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Migration Time.

Spring is here. Why not come and stay at the Obs and get up close and personal with the birds as they travel back to Britain.

20th May

Another day with very few birds on the land or at sea but with some surprises. The most unlikely bird of the day was a stunning male Brambling caught in the trapping area whilst other bits included four Grey Herons, a Buzzard, a Spotted Flycatcher, two Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin. Mediterranean Gulls were also seen at the Patch and flying over the Long Pits.
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata   Dungeness   20th May 2019
Brambling Fringilla montoifringilla   20th May 2019   

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert..

A couple of plants of the nationally scarce Crimson Clover were found growing in the rough ground in front of the Observatory and is a new species for the area.
Crimson Clover Trifolium incarnatum   Dungeness   20th May 2019
Elsewhere in the area the clear highlight was an adult Whiskered Tern which spent most of the day flying around Burrowes Pit on the RSPB Reserve. This was then joined later in the day by a Roseate Tern. At times it was possible to photograph birds in the same view. (Photos to follow).










19th May

Very quiet on the land with just a single Spotted Flycatcher in the moat, a late Fieldfare and five Corn Buntings of note.
The sea wasn't much better with several hours of watching producing just 523 Common Scoters, four Eider, seven Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Terns and an Arctic Skua of note.

Three Grey Seals and ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus   Dungeness   19th May 2019
Brown Argus and Grizzled Skippers continue to be seen in good numbers.
Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae   Dungeness   19th May 2019
The Serin was still singing and showing well at times at Littlestone.


 with the fo

18th May

A Spotted Flycatcher in the trapping area and a flock of 19 Corn Buntings in the Sanctuary area were about the best on offer on the land.
Seawatching was also fairly slow going but over nine hours of watching eventually produced 13 Manx Shearwaters, three Mediterranean Gulls, 209 Sandwich Terns, 15 Little Terns, 11 Black Terns, a Great Skua, a Pomarine Skua and two Arctic Skuas of note.

At least ten Porpoises were feeding offshore along with a Grey Seal.

A Holly Blue was seen in the trapping area.

The Serin continues to show very well at Littlestone.





Serin Serinus serinus   Littlestone   18th May 2019



17th May

The north-easterly breeze continues and with short spells of heavy drizzle in the morning.
There was no sign of any grounded migrants but a party of eight Corn Buntings were feeding in the Broom at the Point again and a singing Red-legged Partridge was only the second record of the year.
The morning seawatch produced another 17 Pomarine Skua (with another bird in the evening) along with 60 Sanderling, a Little Tern, over 1200 "Commic" Terns, 136 Arctic Terns and 61 Black Terns.

Eight Porpoise and singles of both Grey and Common Seals were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the Serin was still showing well at times at Littlestone.

16th May

Another quiet day on the land but even so a Tree Pipit was an unusual capture and 20 Corn Buntings were feeding in the Broom bushes around the Britannia and Sanctuary area.
Seawatching was fairly uneventful in the morning with just a single Pomarine Skua of note but passage increased notably from mid-afternoon with another 25 Pomarine Skuas along with 16 Arctic Skuas, three Mediterranean Gulls, 1500 "commic" Terns, four Little Terns, 21 Knot and 38 Sanderling.
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus   Dungeness   16th May 2019
And click here for a short video of one of the flocks at it passes by.

Ten Porpoise were feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen on the land.

Not so long ago the Brown Argus was a fairly scarce butterfly at Dungeness but numbers have increased considerably in recent years. Today, in less than perfect conditions, at least 25 individuals were seen. A Holly Blue was seen at the Sycamore in the trapping area again.
Brown Argus Aricia agestis   Dungeness    16th May 2019

15th May

Another quiet day with the only bird of note on the land being a male Redstart. The best the sea could offer were four Grey Plover, 15 Sanderling and a single Arctic Skua.
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus   male   Dungeness   15th May 2019
The first Common Blues of the year were seen along with eight Grizzled Skippers, a Holly Blue and five Brown Argus

The uncommon Slender Leather Bug Ceraleptus lividus was also found in the sycamore in the trapping area.
Slender Leatherbug Sehirus lividus   Dungeness   15th May 2019
In addition a couple of scarce birds were seen in the area with a Purple Heron on the RSPB Reserve and a smart Serin seen singing at Littlestone.


Serin Serinus serinus)  Littlestone   15th May 2019



14th May

Another slow day with over three hours pf seawatching producing just two Eider, 36 Grey Plover, a Mediterranean Gull, 409 "Commic" Tern, a Black Tern, two Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua of note.

13th May

Another cold and clear day which produced a trickle of birds offshore but very little on the land.
The best from over five hours of seawatching were two Velvet Scoters, singles of Black-throated and Great Northern Divers, 75 Grey Plover, ten Whimbrel, 46 Knot, four Little Gulls, 775 Common Terns and two Great Skuas

12th May

Migrants were few and far between again but there was a notable highlight in the form of a Honey Buzzard which came in from the sea this morning, flew over the Observatory and eventually headed off westwards. A flock of 36 Corn Buntings on the Point was also noteworthy.
There was barely any movement offshore but a Black-throated Diver flew east. 

Butterflies seen today included nine Grizzled Skippers and two Brown Argus.

11th May

Very quiet with two Little Gulls at the Patch, six Whimbrel through and a single Corn Bunting on the Point being about the only birds worth mentioning.

Six Porpoise were feeding offshore.

10th May

There was a thin scatter of migrants across the Point with a Hobby, 58 Swallows, eight Willow Warblers. three Garden Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, two Redstarts, a Whinchat, two Yellow Wagtails and 17 Corn Buntings of note.The sea was very quiet though with just 12 Fulmars, two Arctic Skuas and a few Common Terns of any significance.

Four Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Four Brown Argus and plenty of Small Coppers were the best of butterflies on show. 


9th May

Very few birds were present in the trapping area but a Nightingale and a Firecrest were nice captures. A Yellowhammer was also singing in the trapping area. The sea was also very quiet with over four hours of watching producing just one Black-throated Diver, three Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua and six Arctic Skuas of note.

Nightingale Luscinia megarynchos   Dungeness   9th May 2019
Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla   Dungeness   9th May 2019
Five Porpoises were seen offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

A couple of Smooth Newts were seen in a quickly drying pool in the trapping area.

The first Brassica Bugs Eurydema oleracea of the spring were found among the Hoary Cress in the moat. A Painted Nomad Bee Nomada fucata was found at the Sycamore tree in the trapping area.
Nomada fucata   Dungeness   9th May 2019

8th May

Strong southerly winds with heavy rain this morning produced an excellent movement of seabirds. Over 11 hours of watching resulted in a Black-throated Diver, 22 Manx Shearwaters, eight Knot, 13 Little Terns, 2600 "Commic" Terns, a brilliant total of 92 Black Terns, six Great Skuas, six Pomarine Skuas and ten Arctic Skuas of note.
Elsewhere in the area, a superb Grey Plover, a Common Sandpiper and two first-summer Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the fishing boats, a Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch and another Common Sandpiper was seen at the Long Pits. 
Small birds were in very short supply but a Firecrest was singing in the trapping area and a Spotted Flycatcher was also seen at the Long Pits.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola   Dungeness   8th May 2019

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis   first-summer   Dungeness   8th May 2019
A Grey Seal and a Porpoise were feeding offshore.

The movement of Black Terns was not restricted to the sea with at least 67 birds feeding over Burrowes Pit on the RSPB Reserve where the following images were taken.



Black Tern Chlidonias niger   RSPB Reserve   8th May 2019





7th May

The highlight of the day for a handful of fortunate observers was a Kentish Plover which landed briefly on the beach at the fishing boats this afternoon before heading off west. This is only the third modern-day Observatory record (since 1952) with the previous record being on Aug.1st 1969.
Seawatching also provided most of the other interest during the day with 13.5 hours of watching producing two Garganey, two Tufted Duck, 644 Common Scoters, three Black-throated Divers, 21 Whimbrel, one Little Gull, 16 Little Terns, over 2200 "Commic" Terns, 16 Black Terns, six Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua and eight Arctic Skuas.
Very quiet on the land although a Common Sandpiper at the Long Pits and a party of 18 Corn Buntings near the Sanctuary were noteworthy. 

Seventeen Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and four Brown Hares were seen on the land.

Three Grizzled Skippers were of note among a few butterflies seen.

6th May

With a drop in the wind and slightly warmer conditions there was a small arrival of migrants on the land with our first three Spotted Flycatchers of the year and 35 Willow Warblers of note along with three Hobbies, a Buzzard, four Yellow Wagtails and the Wood Warbler again.
The sea remained fairly quiet although several hours of watching eventually produced six Tufted Duck, a Little Egret coming in, 65 Whimbrel, 17 Sanderling, two Knot, six Little Terns, two Black Terns, four Great Skuas and five Arctic Skuas

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Five Grizzled Skippers were seen in the trapping area and a Brown Argus was seen in the moat.

5th May

Still very quiet on the land and just a trickle of birds moving offshore in the cold northerly conditions.
The best of the seawatching were a Shag, eight Little Gulls, 17 Little Terns, three Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas.
A Firecrest was seen in the Old Lighthouse Garden.

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

4th May

A cold day with an increasing northerly wind bringing frequent hail showers and even sleet at one point - is it really May?.
Birds on the land were hard to come by but a couple of Hobbies were seen and a Pheasant was calling in the trapping area. A few Swifts, Swallows and 44 House Martins also moved around the various showers.
The sea was also fairly slow but over eight hours of watching produced a Velvet Scoter, a Black-throated Diver, six Avocets, four Mediterranean Gulls, 476 Sandwich Terns, 21 Arctic Terns, four Black Terns, a Great Skua and six Arctic Skuas of interest.

At least 24 Porpoises were counted as they fed offshore along with a Grey Seal and two Brown Hares were seen on the beach by the fishing boats.

3rd May

There was a small arrival of migrants this morning with two Wood Warblers, two Redstarts and a Pied Flycatcher being the highlights. Other bits and pieces included a Hobby and a Corn Bunting.
Seawatching was not very inspiring during the morning although 22 Little Gulls and two Great Skuas did pass through but it picked up a bit in the afternoon when another six Great Skuas, five Pomarine Skuas and four Arctic Skuas were seen.

A few flowers are starting to appear now and a couple of nice sights at the moment are a patch of Rock Soapwort growing at the Lifeboat Station and a good showing of Early Purple Orchids alongside the track to the Observatory.


Rock Soapwort Saponaria ocymoides   Dungeness

Early Purple Orchid Orchis mascula   Dungeness




2nd May

A few notable birds were seen on the land with at least two singing Wood Warblers, 30 Willow Warblers, a "continental" Coal Tit, a Jay and a Tree Pipit of note. A Red Kite, at least four Buzzards, two Hobbies, 30 Swallows and six Yellow Wagtails flew over. A female Pheasant was also seen.
It was generally quiet offshore but five hours of watching produced three Eiders, a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 21 Whimbrel, three Little Terns, two Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas of note.
Six Porpoise were feeding offshore. A "large" bat species came in off the sea.

Butterflies provided plenty of interest today with a male Orange-tip in the trapping area and the first Brown Argus of the spring being seen. The first dragonflies have also started to appear with Azure Damselfly and several Hairy Dragonfly being found.

Also of great interest was the finding of the very rare beetle Hister quadrimaculatus in the moat. As far as I know this is the fourth British record of this beetle with three of these coming from within 200metres of each other at Dungeness.

Hister quadrimaculatus   Dungeness   2nd May 2019 (Paul Hogben)





1st May

There was a small arrival of migrants on the land with the obvious highlight of a singing Wood Warbler in the trapping area. A Common Sandpiper at the Long Pits and a Jay in the trapping area were also noteworthy.

Seawatching was fairly slow but picked up again in the afternoon when three Pomarine Skuas were noted. Also seen during the day were 678 Common Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, 11 Whimbrel, 724 Bar-tailed Godwits, six Little Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Terns, eight Black Terns. a Great Skua and 13 Arctic Skuas

At least 16 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Holly Blue was seen in the Lighthouse Garden.

30th Apr

A day much like the previous few with very little on the land and an offshore movement of birds which peaked in the evening.
Of note on the land were a Buzzard over the Observatory, five Willow Warblers were seen in the bushes and a Tree Pipit flew over.
Final day totals from nine hours of seawatching included 25 Shovelers, a Black-throated Divers, 266 Bar-tailed Godwits, 81 Whimbrel, ten Knot, 113 Little Terns, 1379 Common Terns, a Black Tern and seven Arctic Skuas.  

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and two Bank Voles were seen on the land.

One Grizzled Skipper was found in the trapping area.

29th Apr

The morning seawatch was pretty slow but passage improved considerably in the afternoon and by the end of the day a Black-throated Diver, 32 Whimbrel, 1606 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2328 "commic" Terns, two Black Terns, a Pomarine Skua and five Arctic Skuas of note had been recorded.

It was also quiet on the land with just 12 Willow Warblers and the first Cuckoo of the year of note. A Buzzard also flew over and a Hobby and 38 Swallows arrived from the south.

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was also seen.

The first two Grizzled Skippers and a Holly Blue of the year were seen.

Regular checking for interesting bees produced an example of the Common Mourning Bee Melecta albifrons at the Lighthouse Garden. This appears to be the first Dungeness record of this bee.
Melecta albifrons   Dungeness   29th April 2019

28th Apr

A very quiet day on both land and sea was enlivened by the finding of a fine male Serin which spent its time with Linnets between the Old Lighthouse and the Seawatch Hide.

27th Apr

A stormy morning with most of the interest offshore again although even here it was fairly hard going. Eight hours of seawatching produced one Velvet Scoter, 26 Manx Shearwaters, 126 Fulmars, two Avocets, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, ten Little Terns, four Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas.

Five Porpoise were feeding offshore.


26th Apr

Fairly quiet on both land and sea today. Seven hours of seawatching produced just 15 Eider, two Mediterranean Gulls, six Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas and an incoming Hobby of interest.
There was a very small arrival of Willow Warblers with 11 birds being seen and a Buzzard and three Yellow Wagtails flew over.

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

There also seemed to be a bit of a clear out of some of the rarer birds in the general area over the last few days. A Garganey and at least one Cattle Egret remain at Hayfield 3 on the RSPB Reserve and a male Blue-headed Wagtail was still in the harrowed field at Springfield Bridge.

25th Apr

Strong south by south-east winds resulted in another day of continuous seawatching. The highlights were 18 Velvet Scoters, 1422 Common Scoters, eight Black-throated Divers, 81 Manx Shearwaters, 101 Bar-tailed Godwits, 46 Great Skuas, nine Pomarine Skuas (including a flock of five birds), 65 Arctic Skuas (the equal third best-ever spring day total), 114 Little Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, five Black Terns, 11 Little Terns and 49 Arctic Terns.
However the undoubted surprise of the day was the finding of a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Heligoland Trap this afternoon.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus   Dungeness   25th April 2019
Ten Porpoises and a pod of ten unidentified dolphins were feeding offshore along with a Grey Seal.




24th Apr

Another day with nearly all of the interest offshore. Eleven hours of seawatching produced a Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, four Manx Shearwaters, 22 Mediterranean Gulls,  27 Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 22 Arctic Skuas and two Black Terns of note although overall numbers of waders and terns were generally low.
A Ring Ouzel was the only bird of note on the land.

Ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced a Pine Beauty - only the second Observatory record.
Pine Beauty Panolis flammea   Dungeness   24th April 2019

23rd Apr

A day of seawatching which produced good numbers of waders, skuas and terns. Of note were three Pintail, a Garganey, five Velvet Scoters, two Manx Shearwaters, 38 Grey Plover, 77 Whimbrel, 1134 Bar-tailed Godwits, 33 Knot, 27 Little Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns, 28 Little Terns, 860 Sandwich Terns, 1643 Common Terns, 1227 Arctic Terns, 529 "commic" Terns, four Great Skuas, one Pomarine Skua and 26 Arctic Skuas during 13.5hrs of watching.
Although it was pretty quiet on the land a "continental" Coal Tit and a Ring Ouzel were seen and a Marsh Harrier arrived from the south.

A Grey Seal and at least 20 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

22nd Apr

With a light north-easterly breeze and mostly sunny conditions virtually all the interest was offshore. Just over 13 hours of watching produced 214 Brent Geese, five Garganey, two Gadwall, ten Velvet Scoters, 3,025 Common Scoters, seven Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Black-throated Divers and a Manx Shearwater. Waders included five Avocets, 117 Whimbrel, 437 Bar-tailed Godwits, 16 Knot and 28 Sanderling whilst skuas were represented by 35 Greats, 26 Arctic and our first spring migrant Pomarine Skuas with 13 in total. Gulls of note were 51 Little Gulls and 30 Mediterranean Gulls while terns included 51 Little Terns, 652 Sandwich Terns and 124 Arctic Terns.

At least 25 Porpoises were feeding offshore this evening.

21st Apr

The clear skies are limiting the number of migrants arriving on the land but today they did include two Short-eared Owls, two Whinchats, six Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin of note and the local breeding populations of Whitethroats and Reed Warbler are now increasing.

The sea was very quiet during the morning but picked up in the afternoon and produced the first two Pomarine Skuas of the spring along with two Black-throated Divers, 48 Bar-tailed Godwits, 52 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Little Gulls, 390 Common Terns and 73 Arctic Terns.

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

A small catch of moths in the traps this included our fifth-ever Brindled Beauty.


20th Apr

A mostly quiet day on land and at sea but with the highlight of a Red Kite flying around the Point during the morning. A Buzzard, a Merlin, a Redstart, the first Whinchat of the year and four Yellow Wagtails were also seen.
Over 4.5hrs of seawatching produced just four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Great Skuas, 43 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Little Gulls and three Little Terns of note. 

Red Kite Milvus milvus   Dungeness 20th April 2019
Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Stoat was seen on the land.

Elsewhere, the obvious highlight was a pair of Black-winged Stilts which were initially very mobile but eventually settled at the southern end of ARC Pit in the evening. The Crane and five Cattle Egrets remained at Dengemarsh and six Spoonbills dropped in at Scotney.




Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus   ARC   20th April 2019

19th Apr

Light NE winds with plenty of sun and getting warmer. Six hours of seawatching produced ten Shoveler, 22 Teal, four Red-breasted Mergansers, ten Sanderling, 59 Whimbrel, 62 Bar-tailed Godwits, 21 Little Gulls, a Great Skua, three Arctic Skuas and an excellent total of 120 Mediterranean Gulls all moving east.

Rather quiet on the land although the first Reed Warblers in the Observatory area were seen, Lesser Whitethroats increased to four and a Buzzard, a Merlin, 25 Swallows, two Yellow Wagtails, a Brambling and a Corn Bunting flew over. 

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

Butterflies numbers have increased in the warm weather with at least 30 Small Coppers of interest and including one example of the named aberration oblitera.
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab oblitera   Dungeness   19th April 2019
The moth trap failed to produce a single moth. 

Elsewhere, the three Cattle Egrets remain in the Boulderwall/Cockles Bridge area, the Crane continues to be seen at Dengemarsh (albeit mostly distantly), a Spoonbill dropped in briefly on the RSPB Reserve and five Garganey were also showing.

18th Apr

A pretty quiet day on the land although a Garden Warbler was new for the year and two Lesser Whitethroats were also seen. 
Seawatching was a bit better but still fairly slow with eight hours of observation producing 11 Shovelers, two Gadwall, 20 Grey Plover, 169 Whimbrel, 45 Mediterranean Gulls, 198 Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Skuas of note.

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Pygmy Shrew was seen on the land.

17th April

There was an unexpected drop of Willow Warblers this morning with at least 70 birds arriving and centred around the Moat. Other migrants included a Buzzard, 15 Chiffchaffs, a Sedge Warbler, a Ring Ouzel, three Fieldfares, two Yellow Wagtails and a Brambling. Three Egyptian Geese also flew around the Point.

Seawatching was also very good although the murky conditions hindered observations with a flock of nine Garganey, a Black-throated Diver, a Manx Shearwater, a Shag, seven Little Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, ten Great Skuas, 26 Arctic Skuas and another Puffin of note. Numbers were provided by 416 Brent Geese, 914 Common Scoters, 88 Whimbrels, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits, 413 Sandwich Terns and 505 Common Terns

Nocturnal migration recording, nocmig, gives an interesting insight into what birds and animals are moving about at night. We are just starting so our recordings aren't perfect but we are working on it. Putting the recorder outside last night resulted in some interesting night calls among the gulls and crows, including DunlinMediterranean Gull, Redwing, Song Thrush, Fieldfare and Fox. We also recorded a flock of Common Scoter passing overhead, listen here, and Sandwich Terns moving through the night, listen here. You can hear them get closer, pass overhead and move away.

At least twenty Porpoise were feeding offshore.

16th Apr

An increasingly misty day after a bright start with light onshore breezes produced a decent movement of birds offshore and a handful of migrants on the land.
The best of the land migrants were five Buzzards, 18 Willow Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs and five Whitethroats.
Almost 12 hours of seawatching were completed with three Garganey, four Gadwall, two Velvet Scoters, five Manx Shearwaters, a Shag, 16 Whimbrel, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, seven Little Gulls, 20 Arctic Terns and five Great and 30 Arctic Skuas.of note while numbers were provided by 859 Brent Geese, 1279 Common Scoters, 512 Gannets, 413 Common Gulls, 656 Sandwich Terns and 1740 Common Terns

At least 20 Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

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

15th Apr

A slight change in the wind direction to ESE resulted in an excellent morning seawatch and nine hours of watching during the day producing a number of highlights including a Barnacle Goose, 12 Gadwall, a Scaup, 11 Velvet Scoters, a Manx Shearwater, two Little Ringed Plovers, 19 Whimbrel, 11 Little Gulls, 22 Arctic Terns, five Great Skuas, ten Arctic Skuas and two Puffins. Numbers were provided by 51 Shoveler, 68 Teal, 2528 Common Scoters, 33 Fulmars, 587 Gannets, 117 Kittiwakes, 682 Sandwich Terns, 118 Common Terns and 152 auks.

Still very little in the way of migrants on the land.

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

A search for solitary bees found a couple of examples of what appears to be the nomad bee Nomada ferruginata. This is a pretty scarce insect across the country and according to recent atlases is restricted in Kent to the Dungeness area.
Nomada ferruginata   Dungeness   15th April 2019

14th Apr

And so it goes on with the continuing cold easterly wind limiting any migration to a trickle of birds east offshore andjust a handful of migrants on the land. Just under seven hours of seawatching produced just ten Shelduck, 22 Shovelers, two Pintail, 24 Teal, three Gadwall, four Red-breasted Mergansers, a Manx Shearwater, 21 Whimbrel, three Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, 16 Little Gulls and three Little Terns of note.
Very quiet on the land with the arrival of our first two Whitethroat and ten Wheatears being the highlights.

Fifteen Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Comma and a Small Copper were seen at the Long Pits.

The micro-moth Adele cuprella was also seen in small numbers at the Long Pits. This species was only added to the area list in 2017 when larva were reared.and the first adults in the wild were seen last spring.
Adela cuprella   Dungeness   14th April 2019

13th Apr

Another cold and breezy day with just a trickle of birds moving east offshore and in the bushes. The first Lesser Whitethroat of the spring was singing at the Long Pits along with a Firecrest. The highlights from four hours of seawatching were 17 Shoveler, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, 20 Fulmars, 28 Bar-tailed Godwits, three Great Skuas, an Arctic Skua and four Mediterranean Gull and the bird of the day in the form of a Puffin which flew east at 0750hrs.  

At least 15 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The Crane continues to feed at Dengemarsh and the three Cattle Egrets are still to be seen at Cockles Bridge.

12th Apr

Another day of cold north-easterlies which limited any migration on the land or offshore. The best of several hours seawatching was just 12 Little and six Mediterranean Gulls whilst the only migrants we could muster in the bushes were a mere handful of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and two Firecrests. A Buzzard also flew over. However, in late afternoon a Serin was found among a flock of 40 or so Linnets and was eventually seen well as it fed along the roadside verges.


Serin Serinus serinus   Dungeness   12th April 2019

Four Brown Hares and a Weasel were seen.