16th Oct

A day of limited coverage but it was clear that after the early morning flurry of finches passing overhead there was very little else in the way of migrants. Three Firecrests were seen in the moat and a Dartford Warbler was seen again near the Railway Station.

Moth trapping produced a Scarce Bordered Straw and our fourth Palpita vitrealis of the year.

As we returned to the Observatory this evening a Badger was seen foraging around the front gardens.

15th Oct

There was an early morning rush of finches passing over head and at least five Firecrests in the bushes but it was otherwise very quiet. Birds passing overhead included four Bramblings, 1000 Goldfinches and ten Siskins.

Elsewhere, the Cattle Egret re-appeared amongst cattle in the fields along the entrance track and a Purple Sandpiper was seen on the sluice outfall at Dengemarsh Gully.


Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima   Dungeness   15th October 2017
 

14th Oct

Rare grounded migrants often turn up at Dungeness on days when there seems to be little around and today was one of them. Three net rounds produced just two birds but Dave Bunney found a Radde's Warbler in his Southview Cottage garden. It was very elusive but most visitors managed to get views but photographing it was very difficult. A Dartford Warbler was also seen whilst waiting for the Radde's Warbler to show.
There was however a decent amount of passage overhead with two Grey Herons, 60 Swallows, two Grey Wagtails, two Rock Pipits, four Bramblings, 29 Redpolls, 400 Goldfinches, 40 Siskins and 40 Reed Buntings.


Radde's Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi   Dungeness   14th October 2017
A couple of very poor images of this extremely skulking bird.
Elsewhere, a Red-backed Shrike was found on the RSPB Reserve and a Cattle Egret joined 16 Great White Egrets and 24 Little Egrets at the evening roost at the ARC Pit.

13th October

A dull, cloudy but warm day. Grounded migrants were fairly scarce but included two Dartford Warblers near the railway station, a Wood Lark and three Wheatears. Early morning saw a decent bit of visible migration which included 55 Swallows, 39 Tree Sparrows, three Rock Pipits, 17 Redpolls, 850 Goldfinches, 70 Siskins and 14 Reed Buntings.
Seawatching produced four Sooty Shearwaters, five Great Skuas, 17 Mediterranean Gulls and another 1100 Gannets. Three Arctic Skuas continue to linger offshore.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Good numbers of moths were trapped overnight with the highlights being Blair's Shoulder-knot and a Pearly Underwing.
Blair's Shoulder-knot Lithophane leautieri   Dungeness   13th October 2017.
Only the 13th Observatory record and the first since 2013.

12th Oct

A bright and sunny morning resulted in a bit of movement overhead and offshore but very little in the way of ground migrants.
Of note among the migrants flying over were a Wood Lark, 17 Sky Larks, 70 Swallows, three Tree Sparrows, two Grey Wagtails, two Rock Pipits, two Bramblings, 30 Lesser Redpolls, 345 Goldfinches, 25 Siskins and 16 Reed Buntings.  
Offshore, another 1100 Gannets moved west along with two Shags, two Great Skuas and 35 Mediterranean Gulls and with a further five gulls on the beach. 

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Six Clouded Yellows were noted during the day.
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus   Dungeness   12th October 2017

11th Oct

The Yellow-browed Warbler was still in and around the Lighthouse Garden but proved very elusive in the wet and windy conditions. The main interest was offshore though where 4.5 hrs of watching produced four Sooty Shearwaters, two Balearic Shearwaters, a Manx Shearwater, around 3000 Gannets, 16 Arctic Skuas, six Great Skuas, 23 Razorbills, two Mediterranean Gulls and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

A Grey Seal, a Common Seal and two Porpoises were also seen offshore.

10th Oct


Not a great deal around today but a Yellow-browed Warbler which appeared in the Old lighthouse Garden was a very welcome find. Birds passing overhead included 80 Swallows, 40 House Martins, a Rock Pipit, 27 Redpolls, 37 Siskins and ten Reed Buntings.



Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus   Dungeness   10th October 2017
Siskin Carduelis spinus   Dungeness   10th October 2017
Seawatching was very slow again. Sandwich Terns and Gannets moved west in decent numbers and five Arctic Skuas and five Mediterranean Gulls were lingering.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

9th Oct



A calm and misty morning resulted in a small arrival of migrants in the bushes and a decent passage overhead. The best of the grounded migrants were a Woodlark, three Firecrests and a few Goldcrests, 40 Chiffchaffs, ten Song Thrushes and 16 Redwings whilst birds passing overhead included 300 Swallows, 800 House Martins, six Grey Wagtails, seven Bramblings, 105 Redpolls, a Crossbill, 275 Goldfinch, 93 Siskins and 14 Reed Buntings
The sea was very quiet except for a trickle of Brent Geese passing by and five Mediterranean Gulls.


One of the most surprising things of the day was the catching of a retrap Goldcrest. Nothing remarkable in itself except that this bird was actually ringed here as a migrant on 16th October 2015. It is extremely rare to retrap passage migrants in subsequent years. 
Goldcrest Regulus regulus   AVX597   Dungeness   9th October 2017

8th Oct

With calm conditions there was a small arrival of migrants on the land and passing overhead. A few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, four Song Thrushes and a Wheatear were of note on the land whilst birds passing overhead included a Wood Lark, 39 Sky Larks, 130 Swallows, eight Tree Sparrows, seven Grey Wagtails, a Brambling, four Redpolls, a Crossbill, 24 Siskins and 37 Reed Buntings.

An Eider, an Arctic Skua and a Mediterranean Gull were the only notable birds at sea.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A good selection (for October) of butterflies were seen including two Clouded Yellows and a Brown Argus. The best of the moths trapped overnight were another Delicate and a Dark Swordgrass and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was also seen by day.
A female Red-veined Darter was seen along the front of the power station.

7th Oct

Very little to report. Five Arctic Skuas were lingering offshore again and just 13 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were of any interest on the land.

A Common Seal was seen offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the evening.

A Delicate was trapped overnight. 

6th Oct

With six of the regular observers on an away-day to Cap Gris Nez, France coverage was severely limited. Even so, the first Ring Ouzel and Brambling of the autumn were seen. Other bits and pieces included two Buzzards, a Firecest, nine Blackcaps, two Redwings, 24 Redpolls and 75 Siskins.

A bat-trapping session at the Long Pits produced three Nathusius's Pipistrelles and a Whiskered Bat. A Brown Hare and a Badger were also seen this evening.

5th Oct

Gale force westerly winds for a time overnight remained fresh through the morning and resulted in very few birds being seen. The best of the mornings seawatch was a Sooty Shearwater and six Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua were lingering offshore again.
Overhead passage was limited to several hundred each of Swallow and House Martin and a Grey Wagtail whilst two Buzzards also flew over. Three Wheatears were also seen.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

4th Oct

There was a small arrival of birds on the land with two Firecrests, 50 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps and two Wheatears and a couple of Jays also dropped in. Birds passing overhead included seven Golden Plover, a Merlin, a Hobby, a Grey Wagtail, two Rock Pipits, seven Redpolls, 380 Goldfinches, nine Siskins and 28 Reed Buntings.
The sea was very quiet with the usual lingering Arctic Skuas present but not much else to be seen.

Four Porpoises and Grey Seal were seen.

Decent numbers of moths were trapped overnight with four Delicates being of note.

3rd Oct

There were a few grounded migrants in the bushes this morning with a Short-eared Owla Firecrest, 55 Chiffchaffs and ten Blackcaps of note whilst nine Golden Plovers, a Hobby, ten Tree Sparrows, a Yellow Wagtail, three Tree Pipits, 19 Siskins and 13 Reed Buntings passed overhead.
At least five Arctic Skuas were feeding offshore and a Great Skua passed through. 

Two Clouded Yellows were seen and including one of the pale helice form.

2nd Oct

Not a great deal to report on a mainly damp and breezy day. A two hour seawatch this morning produced two Eiders, 703 Gannets, 354 Sandwich Terns and 12 Arctic Skuas and not much else whilst the bushes were very quiet.
A few Swallows, House Martins and Goldfinches moved south during the day.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen feeding offshore today.

1st Oct

A windy day meant that most of the coverage was concentrated on the sea where several hours of watching produced 73 Common Scoters, an Eider, a Sooty Shearwater, good numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns, 32 Arctic Skuas, four Great Skuas, a Black Tern and four Arctic Terns. Four Yellow-legged Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull were attracted to the food offered this afternoon.

Five Porpoises were seen with an additional dead individual floating by attached to a fishing float. A Grey Seal and a Brown Hare were also seen.

A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was seen.

30th Sep

The month ended with another excellent early morning passage of birds overhead. Thousands of Swallows and House Martins dominated proceedings in terms of numbers but other notable bits and pieces included the first Wood Lark of the autumn, 33 Tree Sparrows, two Yellow Wagtails, nine Grey Wagtails, eight Redpolls, 15 Siskins and 50 Reed Buntings. Grounded migrants were relatively scarce but six Firecrests, 40 Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps.

The sea was very quiet with just the semi-resident Arctic Skuas offshore. A first-summer Caspian Gull and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull came to the offerings at the fishing boats in the afternoon.

A Brown Hare was seen.

A Plumed Fanfoot and five Delicates were the highlights of the nights moth trapping.
Plumed Fanfoot Pechipogo plumigeralis   Dungeness   30th September 2017