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Migration Time.

31st May

Two Spotted Flycatchers were seen in the bushes and a Grey Wagtail flew over.

The sea was very quiet.

Three Variable Damselflies were seen at the Long Pits.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum   Dungeness  31st May 2019
A month or so ago a colony of Common Twayblade was discovered growing under Sallows at the Long Pits and was a new species for the area. These are now in flower but are deep in shade so a flash was needed to get any sort of decent picture.
Common Twayblade Listera ovata   Dungeness   31st May 2019


30th May

Another very quiet day but the morning seawatch did produce seven Manx Shearwaters, a Shag and three Mediterranean Gulls of note.

Five Variable Damselflies were found at the North end of the Long Pits.

29th May

A very quiet day with nothing in the way of new migrants to report.

A Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

28th May

Three Spotted Flycatchers were the best of any migrants on the land whilst seawatching produced an Arctic Skua and three Mediterranean Gulls.

Nine Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen at the Point.

Two Variable Damselflies were seen at the north end of the Long Pits. Very small numbers are seen just about annually but are hard to find among the large numbers of Azure Damselflies.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum   Dungeness   28th May 2019
A tiny 'micro-moth' caught on 23rd April has now been identified as Tinagma balteolla. This is a highly range restricted species with Dungeness being an important site for it although it has never been caught in the moth traps at the Observatory.
Tinagma balteolella   Dungeness   23rd April 2019

27th May

Another very quiet day with just a Willow Warbler and a Mistle Thrush of any note on the land. The best the sea had to offer was six Mediterranean Gulls.
One of the Bitterns could be heard calling from the RSPB Reserve again.

A Grey Seal was feeding offshore.

Insects continue to provide plenty of interest with the highlight today being the finding of what appears to be a Privet Sawfly Macrophya punctumalbum. A check of the NBN Atlas which although now a bit out of date suggests that this is something of a rarity in the south-east and may even be a new species for Kent. 
Privet Sawfly Macrophya punctumalbum   Dungeness   27th May 2019n
The Serin continues to sing at the junction of Madeira Road and St. Andrews Road in Littlestone.

26th May

Very little to report today. 

Three Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

The Serin continues to sing and show well at Littlestone. 

25th May

Very little to report today. Several hours of seawatching produced just singles of Manx Shearwater and Arctic Skuas and six Mediterranean Gulls of note while the best the land could offer were singles of Mistle Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher and Tree Pipit and two Corn Buntings.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, the male Serin continues its stay at Littlestone. 

24th May

Thick fog at dawn quickly cleared to a leave bright and sunny day. Very little in the way of migrants to be seen with just a Spotted Flycatcher of note. The sea was also very quiet.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen from the shore while the boat fisherman reported a pod of 15-20 White-beaked Dolphins feeding about a mile offshore this morning but out of sight from the mainland due to the fog.

Large numbers of Brown Argus and six Red Admirals were seen.

An interesting looking bug was found in the Observatory garden which initial research suggests it is Beosus maritimus and which appears to be a fairly good record.

Beosus maritimus   Dungeness   24th May 2019

23rd May

The bird of the day was a Bee-eater but as is typical with this species at Dungeness it was only heard as it headed over the Point in an easterly direction. Other bits and pieces included two Marsh Harriers, two Mistle Thrush, a Yellowhammer and two Corn Buntings. It was so cam this morning that it was possible to hear a Bittern calling from the RSPB Reserve.

Three Brown Hares were seen.

Another new plant species for the area was found growing in good numbers in next doors back gardens this morning. It is Common Fiddleneck Amsinckia micrantha and is a non-native plant originating from North American. However, it is not one that you would deliberately plant and has probably not come out of bird seed. It is also still quite a rare plant in Kent

Common Fiddleneck Amsinckia micrantha    Dungeness   23rd May 2019


22nd May

Very few migrants again but a superb male Red-backed Shrike which spent the day in the moat and was trapped in the late afternoon was the obvious highlight. The only other migrants of note were a Hobby, a Whinchat and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio   Dungeness   22nd May 2019
Two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert.

Brown Argus continue to be seen in good numbers and are actually the commonest butterfly in the area at present..

21st May

There was a thin scattering of migrants on the land including a Garden Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher in the moat, a Firecrest in the trapping area and eight Corn Buntings in the Broom around the Point while a Buzzard, three Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Sparrow flew over.
The sea was very quiet with just one Black Tern of note.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Brown Argus continue to be seen in good numbers and a Holly Blue was seen in the trapping area.

The Serin continues to sing in its chosen trees at Littlestone and a Bee-eater was seen flying over Lade Pit

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 and the eighth Dungeness record. This was then joined later in the day by a Roseate Tern. At times it was possible to photograph both birds in the same view.





Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida    Dungeness RSPB Reserve   20th May 2019


Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii   Dungeness RSPB Reserve   20th May 2019

Whiskered Tern and Roseate Tern    Dungeness RSPB Reserve   20th May 2019

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