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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

Moth Licences for 'Friends'

Friends of Dungeness Moth Licences
With the changes in permission for moth trapping in the area around the Long Pits, Dungeness, we are very pleased to announce that we have 2 moth licences for use by 'Friends' of the Observatory. Please contact the Warden for more information.

19th Aug

In breezy conditions most of the interest was offshore where there was a steady stream of Sandwich and Common Terns passing west all day and also two Balearic Shearwaters, two Great Skuas and eight Black Terns through. Arctic Skuas were loitering with intent throughout the day. A juvenile Caspian Gull and a first-year Yellow-legged Gull were among the gulls at the fishing boats and a Little Ringed Plover also made a brief stop there.
It was fairly quiet on the land with just a few Willow Warblers and a Tree Pipit to be seen.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.
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18th Aug

There was another small arrival of migrants this morning with 20 Willow Warblers dominating the numbers.
Seawatching provided most of the interest for the rest of the day with a long afternoon watch producing two Grey Plovers, 660 Sandwich Terns, 150 Common Terns and nine Black Terns. Three lingering Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were also present.

Six Porpoise, a Common Seal and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

17th Aug

The highlight of the day was an Osprey which few out to sea in the afternoon. Four Black Terns flew west during the morning seawatch and a flock of nine Whimbrel flew over the area..
There was a small arrival of migrants on the land with 25 Willow Warblers, three Garden Warblers, 20 Lesser Whitethroats, ten Wheatears and two Tree Pipits being the most significant.

Five Porpoises and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

A Clouded Yellow was seen.

16th Aug

A check of the gulls feeding and roosting at the Patch this morning proved quite profitable with the finding of a juvenile Caspian Gull. A Black Tern was also present. In the afternoon there were four Arctic Skuas and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls loitering at the fishing boats. There was a steady westerly movement of terns with 498 Sandwich and 635 Commons during three hours of watching.

Generally very quiet on the land 

Two Porpoises and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

15th Aug

There was a small arrival of migrants this morning, mostly centred around the moat, with 40 Willow Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher of note while two Tree Pipits and 15 Yellow Wagtails passed overhead.
Offshore, there was a big westerly movement of Sandwich Terns with over 1700 counted along with six Arctic Skuas. A Black Tern was feeding at the Patch and four Yellow-legged Gulls came to the bread offerings at the fishing boats.

A Grey Seal and two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th Aug

Not a great deal to report today. A few migrants, mainly around the Long Pits again, were present including 20 Willow Warblers and 11 Lesser Whitethroats. Fifteen Yellow Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail flew over. Three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the fishing boats. 

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A Clouded Yellow and a Holly Blue were of note among the butterflies and a V-Pug was the only notable moth trapped overnight.

A stunning Death's Head Hawkmoth was found at Lydd-on-Sea and was brought to the Observatory for public viewing.  
Death's Head Hawkmoth Acherontia atropos   Lydd-on-Sea   14th August 2018

13th Aug

Frequent heavy downpours throughout the day hampered observations but there was clearly very little to be seen in the bushes and several hours of seawatching produced just seven Manx Shearwaters of interest.

Single Common and Grey Seals were feeding offshore. 

The moth traps produced another decent record for the area with only our fifth-ever Barred Rivulet.
Barred Rivulet Perizoma bifaciata   Dungeness   13th August 2018

12th Aug

A breezy day which eventually produced a Balearic and two Manx Shearwaters, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua of note along with large numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns. A Yellow-legged Gull was also seen.
It was very quiet on the land.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

11th Aug

There was a large arrival of migrants this morning but unfortunately for ringing purposes it was almost all around the Long Pits. The highlights were a Grasshopper Warbler near the Pumphouse and a Spotted Flycatcher at the top end while numbers were provided by 100 Willow Warblers, six Sedge Warblers, 25 Reed Warblers, four Garden Warblers and 120 Whitethroats.
The sea was very quiet with just a lingering juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of note. 

10th Aug

A mainly wet and windy day and much cooler than of late. A handful of migrants in the bushes included 15 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and a few Whitethroats and Reed Warblers.
At sea, Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns trickled westwards through the day, as did four Black Terns, while an Arctic Skua flew east.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

9th Aug

A dull, overcast morning which eventually produced some fairly heavy rain along with thunder and lightning. Another small arrival of migrants occurred with the best bird being a trapped Grasshopper Warbler.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia   Dungeness  9th August 2018
 Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore this morning.

8th Aug

A cooler, fresher day with a stiff breeze limited observations on the land while there was little sign of any real improvement offshore. The land had very little to offer and a Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch. Large numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns were also lingering offshore.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and five Bank Voles were found under strategically placed corrugated iron sheets.

The overnight catch of moths was very low in numbers but did include a Dusky Hook-tip - our fifth record of another very scarce migrant.  

Further searches for Wasp Spiders has increased the total to nine individuals.

7th Aug

More of the same weather although by late afternoon there were signs of things breaking down with some thunderstorms arriving. Birds were also much the same with just a thin scatter of commoner migrants and the highlight of our second Nightingale of the month.


Nightingale Luscinia megarynchos   Dungeness   7th August 2018
Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were also fairly quiet but did produce three Cydia amplana of note.

6th Aug

More of the same with the hot weather continuing and just a trickle of migrants including a Garden Warbler and five Sedge Warblers passing through.
Five Mediterranean Gulls were also seen during the day.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Lesser Emperor dragonfly made a couple of brief visits to the southern Long Pit during the morning but on both occasions it was quickly chased off by one of the local Emperors. A Small Red-eyed Damselfly was also seen.

The moth traps were very quiet overnight but two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were still feeding in the Observatory garden during the day.

5th Aug

There was another small arrival of migrants on the land with the highlights of a Nightingale and four Garden Warblers trapped and an elusive Pied Flycatcher in the moat.
Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos   Dungeness   5th August 2018
Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth catch was very much reduced last night but still produced a Gypsy Moth - only the second record for the Observatory. Two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were feeding in the Observatory garden again.
Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar   Dungeness   5th August 2018

4th Aug

There was a decent little arrival of migrants with the bulk typically being Willow WarblersReed Warblers and Whitethroats but also including four Garden Warblers, a Redstart and two Pied Flycatchers.
Three Mediterranean Gulls were also seen.

Moth trapping continues to provide plenty of interest with last nights catch producing a superb Golden Twin-spot along with two Cydia amplana. Two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were feeding in the Observatory garden.
Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixa chalcites   Dungeness   4th August 2018
The fourth Observatory record.
Six Wasp Spiders were found in the rough ground in front of the Observatory.

A nocturnal search for Orthoptera last night produced four Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and hundreds of Tree Crickets which gave an excellent chorus (even audible from the Observatory). In addition, several Great Green Bush-crickets were also heard - a species which has been inexplicably scarce in the recording area given how common they are just outside it.
Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata   Dungeness   4th August 2018

Tree Cricket Oecanthus pellucens   Dungeness   4th August 2018

3rd Aug

Very little to report on the bird front with just a handful of Willow Warblers and Reed Warblers and a Garden Warbler in the bushes. One Mediterranean Gull was feeding offshore this evening.

The moth traps provided what was easily the highlight of the day with the catching of a Many-lined. This is the first area (and possibly Kent?) record of this very rare immigrant to Britain. The total catch was actually very low in number but did also include a specimen of the scarce migrant tortrix moth Cydia amplana. Four Hummingbird Hawk-moths were also feeding around the Observatory garden. A Clouded Yellow was seen in the moat.

Many-lined Costaconvexa polygrmmata   Dungeness   3rd August 2018

Cydia amplana   Dungeness   3rd August 2018
Seven Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, five Great White Egrets were seen  at Dengemarsh and three Black Terns were roosting in front of Firth Hide on the RSPB Reserve.

2nd Aug

Very quiet in the continuing hot, dry and clear conditions. A Garden Warbler was the best on offer on the land, a Redshank flew over and a single Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch.

A Common Seal was feeding offshore.

The highlight of the overnight moth trapping was a Tree-lichen Beauty (which unfortunately avoided the pot and photo opportunity) whilst four Hummingbird Hawk-moths were feeding in the Observatory garden.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum   Dungeness   2nd August 2018

1st Aug

There was a small arrival of commoner migrants with at least 25 Willow Warblers, three Garden Warblers and a Sedge Warbler of interest.
Very quiet offshore with just one Mediterranean Gull reported.

31st July

A very disappointing end to the month with just two Grey Plovers passing west and 12 Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch being about the only birds of note. Only one Willow Warbler was seen bringing the months total to a miserable nine birds.

One Porpoise was seen offshore.

The moth traps were also quiet but two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were seen during the day.

30th July

A calm, drier morning than yesterday and much quieter offshore with only singles of Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters, a Great Skua, six Mediterranean Gulls and nine Little Terns of note. In the afternoon there were at least 15 juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gulls and a juvenile/first-winter Yellow-legged Gull feeding  at the Patch.

Just one Willow Warbler was seen in the bushes and 13 Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail passed through.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

29th July

With a strong southerly wind blowing and occasional showers the sea provided most of the interest. Coverage was almost dawn to dusk but with many observers exact numbers have been very difficult to assess but the following totals were of note; 29 Balearic Shearwaters, 49 Manx Shearwaters, five Sooty Shearwaters, well over 1000 Gannets, two Great Skuas, 182 Common Terns and a Little Tern all flew west. The clear highlight of the day though was a single Great Shearwater seen by one observer as it flew slowly west past the fishing boats at 1417hrs. Four Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen on the beach.
Around 360 Swifts also flew south.

Four Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen near the railway station. 

Another very unusual sighting this morning was a breaching Thresher Shark.

28th July

A cooler and very windy day restricted observations on the land but 170 Swifts and two Sand Martins passed through.
Despite the rough conditions the sea was generally quiet although a Balearic Shearwater flew east and 60 Mediterranean Gulls were seen. 

One Porpoise was feeding offshore.

27th July

The trickle of migrants continues with singles of Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Song Thrush among the birds trapped and two Green Sandpipers passing overhead. After yesterdays feeding frenzy of Mediterranean Gulls only six were seen today.

A Grey Seal and five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Moth trapping produced an Yponomeuta plumbella (which appears to be new for the trap), an Oak Hook-tip and our sixth record of Channel island Pug.

Yponomeuta plumbella   Dungeness   27th July 2018
Channel Island Pug Eupithecia ultimaria   Dungeness   27th July 2018
Typically, the much talked about Lunar Eclipse was missed with the arrival of perfectly timed violent thunderstorms from about 1900. Virtually the first clouds there have been in the skies for what seems like weeks.

26th July

The very hot weather continues. Migrants were pretty sparse on the land with just a Garden Warbler of note and overhead passage involved a Buzzard, a Redshank, 12 Sand Martins and four Yellow Wagtails. 
In the evening there was a large gathering of gulls and terns feeding offshore and with at least 320 Mediterranean Gulls in their midst.

The best of the overnight moth-trapping was a Scarce Chocolate-tip (only the sixth Observatory record) and two Small Red-eyed Damselflies were seen at the southern end of the Long Pits.
Scarce Chocolate-tip Chlostera anachoreta   Dungeness   26th July 2018

25th July

Another cloudless, very hot and calm day with just a trickle of migrants passing through including a Buzzard, three Whimbrels, three Redshanks, three Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and two Yellow Wagtails. In mid-morning there was a massive hatch of flying ants and gulls swarmed in to feed on them and included an excellent total of 70 Mediterranean Gull and 400 Swifts also joined the throng.

At least five Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Moth trapping produced the scarce pyralid Euzophera pinguis and a True Lover's-knot while a late evening visit to the trapping area revealed large numbers of singing Tree Crickets and three late-stage nymph Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets. Four female Wasp Spiders were found in their webs in the grassy area in front of the Observatory.

24th July

A Wood Warbler was found in the trapping area this morning along with a couple of young Willow Warblers. A Marsh Harrier, just six Sand Martins and two Yellow Wagtails flew over. Eighteen Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen at the fishing boats in the evening.
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis   juvenile   Dungeness   24th July 2018
Seven Porpoises and four Grey Seals were feeding offshore in the evening.

The highlight of the overnight moth trapping was the very rare micro-moth Bisigna procerella but a Buff Arches, a Chocolate-tip and a Starwort were also noteworthy. An unusually marked Garden Tiger was also trapped.
Bisigna procerella   Dungeness   24th July 2018
A very rare moth seemingly restricted to a few sightings in Kent

Garden Tiger Arctia caja    Dungeness   24th July 2018
An unusually pale individual.

23rd July

A Yellow Wagtail and a handful of Sand Martins passed through while at least 25 Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch.

At least five Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore and a Terrapin species was seen in the Southern Long Pit.

There were plenty of moth-traps overnight but not much in the way of uncommon stuff with a Clay Triple-lines and a Starwort being about the best on offer.

22nd July

Two Whimbrel and a Green Sandpiper flew over this morning and a Mediterranean Gull was seen  at the Patch.A Grey Wagtail also flew over and a young Sedge Warbler was trapped.

An excellent catch of moths overnight included Clay Triple-lines, Rosy Footman, Coxcomb Prominent, Coronet and Small Rufous and a new micro-moth for the Observatory of a presumed immigrant example of Ethmia quadrilella
Ethmia quadrilella   Dungeness   22nd June 2018

21st July

The highlight of another hot and dry day was a young Grasshopper Warbler caught in the trapping area. Other bits and pieces included a Buzzard and just one Mediterranean Gull at the Patch.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia   Dungeness   21st July 2018.
Overnight moth trapping produced a couple of goodies in the form a superb Rose Plume (first Obs record) and a Dotted Footman (2nd Obs record).
Rose Plume Cnaemidophorus rhododactyla   Dungeness   21st July 2018
Dotted Footman Pelosia muscerda   Dungeness   21st July 2018

20th July

Little to report on the bird front except for nine Mediterranean Gulls and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the beach and four Common Sandpipers and a Whimbrel passing over after dark.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore in the evening.

An evening search for orthoptera produced eight nymphal Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and a Tree Cricket nymph. A Common Toad was also found.
Common Toad Bufo bufo   Dungeness   20th July 2018

19th July

A still start again today, with the wind gradually picking up throughout the day.

A look at the Patch this morning produced five Mediterranean Gulls, nine Gannets and a single Arctic Skua which was busy harassing the terns feeding near the Patch. Two Ringed Plovers were moving along the beach and a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was also present near the Sea Watch Hide.

Elsewhere throughout the day a few migrants were starting to appear, a single Common Sandpiper was present at the Long Pits. A Whimbrel flew over the Desert. A single Yellow Wagtail and Sand Martin flew over the trapping area.

A single Porpoise was seen this morning by the Patch.

A torchlight search this evening produced five Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket nymphs, which were all sitting prominently on the tops of the ragwort.

Elsewhere, three Wood Sandpipers, three Little Stints and a Curlew Sandpiper were present on ARC Pit at the RSPB Reserve.

18th July

A cloudy start to the day but warming rapidly by mid-morning becoming another warm, still day.

A single Green Sandpiper flew south over the trapping area this morning. 

The Patch had very few large gulls present. The only notable species were four Mediterranean Gulls, three adults and one juvenile and nine Common Terns.

Three Grey Herons were seen flying north along the coast this evening.

Elsewhere, three Wood Sandpipers were present on the RSPB Reserve, with two present on Burrow's and a single bird on ARC.

17th July

Another warm and clear day, although sunrise brought a gentle westerly breeze which continued throughout the day.

Birds were again few and far between, with an hours afternoon sea watching at the fishing boats only producing a single Gannet, nine Mediterranean Gulls, one Kittiwake and a few Common Terns and Sandwich Terns, which were busy feeding along the colour change.

Two Porpoise were also feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, two Wood Sandpipers were seen on Burrow's Pit at the RSPB Reserve.

16th July

An extremely warm and windless start to the day, although with very few notable birds.

A few small mixed flocks of Swallows and Sand Martins were the only obvious migrants moving south.

On the sea, eight Common Scoter flew west and two Gannets slowly drifted east. The Patch was largely empty of gulls and terns this afternoon while the beach was largely filled with fishermen.

A single Grey Seal was seen up near the Lifeboat Station.

Elsewhere, a Wood Sandpiper was present on ARC pit this evening.

11th July

An overcast but still start this morning, with very few birds in the area. 24 Swifts flew south over the Trapping Area first thing and a Curlew could be heard flying west towards the RSPB Reserve.

Five Mediterranean Gulls were present at the Patch, along with a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Elsewhere, a Wood Sandpiper was present on Burrow's at the RSPB Reserve.

10th July

A quiet day bird wise, except for gulls at the Patch this morning. A total of 15 adult and two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were present on the beach. A single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was also feeding close to the boil with 15 Common Terns and a few Sandwich Terns.

Around the Moat there was lots of butterfly activity. Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Marbled White were in plentiful numbers along with a few Brown Argus, Common Blue and Small Copper, including one female individual of the fascination var radiata.

9th July

Another good day for Mediterranean Gulls with 16 present around the recording area. 12 adults and two juveniles were present at the Patch this morning along with a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. The numbers of gulls has slowly been building.

A Redshank flew over the Point. Four Swifts flew north and six Sand Martins flew south.

A single Grey Seal was seen by the Patch this morning.

A single Terrapin of unknown species was seen in the top Long Pit this afternoon.

The first Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta of the year was seen by the Old Lighthouse this morning.

The moth trap has continued to be busy during this extended period of still, warm weather. 44 species of macro moth were trapped including Six Sussex Emerald, one Kent Black Arches and two Plumed Fanfoot. 45 species of micro moth were in the trap including two Anerastia lotella, a Metzneria aestivella, two Ethmia bipunctella, and five Cynaeda dentalis.


8th July

The Patch is steadily getting busier as the month progresses. 16 Mediterranean Gulls including several juveniles were present on the beach this morning. Three Yellow-legged Gulls, one adult and two juveniles were also present.

Five Grey Herons came in off the sea and headed towards the Lydd Ranges. A Grey Wagtail flew west along the beach by the Power Station and a Yellow Wagtail was seen at the Top of the Long Pits.

Four Harbour Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen at the fishing boats this afternoon.

The moth trap was quieter this morning but held six Sussex Emerald, a particularly high count for the observatory moth trap. Two Small Red-eyed Damselflies were seen at the southern end of the Long Pits.

7th July

There was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 12 Mediterranean Gulls, nine adults and three juveniles, at the Patch early this morning feeding with 500 Black-headed Gulls, six Common Terns and four Sandwich Terns. 

Two Sand Martins were seen flying south towards the fishing boats. A Garden Warbler was singing in the trapping area and a male Black Redstart was frequenting a private house on the estate.


Six Porpoise were seen off the board walk along with a Thresher Shark, which breached twice beyond the Buoy early this morning.

At the top of the Long Pits two Brown Hawkers were hawking over the pit and a several fresh Common Blues were on the wing.

6th July

Another relatively warm, still day. An early morning ringing session in the desert produced a Linnet and a Reed Bunting among more regularly encountered species. Two Oystercatchers, a Lapwing and four Swifts passed overhead. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was also making its way along the telegraph poles towards the fishing boats, the first in the area since the spring.
Linnet Carduelis cannabina Dungeness 6th July 2018
An evening sea watch at the Patch produced two Gannets, three Mediterranean Gulls, 30 Sandwich Terns and 15 Common Terns.

The moth trap was very busy last night with 34 species of Macro Moths and 49 species of Micro Moth. Notable species included hundreds of Synaphe punctalistwo Sussex Emeralds, nine Kent Black Arches Meganola albula and 11 Cynaeda dentalis.

5th July

Another quiet day at the point. Thick fog rolling in first thing this morning but gradually cleared.

An evening check of the Patch only produced a single Mediterranean Gull with 300 Black-headed Gulls and 15 Common Terns. Further out to sea a flock of 40 Common Scoter flew east.

4th July

A quiet day on the bird front. The only notable species were four Mediterranean Gulls which were feeding at the Patch this afternoon along with 600 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Common Terns and 20 Sandwich Terns.

The moth trap was also quiet but managed to produce a single Sussex Emerald.

3rd July

The first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and Mediterranean Gull arrived at the Patch but it was otherwise a quiet day.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

Lots of butterflies can be seen in the area with the first of a new brood of Brown Argus appearing and a few Essex Skippers among the hoards of Small Skippers. Large numbers of Large Whites were also seen. 

2nd July

A Green Sandpiper flew over the Observatory in the early hours of the morning and a Mediterranean Gull was also seen.

A Black-neck Moth was trapped overnight which is a surprisingly scarce species at the Observatory.

1st July

Another hot and sunny day but already some signs of autumn migration with 31 Sand Martins moving south and out to sea. An adult Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

An improvement in the moth trapping produced 20 Diamond-backed Moths, a single Sussex Emerald and this Privet Hawk-moth. One Common Emerald damselfly was found at the Long Pits.
Privet Hawk-moth Sphinx ligustri   Dungeness   1st July 2018
The vegetation is now starting to look very dry but the nationally scarce Red Hemp-nettle is now flowering well. 

Red Hemp-nettle Galeopsis angustifolia   Dungeness   1st July 2018



30th June

Nothing much to report from the Observatory area except for good numbers of butterflies, especially Small Skippers and Marbled Whites.

Further searching for insects in the general area produced a couple of Rambur's Shield-bugs and around 20 White-letter Hairstreaks at Littlestone.

White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album   Littlestone   30th June 2018

29th June

Not a great deal to report but a Golden Plover over the Observatory this morning was surprisingly the first record of the year. An evening check of the Patch produced eight Mediterranean Gulls.

A Grey Seal was also feeding at the Patch.

Two Common Emerald damselflies were seen at the top of the Long Pits.

Searching for insects elsewhere produced this interesting bee along the track to the Hanson Hide at ARC. I think it is probably a Large Sharp-tailed Bee Coelioxys conoidea and is described in the Bees, wasps and ants of Kent as "not common" in the county.
Coelioxys conoidea   ARC, Dungeness   29th June 2018

28th June

Very quiet and nothing to report.

27th June

A quiet day with very little to report, three Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the fishing boats this afternoon.

A single Grey Seal was seen offshore.

26th June

Seven Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore and a Shag flew east this afternoon. A Grey Wagtail flew over the Observatory.

At least six Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were also feeding offshore this afternoon.

25th June

One of the hottest days of the year so far and very quiet for birds except for the first Turtle Dove of the year at the Long Pits, at least eight Mediterranean Gulls "anting" over the area and 120 Swifts passing through.

At least 12 Porpoises and single of Common Seal and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The first Sussex Emerald moth of the season was trapped and there were lots of Small Skippers on the wing again. Numbers of Marbled Whites are starting to build up and the first Gatekeeper of the summer was seen. Of note among the dragonflies were two Common Emeralds at the top of the Long Pits - never a common species here.
Sussex Emerald Thalera fimbrialis   Dungeness   26th June 2018


Common Emerald Lestes sponsa   females   Dungeness   25th June 2018

24th June

A Buzzard flew over the Observatory and two Mediterranean Gulls were noted during the day. The local Peregrine Falcons were also putting on a great display this morning.


Perergine Falcon Falco peregrinus    Dungeness    24th June 2018
A Soprano Pipistrelle bat was flying around the Observatory at 0010hrs when a Badger was also sniffing around the garden.

Moth-trapping overnight produced a couple of Rest Harrows of interest. Butterflies are abundant at the moment with big numbers of Small Skippers and Meadow Browns on the wing.

The flowers at Dungeness are putting a great display and include this patch of wild Moth Mullein and the count of Pyramidal Orchids is now up to 57 flowering spikes.
Moth Mullein Varbascum blattaria   Dungeness 

23rd June

Very little to report today apart from a Mediterranean Gull and ten Swifts overhead.

A session this evening with a Bat Detector calls from Common and Nathusius's Pipistrelle.

22nd June

Five Buzzards flew over the Observatory and four Mediterranean Gulls were seen during the day.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

The first Essex Skipper of the season was seen amid large numbers of Small Skippers.

21st June

A very quiet day with just a couple of Mediterranean Gulls overhead and a couple of new Reed Warblers of interest.

20th June

Two Curlews and a Mediterranean Gull were about the best of the birds to be seen today.

Three Porpoises were also feeding offshore this morning.

19th June

Another quiet day with just two Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch of any interest.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

18th June

Not much to report other than an adult Mediterranean Gull feeding at the Patch and a few Swifts passing overhead.

17th June

Three Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the Patch.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

16th June

Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch this morning but not a great deal else of interest was seen.

A Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Figure of Eighty moth was trapped overnight which is (perhaps surprisingly) only the 15th Observatory record and the first since 2011.
Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis   Dungeness   17th June 2018

15th June

Not a great deal to report although coverage was a bit limited today. A Mediterranean Gull was the best of the few birds offshore whilst 170 Swifts passed south-west.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th June

A cold, damp and windy morning restricted observations on the land but a bit of seawatching produced six Manx Shearwaters and three Arctic Skuas passing through and four Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch. Ninety Swifts also flew overhead.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

13th June

Four Buzzards flew over the Observatory and a Mediterranean Gulls was feeding at the Patch.

12th June

Another quiet day on the land in dull and cold conditions and a fresh NE wind. A Hobby was seen at the fishing boats and 33 Swifts flew over.

There was little actual movement offshore but the Patch held eight Mediterranean Gulls and two Little Terns of note.

11th June

Very little to be seen other than the breeding birds.

A quick check for Rest Harrow moths produced at least 50 individuals in a few minutes of searching.

10th June

Very quiet on the land with just the regular birds being seen but a visit to the Patch produced two first-summer Mediterranean Gulls, four Little Terns and an Arctic Tern. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was feeding with the usual gulls at the Fish Shack this afternoon.

A Brown Hare was seen.

Pyramidal Orchids are starting to flower in front of the Observatory.

Ten Painted Ladies and four Brown Argus were seen and another Variable Damselfly was found at the Long Pits. Over the last couple of years I have been making regular searches of large patches of forget-me-not in the hope finding the host-specific shieldbug and today I think I have finally found a brood of first-instar larvae of Sehirus luctuosus.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum   Dungeness  10th June 2018
Forget-me-not Shieldbug Sehirus luctuosus   Dungeness   10th June 2018.
Note these are very small, c1.5mm in length, and are first-instar larvae. .

9th June

Nothing to report on the bird front.

A check of a large patch of Rest Harrow at the Long Pits produced large numbers of the eponymous moth emerging.
Rest Harrow Aplasta ononaria   Dungeness   9th June 2018