening produced a single Nathusius's Pipistrelle as well as six Soprano and a Common Pipistrelle. A Noctule Bat was also noted.


Nathusius's Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii   Dungeness   12th August 2017

A Scarce Bordered Straw and a Dog's Tooth were trapped overnight and six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

On the flora front, a total of 15 Autumn Lady's-tresses were found along the western side of the trapping area although most of these were still in bud.
Autumn Lady's-tresses Spiranthes spiralis   Dungeness   12th August 2017

11th Aug

Again four and a half hours seawatching today included the following; 65 Common Scoter, 212 Gannet, two Yellow-legged Gulls, seven Arctic Skua, 575 Sandwich Terns and a single Black Tern.
On land a Little Ringed Plover over, two Yellow Wagtails, 215 Sand Martin, 25 Willow Warblers, 70 Whitethroat, 10 Lesser Whitethroat and four Sedge Warbler.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.

Insect highlights included a Clouded Yellow and Hummingbird Hawk-moth.




10th Aug

Highlights from a total of four and a half hours seawatching today included just over 500 Gannet, 239 Kittiwake, four Arctic Skua and a Honey Buzzard out to sea at 0640am.
On land in these northerly winds a surprise Melodious Warbler was seen briefly in Dave Bunney's garden first thing but not since also a scattering of Willow Warblers, two Redstart and a migrant Reed Warbler.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.

No real surprises in the moth trap just a few common migrant species including a Hummingbird Hawkmoth also another five seen nectaring during the day. 
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus   Dungeness   10th August 2017 (Lee Gregory)



Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum   Dungeness   10th August 2017 (Lee Gregory)

9th Aug

Three Balearic Shearwaters, 15 Ringed Plovers, 35 Dunlin, 240 Sandwich Terns and five Black Terns west offshore were of note at sea. 
A small arrival of birds on the land included 20 Willow Warblers, five Lesser Whitethroats, 30 Whitethroats, a Redstart and seven Yellow Wagtails.  

Three Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets were seen at the south-east corner of the trapping area and the Jewel-Wasp Hedychrum nobile was feeding at the same patch of Yarrow as two days ago. 
Shield-bugs recorded during the day included a Rhomboid Shield-bug Syromastes rhombeus in the large Sycamore in the trapping area and a final-stage nymph Brassica Bug Eurydema oleracea in the moat.

8th Aug

Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes continue to move westwards in good numbers offshore and where 5.5hrs of seawatching eventually produced a Manx Shearwater, four Arctics and a Great Skua, three Little Terns and a Little Gull.
It was very quiet on the land although a flock of four Green Sandpipers was seen at the Long Pits and two Great White Egrets flew over the Observatory at 0720hrs and on towards the RSPB Reserve.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.


The best of the moth trap were this Poplar Kitten (only the seventh Observatory record) and a Scarce Bordered Straw.
Poplar Kitten Furcula bifida    Dungeness   8th August 2017
Also of potential interest is this small, brightly-coloured wasp which was seen a couple of days ago. Having done some research I think it might be Hedychrum nobile and would be a significant record.



Hedychrum nobile    Dungeness   6th August 2017

7th Aug

A quiet day on the land until the late afternoon when a large flock of Sand Martins descended on the Point. Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and Kittiwake conitinue to pass westwards offshore.




Sand Martins Riparia riparia   Dungeness   7th August 2017

Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Three adult Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets were found in the evening but Tree Cricket activity was surprisingly subdued with just a couple of individuals heard singing.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata   Dungeness    7th August 2017
Three Hummingbird Hawkmoths were feeding around the Red Valerian in the moat and a Scarce Bordered Straw was caught in the moth trap.



6th Aug

Another decent arrival of migrants with around 50 Willow Warblers, 80 Whitethroats, ten Lesser Whitehroats and five Wheatears
Fairly quiet offshore with just a steady flow of Gannets and Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Skua and 41 Kittiwakes noted in three hours of observation.

A young Weasel was seen in the trapping area.

Butterflies included a nice Small Copper var radiata found by Paul Hogben in the moat and three Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also seen.
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas var radiata   Dungeness    6th August 2017 (Paul Hogben)
Whilst searching for the radiata a few Brassica Bugs were found and a female Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket was found in the usual site in the Desert. 
Brassica Bug Eurydema oleracea   nymph   Dungeness   6th August 2017

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata   Dungeness   6th August 2017





5th Aug

With calm conditions for a change there was a decent arrival of migrants on the land with 90 Willow Warblers and 60 Whitethroats providing the bulk of the numbers along with a Garden Warbler, ten Lesser Whitethroats, 15 Reed Warblers and a Wheatear. A couple of Marsh Harriers also flew over and the family of Peregrine Falcons were giving a show during the morning.
The sea was quiet except for a steady flow of Gannets and a trickle of Sandwich and Common Terns.

A Rest Harrow was an unexpected capture in the moth trap along with seven Dark Swordgrass. Three Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also noted. 

4th Aug

Another day of mainly seawatching in breezy conditions. Almost nine hours of coverage produced 770 Gannets, three Arctic Skuas, 14 Black Terns (inc a flock of 12 birds), 873 Sandwich Terns, 1180 Common Terns, 88 Kittiwakes and two Mediterranean Gulls moving west.
On the land, a Sedge Warbler was seen in the moat, a male White Wagtail was seen at West Beach and 215 Sand Martins flew through. In the evening a Green and a Common Sandpiper flew over.

A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A torchlight search this evening produced two adult Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and over 30 Tree Crickets.

3rd Aug

In the continuing very windy conditions most of the days observations involved seawatching but even here it was fairly slow. Nine hours of watching eventually produced singles of Balearic and Manx Shearwater, 12 Fulmars, around 500 Gannets, four Arctic Skuas, 436 Sandwich Terns, 377 Common Terns and 11 Black Terns all moving west.

A check of the bushes produced just five Willow Warblers.

Six Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

2nd Aug

Surprisingly quiet on the land with just a handful of Willow Warblers in and around the Moat and a steady movement of Sand Martins moving south.

The sea was covered for most of the morning and produced a single Manx Shearwater along with 850 Gannets and a steady flow of Sandwich and Common Terns.

Ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.


1st Aug

Despite the flat calm conditions this morning there was a very good seawatch with an excellent total of 23 Balearic Shearwaters as well as 1200 Gannets, six Arctic Skuas, 430 Sandwich Terns and 555 Common Terns.

There was also a small arrival of migrants on the land with 20 Willow Warblers and Garden Warbler and Sedge Warbler in the moat. Sand Martins continue to pass through in large numbers with about 2700 seen today. Two Yellow Wagtails also flew south.



Sand Martin Riparia riparia   Dungeness   1st August 2017
At least six Porpoises were feeding close inshore.

A torchlight search for Orthoptera last night proved very successful with four Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets (two adults and two final instar nymphs) and several Tree Crickets including singing individuals. 




Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata   Dungeness   31st July 2017
Two adults and two nymphs.
Tree Cricket Oecanthus pellucens   Dungeness   31st July 2017
A further search this morning revealed a single adult Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket in the same area. 

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata   Dungeness   1st August 2017
This individual was seen during the morning.

31st July

There was a small arrival of Willow Warblers during the morning and a build up of Sand Martins at the Point in the afternoon.

Over five hours of seawatching produced three Balearic Shearwaters, 375 Gannets, ten Sanderlings, five Dunlins, three Whimbrels, three Arctic Skuas, six Black Terns, 250 Sandwich Terns and 330 Common Terns moving west. An adult Mediterranean Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen


Sand Martin Riparia riparia    Dungeness   31st July 2017
Gathering at the Point before heading on.
 At least eight Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Scarce Bordered Straw was the best on offer from the overnight moth trapping.



30th July

Yet another windy day with plenty of effort but not much to show for it. Over six hours of seawatching produced five Balearic Shearwaters, over 600 Gannets, four Arctic Skuas and a steady trickle of Sandwich and Common Terns. Very quiet on the land with just four Willow Warblers and the juvenile Redstart first seen on 27th of interest.

Four Porpoises were seen offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

One Small Red-eyed Damselfly and two Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also seen.

Further to yesterdays sighting of a colour-ringed Great White Egret it has now been confirmed that this bird was ringed as a female nestling at Ham Wall, Somerset on 28th May and is a sibling to the male currently residing at Sandwich Bay. It is believed to have fledged sometime between the 10th and 13th July.

29th July

Another breezy day resulted in plenty of seawatching which produced 11 Balearic Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, 1088 Gannets, three Arctic Skuas, 109 Sandwich Terns and 114 Common Terns.

Four Porpoises were seen.

The Banded Demoiselle was seen at the southern end of the Long Pits again.

This hymenopteran was also found in the area this morning.It appears to be Gasteruption jaculator but not sure of its status in Kent and any confirmation would be useful.



Elsewhere, the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen again on Burrowes and a colour-ringed Great White Egret was also seen.

28th July

A day of strong winds and frequent rain. Most of the days observations where from the sea where six hours of watching produced six Balearic and two Manx Shearwaters, 816 Gannets, five Arctic Skuas, 112 Sandwich Terns, 74 Common  Terns and 11 Kittiwakes.

Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A male Banded Demoiselle was seen at the south end of the Long Pits.

Of note on the RSPB Reserve was an adult Pectoral Sandpiper which gave mostly distant views from the islands in front of the Visitor's Centre and Dennis's Hide.

27th July

Migrants continue to trickle through on the land with six Willow Warblers, seven Wheatears and very young-looking Whinchat and Redstart.
The sea was generally quiet although a Balearic Shearwater lingered for a time in the morning and four Manx Shearwaters flew west. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen at the fishing boats again.




Yellow-legged Gull Larus michaheliss   juvenile   Dungeness   27th July 2017

Four Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Two Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen but the moth trap was very quiet after poor weather conditions overnight.

26th July

There was a small arrival of migrants this morning with 18 Willow Warblers and a Garden Warbler in the bushes. The early morning seawatch was fairly slow with just two Arctic Skuas to show for it but a bit of a movement took place late in the day with a Balearic Shearwater, another two Arctic Skuas and a remarkable 65 Black Terns of note.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal  were seen offshore.

The moth traps produced a Scarce Bordered Straw and a Langmaid's Yellow Underwing.

A torchlight search last night for orthoptera produced five nymph Tree Cricket and this mid-stage nymph Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket. Although nymphs were found for the first time last summer this one is much younger than any of those seen previously.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata    mid-stage nymph   Dungeness   25th July 2017
Think this must be falcata but finding any suitable reference material is very difficult - even on the web.