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Corona Virus Update

We are very pleased to be planning on opening the Observatory to visitors with numbers being limited because of shared facilities. In order to keep staff and visitors as safe as possible, we will be requesting that you take a Lateral Flow Test (provided) before you first come in. The hides will be open for 'Friends of DBOT' from May 18th. However, The 'Rule of 6' applies and face coverings are still mandatory in the hides. Sanitiser and spray will be provided to clean down the handles and closures in the hide after you have used it.

Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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Thank You for your understanding in these difficult times.
The Trustees.

7th Apr

A calm and sunny day but lacking in birds. The early morning seawatch was very quiet with just 56 Sandwich Terns of note while passing overhead included four Buzzards, 162 Wood Pigeons, three Swallows and our first Tree Pipit of the spring. Grounded migrants were very scarce with just five Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler and four Wheatears of any note.

At least eight Porpoise were feeding offshore.

A bit of time was spent looking for insects with some exciting results. A small, black shieldbug was found in the moat which appears to Geotomus petiti This is the same species as that found by Gill Hollamby and myself on the RSPB Reserve last autumn when they were the first British records. This was followed by the catching of a bee which I think is a female Nomada zonata. This is a species that was first seen in Britain in 2016 but has spread a bit since then. The first Small Copper of the year was also seen.

Geotomus petiti   Dungeness   7th April 2020

Nomada zonata   female   Dungeness   7th April 2020
When I found the shieldbug I was actually taking pictures of a couple of our scarcer plants which are now in flower in the Moat. 
Spring Vetch   Vicia lathyroides  Dungeness   7th April 2020

Upright Chickweed Moechia erecta
Both of these planta are scarce in Kent and pretty much restricted to the Dungeness and Sandwich Bay areas.