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Migration Time.

21st July

A warm clear day with a gentle south westerly breeze blowing throughout the day.

Birds are still rather few and far between with only a single Yellow-legged Gull present at the boats and the only other notable observations being four Mediterranean Gulls heading west and 56 Sand Martins heading out. Two Yellow Wagtails headed over the trapping area, along with 20 Swifts.

The moth trap showed a few signs of what might be a good weeks trapping, as a southerly airflow moves into the UK through the week. The highlights were Two Sussex Emeralds, a Dark Sword-grass and a Delicate, along with plenty of the more usual Dungeness shingle specialities.

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

20th July

A wet and windy start to the day, with 22mm of rain falling overnight.

The main interest of the day were five juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls, present within the group of gulls at the Fishing Boats.

Only a small number of early migrants were recorded throughout the day with 19 Sand Martins, four Swifts, a Whimbrel and single Yellow Wagtail noted.

At least two Porpoise and a single Grey Seal were also seen from the Fishing Boats.

Elsewhere a Roseate Tern made an appearance on the reserve, first being spotted on ARC before moving to Burrows.


19th July

Finally a bit of change in the birds today.

A Whimbrel and seven Yellow Wagtails flew over the trapping area early this morning and a Hobby was hunting over the top of Long Pits in late morning.

On the shingle in front of the patch this morning, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was seen, with possibly the same individual present at the Fishing Boats this afternoon.

An afternoon seawatch produced 19 Kittiwakes, six Mediterranean Gulls and Two Arctic Skuas, a light and dark phase bird, all heading west down channel. 135 Swifts and 47 Sand Martins headed out across the channel.

A single Porpoise was also seen from the boats.

18th July

A windy start to the morning with a strong south-west breeze picking up by mid-morning.

As usual most of the interest was on the sea, with three Kittiwakes, three Mediterranean Gulls and a single Guillemot heading west down the channel. A small number of Common and Sandwich Terns were feeding off shore from the Fishing Boats.

Three Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also seen from the Fishing Boats.

17th July

A quiet but warm day on the shingle today with the interest largely being restricted to the sea again. Two Mediterranean Gulls headed east and a few Sandwich and Common Terns were feeding off the point.

Sand Martins were again on the move with 219 being recorded heading out towards from the point and a further c.100 feeding over the shingle opposite Prospect Cottage. Two Black Redstarts were present along the Power Station Fence.

Six Brown Hares including two leverets were present in the Desert. Three Porpoise and a Grey Seal were present off the Point.

A single Sussex Emerald was the best from two rather quiet moth traps.

16th July

A still warm day with the majority of the interest being restricted to the sea. An afternoon seawatch produced a single Common Scoter, two Mediterranean Gulls headed east and a few Common Terns and Sandwich Terns were feeding off the point.

Sand Martins have started to move with c.250 heading south across the Channel and a futher c.250 roosting on the shingle ridges and telegraph lines. Twelve Yellow Wagtails and Two Whimbrels were also recorded throughout the day.

Four Porpoise and two Grey Seal were also seen from the Fishing Boats.

15th July

There were five Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch this morning and a Marsh Harrier, a Green Sandpiper, 52 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows and 11 Yellow Wagtails flew over.

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

Very poor for moths overnight with cold and breezy conditions.

14th July

Not a great deal to be seen today although coverage was somewhat limited by the televising of the final of the Cricket World Championships. A Garganey passed east offshore with two Common Scoters and four Mediterranean Gulls also flew east.

A Latticed Heath and the two micros, Calybites phasianipenella and Argyresthia goedartella were the highlights form the moth traps.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The Serin was still singing at Littlestone.


13th July

Very quiet on the bird scene with just a single Mediterranean Gull offshore and 50 Swifts and 11 Yellow Wagtails passing overhead.

A Lesser Emperor dragonfly which found its way into the Heligoland Trap was a very nice surprise.


Lesser Emperor Anax partenope   Dungeness   13th July 2019
The moth traps were very busy again with the highlights being two pyralids with our second record of Anania perlucidalis and a Neophopteryx angustella.

Anania perlucidalis and Neophopteryx angustella   Dungeness   13th July 2019

12th July

A Green Sandpiper was seen at the Long Pits and another was heard after dark at the Observatory, a Buzzard flew over and a Mistle Thrush was seen in the trapping area.
Eleven Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore.

A search for dragonflies this afternoon at the Long Pits proved highly productive with a(the) male Lesser Emperor, six Small Red-eyed Damselflies, seven Red-veined Darters and two Common Emeralds being found.

The moth traps were also very busy this morning with our first record of Bloxworth Snout being the highlight. Other notable records included our 14th record of Large Emerald, seven Sussex Emeralds, our 19th True Lovers Knot and sixth ever Slender Brindle and also a Yarrow Plume



Bloxworth Snout Hypena obsitalis, Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria, Slender Brindle Apamea scolopacina, True Lovers Knot. Lycophotia porphyrea

A Brown Hare was also seen on the land and 12 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.


Elsewhere, the Serin was still singing at Littlestone.

11th July

A quiet day on the bird front which produced just a Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard and seven Mediterranean Gulls of note.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore. 

A Red-eared Terrapin was seen in the southern Long Pit.

There were plenty of moths in the traps this morning with the highlight being this superb Rose Plume. This is only the second Observatory record of this scarce plume having only being added to the list last year.
Rose Plume Cnaemidophous rhododactyla   Dungeness   11th July 2019
An afternoon check of the Long Pits proved worthwhile with the finding of a male Lesser Emperor dragonfly. 

Elsewhere, the Serin was still singing from its regular sites at Littlestone.

10th July

A quiet day on the Point with the only notable records coming from the sea. Two Yellow-legged Gulls and 12 Mediterranean Gulls heading east this afternoon were the best of a quiet sea watch.

At least three Porpoise and a single Grey Seal were also reported from the Fishing Boats.

The moth trap produced a further four fresh looking Sussex Emeralds this morning in what seems to be a good year for them. Also of note was our ninth record of Nut-tree Tussock
Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli   Dungenesss    10th July 2019

9th July

A quiet day in the recording area today with a few Swifts, two Yellow Wagtails and a single Grey Wagtail noted over the Observatory this morning and nine Black Redstarts were seen around the Power Station compound. A single Whimbrel was also seen on the point this evening.

Four Sussex Emeralds were the best from the Moth Trap. 

Weasel was seen around the rabbit warren between West Beach and Lloyds.

In other news, the shieldbug found on the reserve has been identified as Geotomus petiti a new species for Britain! More on this to follow.

8th July

Most of the interest today was in Mediterranean Gulls with at least 74 passing east.

Several recently fledged broods of Black Redstart are a regular site around the perimeter of the power station.

Three Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Thresher Shark was also seen breaching.

Three Sussex Emeralds were the best of a poor nights moth trapping. The tachinid fly Tachina grossa was seen at the Long Pits. 


7th July

Birds passing offshore included 24 Mediterranean Gulls and a Little Tern. Very little on the land.

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

The moth traps were very disappointing following a cool night with just a singe Obscure Wainscot of any note.

On the RSPB Reserve, a Temminck's Stint was showing well from Firth Hide and four Wood Sandpipers were seen at the ARC Pit.

6th July

At least 14 Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore but any other movement at sea was almost non-existent.
It was also very quiet on the land with a just few Swifts passing overhead of note.

Another decent catch of moths included three Sussex Emeralds, a Mottled Beauty (surprisingly scarce here - only the third Observatory record) and an Obscure Wainscot and the pyralid Dioryctria abietella

5th July

A few Swifts and two Yellow Wagtails passed overhead this morning and a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was caught in the moat.
Very quiet offshore with just two Mediterranean Gull this evening of note.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

There are some very high numbers of butterflies around the Point at the moment with the populations of Marbled Whites and Small Skippers being particularly noticeable.

4th July

There was a small increase in the numbers of gulls feeding at the Patch and with 25 Mediterranean Gulls of note and another seven passing eastwards this afternoon. Two Grey Herons flew south and out to sea.

Five Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The first of the second brood Brown Argus butterflies have started to appear.

3rd July

The first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the summer was feeding at the Patch and 11 Mediterranean Gulls were also seen offshore. A Little Egret came in from the south and at one point appeared to be trying to land at the Patch.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore,.

2nd July

Nothing much to report in the bird line with just 40 Swifts and a Yellow Wagtail overhead this morning.

A check of the Long Pits this morning produced four Red-veined Darters (including a mating pair)..


Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombii   Long Pits    2nd July 2019
Whilst the mothtrap produced our fifth-ever Cypress Carpet it will actually be remembered more for the sheer numbers of the pyralid Synaphe punctalis which came to the lights with a rough estimate of 15,000 individuals being recorded..
A moth trap full of mainly Synaphe punctalis





1st July

A Yellow Wagtail flew over the Observatory this morning and 600 Swifts flew west along the coast this evening.

Seven Mediterranean Gulls were the best from over two hours of seawatching.

The first Sussex Emerald was trapped overnight along with a Sitochroa palealis.

Mammals seen today included four Porpoise and Grey Seal offshore and two Brown Hares in the Deserts 


30th June

A quiet day with a Little Ringed Plover and a few Swifts overhead but not much else to report.


29th June

Very quiet with just nine Mediterranean Gulls and three Little Terns of note.

Two Brown Hare leverets were seen in the Desert and three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The Serin was still singing at Littlestone.