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Migration Time.

Staying at the Observatory

Autumn migration is here. As well as birds there are moths and crickets to enjoy. Why not join us for a few nights and experience it for yourself. Spaces available, just check out the website for details. 

20th Sep

With a fresh easterly wind blowing there was a bit of interest offshore with the highlights being two Sooty Shearwaters, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, two Great Skuas, eight Arctic Skuas and at least 650 Sandwich Terns but it was virtually birdless on the land.

Ten Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

19th Sep

Huge numbers of Sandwich Terns (2350) moved west into Rye Bay this morning with some returning back into Lade Bay during the day. In addition, 25 Mediterranean Gulls, six Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua, seven Brent Geese, the first Red-throated Diver of the autumn and a Sooty Shearwater were also seen.
Very quiet on the land although a Hen Harrier and a Merlin flew through along with five Grey Wagtails, two Yellow Wagtails and a Rock Pipit and around 20 Blackcaps were seen in the bushes.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen again at ARC.

18th Sep

Although there were very few migrants in the bushes there was still some interest with the highlights being a ringtail Hen Harrier flying NW over the area and a Little Owl in the Moat. Five Grey Wagtails, five Yellow Wagtails and 12 Reed Buntings also flew over.
There was very little movement offshore but 15 or so Arctic Skuas and ten Mediterranean Gulls were feeding in the bay.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

This interesting Small Copper was seen in the Moat. It appears not to be due to wear or mutation and may have a pathogenic cause.


Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas   Dungeness   18th September 2019

17th Sep

A quiet day with just a handful of commoner migrants including 40 Chiffchaffs, a Sedge Warbler, 12 Blackcaps, a Firecrest, a Spotted Flycatcher and six Wheatears and two Grey Wagtails and 25 Reed Buntings overhead.
Very little to report from the sea other than loitering birds with a Great Skua, two Arctic Skuas and 20 Mediterranean Gulls of interest.

There wasn't a great deal in the moth traps but a female Southern Oak Bush-cricket was significant.
Southern Oak Bush-cricket Meconema meridionale   Dungeness   17th September 2019

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, a Pectoral Sandpiper was found at ARC and at least one Cattle Egret remains in the area along with at least nine Great White Egrets. Three Caspian Gulls came in to roost on Burrowes this evening.

16th Sep

A calm, overcast morning resulted in another small arrival of migrants with 80 Chiffchaffs and 25 Blackcaps present. A Garden Warbler, four Goldcrests, a Whinchat and six Wheatears were also of interest. Birds passing overhead during the morning included three Buzzards, five Yellow Wagtails and two Grey Wagtails.
The sea was very quiet although a sudden huge influx of "anting" gulls in the late afternoon included 1000 Mediterranean Gulls. Four Arctic Skuas flew east and a Little Tern was also feeding offshore.

Six Porpoises were seen offshore.

A Scarce Bordered Straw was caught overnight.

15th Sep

Another reasonable arrival of migrants on the land with 55 Chiffchaffs, 30 Blackcaps, a Firecrest, a Spotted Flycatcher and four Whinchats,  There was probably a good movement of hirundines overhead as calling birds could be heard throughout the morning but they were flying so high that they were virtually invisible. At least 600 Swallows and 120 House Martins were seen during the day but this was certainly a gross underestimate. A late Swift, 28 Yellow Wagtails and three Grey Wagtails also flew over. 
Quiet offshore except for 576 Sandwich Terns passing west and six Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas flying east.
Just after dark a calling bird flew south-east over the trapping area and towards the Point which sounded very much like a Night Heron although it could not be seen. It called about 15 times as it passed over and Owen Leyshon was quick with his phone and managed to get one call recorded. Click hear to listen You can also hear the Tree Crickets in the background.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A search after dark this evening found a single Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and large numbers of singing Tree Crickets

14th Sep

There was a decent arrival of migrants on the land with 90 Chiffchaffs, 125 Blackcaps, 20 Lesser Whitethroats and 50 Whitethroats providing the numbers and variety in the form of a Garden Warbler, two Spotted Flycatchers and three Whinchats. Overhead passage included four Buzzards, a Snipe, 11 Yellow Wagtails, seven Grey Wagtails and five Reed Buntings

Very little movement offshore with just a Great Skua and two Arctic Skuas of interest.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were extremely quiet with a grand total of seven "macro" moths but a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found in the Heligoland Trap.

13th Sep

There was a good movement of birds offshore today with two Manx Shearwaters, two Mediterranean Gulls, over 1400 Sandwich Terns, 38 Arctic Skuas and four Great Skuas of note.
Very quiet in the bushes with 36 Chiffchaffs, two Spotted Flycatchers and three Whinchats of note but there was a decent bit of overhead passage which included 250 Sand Martins, 400 Swallows, eight Grey Wagtails, two Tree Pipits and 11 Reed Buntings.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

12th Sep

A calm morning which saw an increase in migration overhead and a few birds in the bushes but little movement offshore. Visible migrants included a Redshank, 250 Sand Martins, 750 Swallows and 100 House Martins, eight Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and eight Reed Buntings. A Spotted Flycatcher, two Redstarts, three Whinchats and 15 Wheatears were of note on the land.
A first-winter Caspian Gull was seen at the fishing boats and three Arctic Skuas were chasing terns offshore.

Seven Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.


11th Sep

A day of heavy cloud and a fresh westerly breeze resulted in very few birds on the land but a constant westerly movement of Sandwich Terns and a few other bits offshore. Seven hours of watching produced 1100 Sandwich Terns and 25 Arctic Skuas as well as a Grey Plover, a Knot, two Black Terns, singles of Arctic and Little Terns. Two first-year Caspian Gulls and five Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen on the beach.

Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans   juvenile/first-winter   Dungeness   11th September 2019
Two Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also feeding offshore. 

The highlight of a very quiet night for moths was another Scarce Bordered Straw.

10th Sep

A decent morning with a few birds in the bushes including 20 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackcaps,12 Lesser Whitethroats, a Firecrest, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, three Whinchats and eight Wheatears while a Wood Sandpiper, ten Yellow Wagtails, seven Grey Wagtails and five Tree Pipits passed overhead.
Large numbers of birds were feeding offshore but actual passage was limited again. Two first-year Caspian Gulls and three first-year Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding at the fishing boats. 

Two Porpoises and a Common Seal were seen offshore.

After yesterdays dragonfly excitement it was followed up today with a superb Blue-eyed Hawker - the second Observatory area record.
Blue-eyed Hawker Aeshna affinis   Dungeness   10th September 2019
It was pretty cold overnight and very few moths were trapped but remarkably they included a Convolvulus Hawkmoth. Three Hummingbird Hawkmoths and four Clouded Yellows were also seen during the day along with large numbers of Painted Ladies and Red Admirals.
Convolvulus Hawkmoth Agrius convolvuli   Dungeness   11th September 2019

9th Sep

Fairly quiet on the land with just 20 Chiffchaffs, ten Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers and a Whinchat of note.

Lots of birds were feeding offshore again with eight Mediterranean Gulls, 1400 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, two Black Terns and at least nine Arctic Skuas along with lots of Gannets and Herring Gulls.

At least ten Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A long awaited addition to the area dragonfly list was Willow Emerald with one found in the moat this afternoon.

Willow Emerald Chalcolstes viridus   Dungeness   7th September 2019
A Clouded Yellow was also seen at the Observatory.

8th Sep

Another quiet day on the land in cold and clear conditions although a Grasshopper Warbler was a nice surprise from the nets. Other migrants on the land were fairly thin spread with around 40 Chiffchaffs, a Whinchat, a Grey Wagtail and three Tree Pipits of note.
There were lots of birds feeding offshore although relatively little in the way of obvious passage. Two Whimbrel, two Redshank, at least five Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and a minimum of ten Arctic Skuas were noteworthy.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia   Dungeness   8th September 2019
At least ten Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were also feeding offshore.

7th Sep

A cold and clear morning with not a great deal to be seen in the bushes so it was bit of a surprise to catch a Eurasian Treecreeper in the moat. Other migrants included a Hobby coming in from the sea, 40 Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and three Tree Pipits of note.
It was also very quiet offshore with just a Manx Shearwater, four Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns and 15 Arctic Skuas of note.



Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris   Dungeness   7th September 2019
Four Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Despite low numbers of moths in the traps overnight there were some decent migrants with a Vestal and a Pearly Underwing of note.

6th Sep

Slightly limited coverage today with most of it involving looking at the sea. The best of over five hours seawatching were two Redshanks, 22 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, 759 Sandwich Terns, four Black Terns, an Arctic Tern, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua.
A Redstart and two Grey Wagtails were the only significant migrants on the land.

At least 22 Porpoises and three Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Tree Crickets were singing again tonight.

A Scarce Bordered Straw and two Dark Swordgrass were the best from the moth traps.

5th Sep

A few bits and pieces offshore but overall a generally quiet day. Over five hours of looking at the sea produced two Teal, 40 Bar-tailed Godwits, four Mediterranean Gulls, 350 Sandwich Terns, a Little Tern and seven Arctic Skuas and seven Grey Wagtails and a Rock Pipit flying south.
Very quiet in the bushes with just 13 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, a Redstart and a Tree Pipit of note.

Twelve Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

4th Sep

A windy day with rain for a fair part of the morning produced a few birds offshore but very little on the land. Over eight hours of seawatching resulted in totals of seven Teal, 15 Fulmars, 280 Gannets, three Mediterranean Gulls, 867 Sandwich Terns, 11 Black Terns, 11 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth and two Scarce Bordered Straws were the highlights of a fairly quiet moth trap.


3rd Sep

Not a great deal to be seen on the land but 15 Chiffchaffs and two Grey Wagtails were of interest. 
Eight hours of seawatching produced a Little Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, 1046 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, 17 Black Terns and four Arctic Skuas.




Black Tern Chlidonias niger   Dungeness   3rd September 2019
At least eight Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

A fairly quiet night for moths as well but there was one very nice surprise in the traps with our first record of Portland Ribbon Wave.
Portland Ribbon Wave Idaea degeneraria   Dungeness   2nd September 2019

2nd Sep

It is something of an indictment of the times when the bird of the day was probably a Turtle Dove seen in the trapping area this morning. Other birds seen on the land of interest included a Buzzard, three Swifts, two Pied Flycatchers, two Whinchats, two Tree Sparrows, a Grey Wagtail and three Tree Pipits.
There was a westerly trickle of birds at sea including 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, two Little Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 750 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, an excellent total of 26 Black Terns and six Arctic Skuas.

A Brown Hare was seen in the area. 

There were not many moths in the traps again but they did include the first Vestal of the year and another Scarce Bordered Straw
Vestal Rhodometra sacraria   Dungeness   2nd September 2019

1st Sep

There were a few birds on the land with 40 Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers, three Whinchats, 20 Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit. Overhead, an Osprey flying out to sea was noteworthy along with six Buzzards, three Golden Plovers, two Bar-tailed Godwits and 20 Yellow Wagtails.
I also ran the the Audiomoth/NocMig recorder last night which produced 21 passing groups of Sandwich Terns and two flocks of Dunlins.
Highlights from over 4.5hrs of seawatching included a Sooty Shearwater, three Manx Shearwaters, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 709 Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern, eight Arctic Skuas and a Pomarine Skua.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Two Clouded Yellows were seen,

The best from the moth traps were a Delicate and a Scarce Bordered Straw.

Delicate Mythimna vitellina and Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigera   Dungeness   1st September 2019

31st August


A quiet end to the month. The best of the birds on the land were three Marsh Harriers, a Common Sandpiper, 580 Swallows, 11 Chiffchaffs, a Pied Flycatcher, three Whinchats, a Grey Wagtail and a Tree Pipit. At sea, two Tufted Ducks, 30 Knot, six Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns and two Arctic Skuas were seen during three hours of watching.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Another evening visit for orthoptera produced five Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and an excellent chorus from the Tree Crickets.

30th August

Another fairly quiet day with just a handful of migrants in the bushes and passing overhead and a trickle of birds moving through offshore. The best on offer on the land were 20 Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, an early Goldcrest, four Whinchats, 16 Yellow Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail.
Nearly five hours of seawatching produced just 11 Mediterranean Gulls and five Arctic Skuas of note.

Ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. 

29th August

A quiet day on both land and at sea. There were signs of some raptor passage with two Marsh Harriers and ten Buzzards passing overhead but singles of Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and three Whinchats were the best of the few grounded migrants.
Eight Arctic Skuas were seen offshore.

28th August

It was a very quiet start to the day but a short spell of rain in mid-morning suddenly dropped in a few migrants with a Cuckoo, 30 Willow Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, 12 Pied Flycatchers, three Spotted Flycatchers, three Whinchats, a Redstart, two Tree Pipits and 35 Yellow Wagtails of note. A Buzzard and ten Greenshank, two Swifts and 500 Swallows flew over during the morning.
There was very little movement offshore but good numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns were feeding and four Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua were associating with them.

Ten Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Another Hoary Footman was an unexpected catch in the moth traps.
Hoary Footman Eilema caniola   Dungeness   28th August 2019
The first Western Conifer Seed Bug of the year was attracted to the moth traps.
Western Conifer Seed Bug Leptoglossus occidentalis   Dungeness   28th August 2019


27th August

Another very hot day which resulted in a small drop of migrants with highlights including four Pied Flycatchers, five Whinchats, 30 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and four Tree Pipits and a Honey Buzzard which flew around the Point during the morning.
With the very hazy conditions there was little coverage of the sea but an evening watch produced five Mediterranean Gulls and three Arctic Skuas.

Ten Porpoises and single Grey and Common Seals were feeding offshore. Common Pipistrelle bats were recorded on the Echometer this evening.

Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found on the framework of the Heligoland Trap but the traps themselves were not that special although a Rest Harrow and a male Southern Oak Bush-cricket were attracted to the light. Six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

26th August

A very hot day with just a scatter of migrants about including 35 Willow Warblers, two Garden Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, four Pied Flycatchers, 17 Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit of note. The highlight was a Honey Buzzard which flew down and around the Point before heading north again in late-morning.

The sea was very quiet for most of the day but a roosting movement in the evening produced 70 Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Little Gull, 950 Sandwich Terns and 150 Common Terns heading into the bay. Four Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas were following them around and a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was feeding on the beach.

At least 20 Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were also feeding offshore.

A small catch of moths overnight but they did include this Hoary Footman which is a new species for the Observatory traps.
Hoary Footman Eilema caniola   Dungeness   26th August 2019

25th August

A hot and sunny day with not a great deal to be seen on the land or sea. The best on offer were just two Pied Flycatchers and two Garden Warblers in the bushes and four Mediterranean Gulls and an Arctic Skua offshiore.

At least 12 Porpoises were feeding offshore along with two Grey Seals and a Common Seal.

Moth numbers continue to disappoint but did include a Palpita vitrealis, a Tawny Wave (the third Observatory record) and two Clay Triple-lines.

Another visit to look for rare orthoptera was very successful with eight Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets being found.

24th August

Today saw a very strange arrival of migrants with an outstanding count of at least 24 Pied Flycatchers in the area but other migrants were notably scarce with just ten Willow Warblers, two Spotted Flycatchers, two Whinchats, 50 Yellow Wagtails and three Tree Pipits of note. Two Honey-buzzards also flew west over the Long Pits.
Nine Teal, an Arctic Skua and four Mediterranean Gulls were of note offshore.

Pied Flycatcher ficedula hypoleuca    Dungeness   24th August 2019
Two individuals from either end of the of the range of plumage variation
At least six Porpoises, two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Despite perfect conditions the moth traps were disappointing although 11 Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

An evening check for rare othoptera produced three Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and lots of singing Tree Crickets.

23rd August

Most of the interest was of birds passing overhead including nine Common Buzzards, singles of Redshank, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpipers, 12 Swifts, 208 Sand Martins, 120 Swallows, 40 Yellow Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail. Grounded migrants were pretty scarce but included 25 Willow Warblers.
Singles of Balearic and Manx Shearwater, nine Black Terns and four Arctic Skuas were of note offshore.

At least 17 Porpoises were seen offshore today but more significant was the fact that one of them was a white individual. Has this individual been seen anywhere else? Two Grey Seals and a Common Seal were also still present.

The clear highlight from last night's moth trapping was the catching of a Dark Crimson Underwing. - the first Observatory record. In addition, An uncommon  tortrix, Cydia amplana, was also trapped. A Clouded Yellow butterfly was seen in the moat.

Dark Crimson Underwing Catocala sponsa   Dungeness  23rd August 2019

22nd August

There was a small but varied arrival of migrants this morning with 12 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, three Pied Flycatchers and two Whinchats on the ground and a Snipe, 80 Sand Martins, 39 Yellow Wagtails and three Tree Pipits passing overhead. The sea remains very quiet although several hours of watching eventually produced 513 Sandwich Terns, 120 Common Terns, three Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua. The prize for the most unlikely bird though goes to the Coot which floated by on the sea this afternoon.
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra   Dungeness   22nd August 2019
A Porpoise was seen offshore.

The Blue-eyed Hawker made another brief appearance at Southview Cottage this morning.

At least 11 Wasp Spiders are residing in and around the moat area.

A visit after dark to the "Desert" produced seven adult Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and lots of singing Tree Crickets although the latter had almost ceased singing by the time I was leaving as the temperature was falling rapidly.

21st August

A calm but clear morning produced a small arrival of common migrants with 50 Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, seven Reed Warblers, 17 Blackcaps and 40 Whitethroats while two Whimbrels, a Redshank, two Swifts, 139 Swallows, 89 Sand Martins, 33 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and three Tree Pipits flew over,

The sea remains fairly quiet with over six hours of watching produced just eight Shelducks, three Mediterranean Gulls, 626 Sandwich Terns, two Black Terns and an Arctic Skua of note.

Six Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore and Common Pipistrelle bats were recorded on the Echometer this evening.

A Blue-eyed Hawker Aeshna affinis made a brief visit to the garden of Southview Cottage. This is the first Observatory area record of this recent colonist to southern England.

Seven Wasp Spiders have now been found in and around the moat. One web also had an egg case attached.


20th August

With the first calm morning in a while there was a small drop of migrants with 35 Willow Warblers, eight Reed Warblers, 65 Whitethroats, 50 Yellow Wagtails and 15 Tree Pipits of note. Three Buzzards also flew over.
Seawatching was fairly slow going again but five hours of observation produced 16 Mediterranean Gulls, 507 Sandwich Terns and four Arctic Skuas while two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls feeding at the fishing boats were joined for a few minutes by a juvenile/first-winter Caspian Gull this evening.




Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   first-winter   Dungeness   20th August 2019

A Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Two male Small Red-eyed Damselflies were seen at the southern end of the bottom Long Pit.

A Red-eared Terrapin was also seen at the Long Pits.

19th August

Very quiet on yet another breezy day. One juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen at the fishing boats.

18th August

A damp morning resulted in a few birds in the bushes and overhead with singles of Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, 37 Yellow Wagtails and 11 Tree Pipits being the highlights. Two Marsh Harriers and two Buzzards also flew over the area.
Increasingly windy conditions also meant plenty of seawatching but it was generally poor with 6.5hrs worth producing just 32 Bar-tailed Godwits, four Mediterranean Gulls, 460 Sandwich Terns and four Arctic Skuas of note.

A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

The overnight moth catch was surprisingly good with singles of Scarce Bordered Straw and Bordered Straw and the very scarce micro Metalampyra italica of note.
Scarce Bordered Straw Helicoverpa armigera and Bordered Straw Heliothis peltigera 
Dungeness   18th August 2019
Metalampyra italica   Dungeness   18th August 2019

17th August

Most of the interest was offshore again with 5.5hrs of seawatching producing a Balearic Shearwater, 271 Gannets, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, a juvenile Caspian Gull, 257 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, eight Arctic Terns, two Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A male Small Red-eyed Damselfly and a Wasp Spider were seen in front of the Observatory.

16th August

Another wet and windy day with 4.25hrs of seawatching but not much else in the way of coverage. The best from the sea were 642 Gannets, six Avocets, eight juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, a juvenile Caspian Gull, 432 Sandwich Terns, six Black Terns and three Arctic Skuas

15th August

Not a great deal to report on another breezy day. The best on offer on the land were 21 Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, 12 Blackcaps, 17 Robins and nine Wheatears. There was very little movement offshore but feeding birds included three Mediterranean Gulls, four juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and an Arctic Skua.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also feeding offshore.

Four Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen.

14th August

A walk around the area before the rain came produced 15 Wheatears around the sleepers and a Greenshank, 70 Swifts, a Yellow Wagtail and two Tree Pipits flew over.
The sea was watched for six hours and eventually came good with the finding of a Sabine's Gull at the fishing boats which eventually flew off west at 1548hrs. Other bits and pieces included two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, five Black Terns, 194 Common Terns and seven Arctic Skuas

Five Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Another adult Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket was found in the area.

13th August

With a drop in the wind there was a small arrival of migrants on the land with 40 Willow Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, seven Reed Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 45 Whitethroats and 11 Tree Pipits overhead.

The sea was very quiet with just two Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls feeding offshore and an adult Black Tern and five Arctic Skuas passing through.in the evening. 

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

One adult Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and several Tree Crickets were found during a daytime search..  

12th Aug

The wind had dropped away overnight but the hoped for movement of re-orienting seabirds didn't really materialise with just one Balearic Shearwater, three Arctic and one Great Skua and 219 Sandwich Terns of note passing by. Gulls numbers increased again and included a juvenile/first-winter Caspian Gull, five Yellow-legged Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Gull at the fishing boats.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore and a Stoat was seen near the Old Lighthouse.

The highlight of the day though was not a bird but this female Long-tailed Blue butterfly which spent an hour or so in and around the Observatory back garden. Five Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also seen during the day.



Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus   female   Dungeness   12th August 2019

11th Aug

Another windy day but the sea continues to disappoint with 6.5hrs of watching producing just three Balearic and one Manx Shearwater, three Mediterranean Gulls, 140 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, 111 Common Terns and singles of Arctic and Great Skua of note. Three Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the fishing boats.
Not much to be seen on the land in the difficult conditions.

Single Porpoise and Grey Seal were seen offshore.


10th Aug

With the predicted storm finally arriving here during the night it meant that the only serious birding coverage would be at the sea but it was ultimately fairly disappointing here. Nine hours of watching produced just 22 Fulmars, two Balearic Shearwaters, 267 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, 644 Common Terns, six Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas of note. There was also a small influx of Yellow-legged Gulls at the fishing boats with around ten birds present.

The very rough conditions also made observation of sea mammals difficult but two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were noted.

9th Aug

With the wind increasing through the day there was plenty of seawatching to be done. Over seven hours of watching produced a Teal, 72 Common Scoters, a Manx Shearwater, a Balearic Shearwater, 500 Gannets, 25 Knot, 20 Whimbrel, a Redshank, six Mediterranean Gulls, 422 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, 238 Common Terns, two Arctic Skuas and four Great Skuas
A Pied Flycatcher was found in a private garden and a count of 25 Reed Warblers around the Long Pits was of note.

Five Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were seen offshore.

8th Aug

There was a reasonable arrival of migrants this morning with 55 Willow Warblers, two Sedge Warblers, a Garden Warbler, a Whinchat and a Tree Pipit of note.

Seawatching remains fairly slow going but the hardy few did four hours of watching and produced three Balearic Shearwaters of note. Two Mediterranean Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were also seen.

Five Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.

7th Aug

A breezy day meant most of the interest was offshore where nearly eight hours of watching produced two Balearic Shearwaters of note along with eight Fulmars, 472 Gannets, a Knot, five Dunlin, three Redshank, four Mediterranean Gulls, 211 Sandwich Terns, 371 Common Terns and an Arctic Skua moving west. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were also seen on the beach.

Very little to be seen on the land.

Six Porpoises and singles of both Grey and Common Seal were seen offshore and a Brown Hare and two Stoats were seen on the land.

A Clouded Yellow was seen on the beach in front of the power station.

6th Aug

Another very quiet day although the windier conditions did produce a Manx Shearwaters, six Knot, 36 Kittiwakes and two Arctic Skuas of note from the sea.

A Grey Seal and six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were almost devoid of moths but did include three Langmaid's Yellow Underwings among them.

5th Aug

Very quiet with barely a migrant to be seen. A Wood Sandpiper flew over in the evening and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen  at the fishing boats.

Three examples of the tortix moth Cydia amplana were the best of another poor overnight catch of moths.

An evening check of orthoptera produced four nymphal Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and a few singing Tree Crickets.

A Grey Seal and two Porpoises were seen offshore.

4th Aug

There was another drop of migrants this morning with 50 Willow Warblers and a Grasshopper Warbler of note. Overhead 200 Swifts, 30 Sand Martins and six Yellow Wagtail passed through. 
There was an emergence of flying ants this evening with an attendant flock of gulls which included two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls.

What were actually fairly empty moth traps did produce one notable moth in the form of a Golden Twin-spot - only the sixth Observatory record.
Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixis chalcites   Dungeness   4th August 2019



3rd Aug

A pretty decent early autumn arrival of migrants with four Pied Flycatchers, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Garden Warbler and three Tree Pipits the pick of the bunch and numbers provided by around 100 Willow Warblers, ten Lesser Whitethroats and 65 Whitethroats. A Common Sandpiper, 120 Sand Martins and eight Yellow Wagtails also passed overhead.
Four juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was also loafing on the beach. 

A visit to the top of the Long Pits this evening where the Kent Bat Group were operating produced two Daubenton's Bats, a Nathusius's Pipistrelle and a Soprana Pipistrelle in the hand.

2nd Aug

There was a decent arrival of Willow Warblers this morning with about 50 birds scattered around the Point but there was not a great deal else to be seen. During the early hours both Common Sandpiper and Redshank called as they flew over the Observatory.

The moth traps provided plenty of interest this morning with a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, a Pine Hawk-moth (although this may need to be checked for Southern Pine), a Tree-lichen Beauty, a Scarce Bordered Straw, two Langmaid's Yellow Underwings, the scarce pyralid Ancylosis oblitella and the migrant tortrix Cydia amplana

A Lesser Emperor dragonfly was seen at the northern end of the Long Pits and nine Small Red-eyed Damselflies were seen at the southern end. 

A evening search for rare orthoptera found another three nymph Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and a few Tree Crickets but surprisingly no singing was heard from the latter. 

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata and Tree Cricket Oecanthus pelluscens
Dunugeness    2nd August 2019



1st Aug

Migrants were pretty scarce again but did include a Green Sandpiper, 513 Sand Martins,  nine Willow Warblers and seven Yellow Wagtails and the bird of the day in the form of an Osprey flying south-east and out to sea this afternoon.
Two Mediterranean Gulls flew west and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were seen on the beach.

A Common Seal and three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A fairly small moth catch overnight included two Langmaid's Yellow Underwings.



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31st July

A rather wet and windy start to day with 28mm of rain falling over night.

Three juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were at the Fishing Boats this afternoon, with a single also seen at the Patch this morning. A single Whimbrel, three Fulmar and four Kittiwake headed west. Five Turnstones were also present around the boats.

A single Grey Seal and two Porpoise were also seen this afternoon.

The first evening visit to the Desert revealed a nymph Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and small numbers of singing and nymph Tree Crickets.


30th July

A strong southerly breeze was blowing at daybreak this morning suggesting the sea would be the place to be.

A search of the moat first thing this morning produced a single Willow Warbler and little else except for the resident Whitethroats. A male Black Redstart could also be heard singing from the Power Station.

The sea didn't quite live up to expectations although there was some movement. at least 75 Gannets were offshore this morning. Kittiwakes were also on the move with 71 moving east and nine heading west. Five Little Terns headed west along with two Whimbrel and 46 Common Scoter. Three Teal headed east along with singles of Shelduck and Tufted Duck.

A good number of Sand Martins and Swifts were seen heading out offshore with 88 Sand Martins recorded and 167 Swifts.


At least 15 Porpoise were recorded on the sea

29th July

A still start to the day with a breeze gradually picking up throughout the day.

A single juvenile Yellow-Legged Gull was seen at the fishing boats this afternoon. A single Kittiwake and 14 Mediterranean Gulls heading west.

Seven Willow Warblers were reported today along with a few Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. A Great White Egret flew over the Trapping Area.

At least ten Porpoise were seen from the fishing boats this afternoon.

Two Lesser Emperors were seen on the northern Long Pit.

28th July

A breezy and rather overcast day produced a good movement of Willow Warblers with at least 12 recorded in various parts of the Point and three trapped in the Heligoland Trap. A single Whimbrel and a Green Sandpiper flew over the Observatory and several groups of Swifts seemingly came in with weather fronts.
A Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus from the Heligoland Trap.
Dungeness 28th July 2019. (Jacques Turner-Moss)
A sea watch this afternoon produced a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and Mediterranean Gull hanging around the fishing boats. Nine Little Terns, a Fulmar and a Kittiwake moved west.

At least ten Porpoise, Two Common Seals and a single bull Grey Seal were also recorded from the fishing boats.

Another Pale Shoulder was taken off the cover of the trap last night, making it the 11th area record.
The three Pale Shoulder Acontia lucida recorded within the Dungeness Area.
28th July 2019 (Jacques Turner-Moss)