25th June

Another windy day and few birds to report other than good numbers of Gannets and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls offshore.

A Grey Seal was also seen offshore.

Good numbers of butterflies were on the wing and included the first Essex Skipper and Gatekeepers of the year.A Hummingbird Hawk-moth spent most of the afternoon and evening feeding at the Tree Mallow flowers in the Observatory garden.

At least 50 plants of Black Spleenwort were found growing on one of the few brick buildings near the Pilot and it appears to be a new species for the Observatory recording area.

24th June

In fairly windy conditions the sea provided four Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel and three Mediterranean Gulls of note. It was very quiet on the land with just a few Swifts passing through of interest.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were seen offshore.

23rd June

Not much to report. A few Swifts passed through and a Mediterranean Gull and a Yellow-legged Gull were seen offshore.

There was a decent overnight catch of moths with V-Pug, Swallow-tailed Moth, Bird's Wing, the pyralid Sitochroa palealis and 24 Diamond-backed Moths of note.

22nd June

The day began with thick fog but this eventually cleared to bring more warm and sunny conditions. Coverage was a bit limited today but two Manx Shearwaters, two Grey Plovers, 11 Little Terns and five Mediterranean Gull were of note.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

21st June

Not much to report from land on the hottest ever June day on record. The sea fared better with three Manx Shearwater, five Common Scoter, four Mediterranean Gulls, nine Kittiwakes and Guillemot.


Grey Seal and two Harbour Porpoise were feeding offshore.

Unfortunately the two Obs Moth Traps were quite exposed to the wind last night so a quite low catch although L-album Wainscot and Herald were nice. Splendid Brocade and Langmaid's Yellow Underwing were trapped on the RSPB Reserve.


A Honey Buzzard was seen over Denge Marsh early afternoon.


The Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix    Dungeness   20th June 2016 (Lee Gregory)

L-album Wainscot Mythimna l-album   Dungeness   20th June 2016  (Lee Gregory)
Splendid Brocade Lacanobia splendens   Dungeness   20th June 2016 (Lee Gregory)

Langmaid's Yellow Underwing Noctua janthina   Dungeness   20th June 2016 (Lee Gregory)

20th June

A few bird of interest on land today with Marsh Harrier hunting the Long Pits, Cuckoo, Black Redstart and a Siskin over. Offshore 38 Common Scoter and five Mediterranean Gulls east.

On the RSPB Reserve the first returning Green Sandpiper was noted on the ARC Pit. 

A Grey Seal and three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Higher overnight temperatures meant a busier Moth Trap this morning with 51 Macro and 49 Micro Moth Species recorded although nothing of real note except a nice Bird's Wing which are always nice to see. Migrant Moths caught at Pluto were Sub-angled Wave and Angle-striped Sallow which was just the second area record. Fourteen Red Admiral and a Large White were noted.

Bird's Wing Dypterygia scabruiscula   Dungeness   19th June 2017 (Lee Gregory)

Angle-striped Sallow Enargia paleacea   Dungeness   19th June 2017 (Lee Gregory)
Sub-angled Wave Scopula nigropunctata   Dungeness   19th June 2017 (Lee Gregory) 

19th June

Another very hot day, fortunately an easterly breeze kept the temperature more bearable. A Swift was the only bird of mild interest from land. The sea fared better with 16 Common Scoter, four Oystercatchers, four Mediterranean Gulls, 28 Sandwich and three Common Terns.

Two Grey Seals and two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Last night's moth trap was much quieter than the previous with 77 species recorded and of these only 30 species were Macro moth. No real surprises amongst the haul although migrants were represented with 2 Silver 'Y' and two Diamond-back Moth.

18th June

A very hot and sunny day. Not a great deal to be seen with a Turnstone, a couple of Mediterranean Gulls, nine Swifts and a Grey Wagtail over the Observatory being the only birds of note.

A Brown Hare was seen.

The overnight moth trapping was very successful with two pine-feeding tortrix Rhyaciona pinicolana and R.pinivorana (the latter new for the Observatory), another Eudonia lacustrata, the fifth Observatory record of Cypress Carpet, three Small Seraphims, our seventh Freyer's Pug, a Silky Wainscot and a Sand Dart of note. A total of 151 moth species were recorded overnight. There were still good numbers of Rest Harrow in the colony at the Long Pits. There are also huge numbers of Small Skippers on the wing at the moment although most other butterfly species were in fairly short supply despite the hot conditions.
Rhyaciona pinicolana   Dungeness   18th June 2017
Rhyaciona pinivorana   Dungeness   18th June 2017
Cypress Carpet Thera cupressata   Dungeness   18th June 2017
Silky Wainscot Chilodes maritimus   Dungeness   18th June 2017

17th June

The highlight of the morning was a Bee-eater which flew in over the Observatory and then rapidly inland at 0850hrs.
An Arctic Skua and seven Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore.

Two Grey Seals and two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Good numbers of moths were trapped and included another Green Silver-lines, The pyralid Eudonia lacustrata was also caught - only the seventh Observatory record.

16th June

A couple of unusual records today with 51 Manx Shearwaters moving up channel in 2.5hrs this morning and a White-fronted Goose feeding among the Sea Kale on the beach for a time. Three Mediterranean Gulls and 744 Gannets were also seen.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The number of moths in the traps was quite low but did include our sixth record of Small Ranunculus.

Small Ranunculus Hecatera dysodea   Dungeness   16th June 2017.
A quick search of the beach around the New Lighthouse produced a few plants of Sea Pea still in flower.

Sea Pea Lathyrus japonicus   Dungeness   16th June 2017
Finally, Barry Banson caught a rare pyralid moth, Nascia cilialis, in his garden at Greatstone overnight, 
Nascia cilialis   Greatstone   16th June 2017

15th June

Nine Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the Patch this morning and a further three flew west this afternoon and 70 Swifts flew over.

A family party of Stoats were seen near the Old Lighthouse and four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Moth trapping produced our fourth record of Green Silver-lines whilst good numbers of Rest Harrow and Six-belted Clearwings were also seen.
Green Silver-lines Pseudoips prasinana   Dungeness   15th June 2017

14th June

A hot and sunny day with not a great deal to be seen. Six Mediterranean Gulls were in the roost at the Patch this morning.

Four Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

The moth trap was very quiet but daytime sightings included at least 50 Rest Harrow moths in a colony near the Pumphouse and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth. In addition, about 20 Six-belted Clearwings came to a pheromone lure. A Clouded Yellow was also seen at the Long Pits along with large numbers of Small Skippers.

13th June

Nothing to report.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Butterflies seen included the first Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns of the year.

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was also seen.


12th June

Not a great deal to be seen. A Mediterranean Gull was feeding offshore.

Three Porpoises were also seen offshore.

Elsewhere, the Squacco Heron was seen on the RSPB Reserve again but for most of the day it was very elusive with most sightings of the bird in flight.



Squacco Heron Ardea ralloides   Dungeness RSPB   12th June 2017 ( Lee Gregory)

11th June

A quiet day. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch and a Buzzard and 60 Swifts flew over.

A Brown Hare was seen.

The highlight of the day appeared in the afternoon at Hookers when a superb Squacco Heron was found. It was very flighty in the windy conditions but was seen very well on a few occasions.


Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides   RSPB Reserve   11th June 2017

10th June

Not a great deal in rapidly improving weather conditions. A 2.5hr seawatch this morning produced 427 Gannets, ten Fulmars and a Manx Shearwater and later in the morning three Curlews flew west and a Mediterranean Gull was feeding offshore.

Two Porpoises were seen offshore.

A Holly Blue was seen in the trapping area along with several Painted Ladies and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was flying around the garden for a short time. A Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina was found on the Sycamore in the trapping area.

9th June

Another windy day but the westerly direction reduced offshore passage. Even so, a single Storm Petrel passing west was of note along with a few Gannets. Two Mediterranean Gulls flew east.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore and two Stoats were seen the Britannia Pub..

A Bee-eater made a brief appearance at Lydd.

8th June

All the interest today was offshore again with over 13 hours of seawatching. The excellent movement of Storm Petrels continued with 40 birds being seen along with 38 Manx Shearwaters, 87 Fulmars, 1155 Gannets, two Arctic Skuas, two Great Skuas, 120 Kittiwakes and 118 Sandwich Terns. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was also feeding offshore.

To put the movement of Storm Petrels into perspective there is only one other similar occurrence in the Observatory's history. This occurred in similar weather conditions between May 21st and 28th 2006 when a total of 411 birds were seen and with a highest day count of 133 birds on May 24th and were also the first spring records of this species.

Three Grey Seals and two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

The first Small Skippers of the summer were seen.

7th June

With the stormy weather continuing and news of Storm Petrels scattered around the south coast there were hopes of some good seawatching off Dungeness today but despite coverage for much of the day the only birds of note were 47 Manx Shearwaters and four Arctic Skuas up till 1600hrs. However, an evening seawatch from 1730hrs to 2100hrs saw things improve considerably with an outstanding total of 26 Storm Petrels along with a close Sooty Shearwater and a further 30 Manx Shearwaters moving west.

A Grey Seal was also seen.

6th June

The wind increased through the night and by early morning was blowing to Force 9 and with frequent rain which made coverage of the land virtually impossible. The storms did bring a bit of seawatching with an excellent total of 45 Manx Shearwaters passing west during the morning and before the wind veered into the west.  A total of 28 Fulmars also flew west.

5th June

An early morning seawatch produced 12 Manx Shearwaters west of note whilst two Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch in the evening. Very quiet on the land.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen at the Fishing Boats.

4th June

Not a great deal to report. A Willow Warbler was singing in the trapping area and a Redpoll flew over this morning. A bit of seawatching in the afternoon produced an Arctic Skua and two Little Terns of interest.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The best of the nights mothtrapping was a Double Dart Graphiphora augur - a very uncommon moth here in recent times.

3rd June

A day with reduced coverage but still clearly with not very much around.

A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were seen offshore.

2nd June

A day of seemingly very little movement came to life in the late morning when a Bee-eater, first seen on the RSPB Reserve, appeared over the Observatory and then spent 15 minutes or so flying around the Point before heading off in a northerly direction and out of sight. A Hobby was also seen in the Desert.

The moth trap produced a decent number of species and included this Beautiful Hook-tip Laspeyria flexula - only the second Observatory record. A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was also seen in the Observatory garden.
Beautiful Hook-tip Laspeyria flexula   Dungeness 1st June 2017 
Later still in the day a pair of Black-winged Stilts were found at the Midrips Pools on the Lydd Ranges.



Black-winged Stilts   Lydd Ranges   2nd June 2017

1st June

A calm and very hot and sunny day but with very little to be seen in the observatory area. The Iceland Gull was still at the Patch and seven Mediterranean Gulls were seen during the day.

A Stoat and two Red-eared Terrapins were seen.

Elsewhere, the superb highlight was a brilliant adult male Rose-coloured Starling which was seen on several occasions around the Hookers area of the RSPB Reserve and eventually went to roost there.




Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus   Dungeness RSPB