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Corona Virus Update

We are very pleased to be accepting booking at the Observatory. 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'. However, we would request that you continue to observe safe practises and sanitiser and spray will continue to 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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30th Apr

A calm, sunny day but still with cold air. Very few passage migrants on the land although the breeding populations of Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Reed Warblers are beginning to build up. Passage migrants of note included five Mediterranean Gulls, a Hobby, 30 Swallows, three Sand Martins, a Garden Warbler, six Yellow Wagtails and singles of Redpoll and Siskin. There was also signs that Mute Swans were unusually active today with a flock of 12 flying over the Long Pits and another ten birds seen offshore and even landing on the sea.

Seawatching was fairly slow going in the morning but persistence by some paid off as movement increased considerably in the afternoon. An 11 hour session eventually produced 176 Brent Geese, 21 Velvet Scoters (one flock of 18), 458 Common Scoters, three Black-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver, 23 Sanderling, 38 Dunlin, 36 Whimbrel, five Little Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, 14 Little Terns, 495 Common and 360 Arctic Terns plus 4330 "Commic Tern", a Black Tern, ten Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua and nine Arctic Skuas. The Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch and another 42 Swallows and a Sand Martin also came in.  

A White-beaked Dolphin moving east fairly close inshore was the highlight of the mammals along with 20 Porpoises and a Grey Seal and three Brown Hares were seen on the land.

Butterfly numbers remain very low but three Grizzled Skippers were seen.

The only Early Spider Orchid on the Point is now in flower.



Early Spider Orchid Ophrys sphegodes   Dungeness   30th April 2021


29th Apr

After yesterdays excitement it was back to earth today with a very quiet morning at sea but a good number of terns moving distantly this afternoon. Over 6.5hrs of seawatching in the end produced 182 Common Scoters, five Mediterranean Gulls, 2700 Common/ic Terns, six Great Skuas and six Arctic Skua. The Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch and a Hobby came in from the south.

Migrants on the land remain in low numbers with just four Lesser Whitethroats and a Grey Wagtail of note. Two Buzzards also flew over the area.

A Grey Seal and at least 20 Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Badger came into the Observatory Garden this evening.






28th Apr

A calm, cold and cloudy morning saw an initial steady movement of Brent Geese, Common Scoters and Common Terns but from mid-morning until early afternoon the flood gates opened and resulted in an astounding movement of terns in particular. Seawatching for 10.25 hrs brought some incredible numbers with record day totals of 274 Little Terns, 23,272 Common Terns and 4840 Arctic Terns and also 84 Black Terns and an exceptional four Roseate Terns of note. Other notable totals included 1355 Brent Geese and 1248 Common Scoters along with a Velvet Scoter, four Red-breasted Mergansers, three Black-throated and a Great Northern Diver, a Shag, 19 Whimbrel, 25 Sanderling, seven Mediterranean Gulls, three Great Skuas and 11 Arctic Skuas. In addition, a Great White Egret, a Swift, two Sand Martins, four House Martins and 11 Swallows came in and the long-staying Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch.

It was very quiet on the land although coverage was limited by the attractions above but a Common Redpoll was seen in the Moat and a Corn Bunting flew over the Observatory.



Terns on the move

At least 20 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were also feeding offshore.

All the while we were seawatching there were also dramatic scenes on the beach with the arrival of around 60 illegals immigrants in two flimsy inflatables. It is quite an operation for the services when these unfortunate people arrive and todays visitors included several families with very young children. The local Coastguard Air and Sea Rescue helicopter was even deployed with one family being airlifted away and various medical units being used on the beach. Just after all the immigrants had being duly processed and the services stood down a third boat came in to view but this was intercepted by a Border Patrol boat and all the occupants were transferred at sea.











27th Apr

The wind finally dropped but still a cold morning. There were a handful of migrants on the land including the first two Lesser Whitethroats and a Garden Warbler of the spring as well as a Buzzard, 50 Swallows, seven Yellow Wagtails, four Lesser Redpolls and a Siskin. The sea was quieter than of late but ten hours of watching eventually produced three Pomarine Skuas of note along with 115 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, three Black-throated Divers, two Manx Shearwaters, ten Grey Plovers, 31 Whimbrel, 120 Bar-tailed Godwits, 33 Little Gulls, 12 Little Terns, 280 Common Terns, eight Great Skuas and six Arctic Skuas.

Eight Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The warm weather brought a few insects out with two Grizzled Skippers and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the Trapping Area. A 30 minute search of the moat produced five specimens of our rare shieldbug Geotomus petiti and two specimens of the rare beetle, Hister quadrimaculatus

Hister quadrimaculatus   Dungeness   27th April 2021

Elsewhere, a Wood Warbler was seen and heard singing occasionally at Scotney and a couple of Ring Ouzels were seen at Dengemarsh Gully.

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix   Scotney   27th April 2021


26th Apr

Little change in the weather and migration was again reduced to a trickle. Two seawatch sessions totaling 5.25hrs produced just three Manx Shearwaters, 22 Whimbrel, 62 Bar-tailed Godwits, three Mediterranean Gulls, 165 Common Terns, a Great Skua and an Arctic Skua. The Iceland Gull remains at the Patch. Nothing in the way of migrants on the land to report other than a handful of Swallows and a Sand Martin.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Of note from elsewhere on the peninsula was a Red-rumped Swallow which spent about 30 minutes on view from Springfield Bridge at Dengemarsh this afternoon.

25th Apr

Another cold and windy day. Coverage of the land was difficult again so most of the observations were offshore where over five hours produced four Shoveler, an Eider, two Manx Shearwaters, five Grey Plovers, 19 Whimbrel, 110 Bar-tailed Godwits, an excellent total of 178 Little Gulls (including a flock of 121 birds), five Little Terns, 486 Common Terns, nine Great Skuas, a Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas of note. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again.

Ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

24th Apr

With the strong and cold NE wind continuing nearly all the coverage involved counting the offshore passage. The highlights were 96 Shovelers, two Pintail, 23 Teal, ten Velvet Scoters, a Slavonian Grebe, nine Grey Plovers, 161 Whimbrel, a Black Tern and an excellent total of 29 Pomarine Skuas. Numbers and backup were provided by 42 Brent Geese, an excellent 3215 Common Scoters, 21 Fulmar, 244 Gannets, 85 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Knot, 190 Kittiwakes, 34 Little Gulls, 102 Sandwich Terns, 793 Common Terns, five Arctic Skuas and four Great Skuas

The Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch.

Two Yellow Wagtails were about the best the land could offer.

At least ten Porpoises were feeding offshore.

23rd Apr

With the cold, strong NE wind continuing to blow all day most of the interest continues to be offshore. Around ten hours of watching produced a Garganey, a Black-throated Diver, a Manx Shearwater, 15 Little Gulls, three Black Terns, 26 Little Terns, four Arctic Terns and four Pomarine Skuas and numbers provided by 12 Shelduck, 35 Shoveler, 116 Whimbrel, 474 Bar-tailed Godwits, 148 Kittiwakes, 110 Sandwich Terns, 902 Common Terns, three Great Skuas and 14 Arctic Skuas. The Iceland Gull continues its long stay at the Patch.

Very quiet on the land with the Pied Flycatcher still present being the only bird of note. 

Nine Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

22nd Apr

The cold and strong NE winds and clear conditions continue. Migrants on the land were few and far between but did include a superb male Pied Flycatcher at the north end of the Long Pits. Another early Swift also arrived. Seawatching produced two Black-throated Divers, nine Fulmars, 374 Gannets, forty Whimbrel, 552 Bar-tailed Godwits, five Sanderling, 72 Kittiwakes, five Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 102 Sandwich Terns, 320 Common/ic Terns, a Great Skua and five Arctic Skuas.




Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca   male   Dungeness   22nd April 2021

Six Porpoise and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Another Mottled Shieldbug was found in a private garden.


21st Apr

Another 8.5hrs of seawatching was fairly slow going until Bar-tailed Godwits started moving in numbers in the afternoon with a final total of 660 birds. Other bits included a Black-throated Diver, 42 Whimbrel, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 51 Common Terns and an Arctic Skua.
Little in the way of grounded migrants other than a handful of Willow Warblers and three Yellow Wagtails but a very early Swift came in over the Old Lighthouse.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. 

20th Apr

A calm day which was seriously hampered by thick fog. Seawatching for most of the day was slow going but a short spell of clearer conditions produced the first two Pomarine Skuas of the spring along with three Great Skuas and 11 Arctic Skuas. Other bits and pieces included three Eider, a Grey Plover, 15 Whimbrel and 805 Common Terns.

Grounded migrants remain few and far between.

The Audiomoth was deployed last night and came up trumps with a nice recording of a Stone Curlew at 2320hrs.

Twelve Porpoise were feeding offshore.

The commonest migrants on the land over the last two days were in fact of the illegal kind.








19th Apr

A bright and sunny but still cold day with mist in the afternoon. Over ten hours of seawatching produced 227 Brent Geese, 14 Shelduck, ten Teal, three Eiders, 12 Velvet Scoters, 1446 Common Scoters, a Black-throated Diver, 358 Gannets, a Shag, 21 Whimbrels, 56 Little Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, 210 Sandwich Terns, four Little Terns, six Great Skuas and three Arctic Skua. The Iceland Gull was still present.

Still very quiet on the land with just 15 Willow Warblers of note and two Buzzards flew over.

Fourteen Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Two examples of the very rare shieldbug Geotomus petiti were found on the Moat.

18th Apr

The highlight of the day was another White-tailed Eagle which flew over the northern end of the recording area this afternoon. It turns out that this was another bird from the Isle of Wight project, G461, and is quite a wanderer. Today it was tracked from Rye along the coast before cutting across the Point, continuing northward up to New Romney and heading inland in a NW direction.

Seawatching continued in a similar vein to recent days with prolonged coverage eventually producing 112 Brent Geese, eight Shelduck, 371 Gannets, 18 Curlew, 56 Whimbrel, 190 Bar-tailed Godwits, 28 Mediterranean Gulls, 264 Sandwich Terns, 188 "Commic" Terns, two Great Skuas and four Arctic Skuas. The Iceland Gull also remains.

Other than the above eagle it was very quiet on the land with just a Buzzard, four Whitethroats, seven Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail of any note.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at the Old Lighthouse Garden.

17th Apr

Another cold and breezy day which produced little on the land. Seawatching for a good proportion of the day, 7.5hours, eventually saw a push of waders and terns in the afternoon but it was otherwise fairly quiet. Totals included 44 Whimbrels, 177 Bar-tailed Godwits, 17 Mediterranean Gulls, 270 Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns, 831 Common/ic Terns, six Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas of interest. The Iceland Gull remained  at the Patch.

Three Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

The first Small Coppers of the year were seen.

16th Apr

Very little change in either the birds or the weather. Seawatching for 4.5hrs produced just 568 Gannets, eight Whimbrel, nine Mediterranean Gulls, 35 Sandwich Terns, two Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas of note. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again.  

There was barely a new migrant on the land although a Firecrest was seen in the Trapping Area and a Yellow Wagtail and a Brambling flew over.

Eighteen Porpoises were feeding offshore.

15th Apr

The cold weather continues and migration is now almost at a standstill. Over three hours of seawatching produced just 70 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, 410 Gannets, five Whimbrel and only 29 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull remains at the Patch.

Barely any new migrants to be seen on the land.

At least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th Apr

The cold weather continues. Over 4.5hrs of seawatching produced two Teal, six Eiders, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Grey Heron in, 563 Gannets, six Whimbrel, two Mediterranean Gulls, 86 Sandwich Terns and two Great Skuas. The Iceland Gull was also feeding at the Patch again but the highlight was a male Hen Harrier which came in from the east.

There was also a small arrival of migrants on the land with a Little Ringed Plover flying over, a Green Sandpiper and two Redstarts of note along with six Willow Warblers, six Blackcaps, three Whitethroats, a Yellow Wagtail and a Rock Pipit.

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


13th Apr

A calm but cold, frosty and foggy morning and remaining fairly quiet. Two sessions of seawatching totaling 5.5 hours produced 332 Brent Geese, a Gadwall, a Pintail, 448 Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Northern Diver, 380 Gannets, two Grey Plovers, 64 Bar-tailed Godwits and 232 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch again.

Migrants on the land remain scarce with just two Willow Warblers, seven Blackcaps and three Yellow Wagtails of note.

The Audiomoth recorder was out again last night and was generally quiet but four flocks of Common Scoter were of note.

Twelve Porpoises were feeding offshore.

12th Apr

A bitterly cold morning with occasional sleety flurries. Seawatching produced 199 Brent Geese, four Pintail, 849 Gannets, four Mediterranean Gulls, 91 Sandwich Terns, two Arctic Skuas and 525 auks. The regular Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch and inside the power station complex behind the Patch hide.

Fairly quiet on the land with what few migrants there were seemingly concentrated at the northern end the Long Pits and including eight Chiffchaffs, six Willow Warblers and nine Blackcaps.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

11th Apr

Another cold, breezy day and generally quiet for birds. Over five hours of seawatching produced just 186 Common Scoters, 791 Gannets, 170 Sandwich Terns, four Common Terns and two Arctic Skuas. Barely any migrants on the land with just a Merlin, a Willow Warbler and three Blackcaps of note. 

Eight Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

10th Apr

Miserable weather for most of the day limited observations with highlights from the sea including nine Velvet Scoters, 54 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua. The best on the land was a Firecrest in the Moat.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

9th Apr

There was a small arrival of migrants today with the highlights being a fine male Common Redstart at the Long Pits and the first Reed Warbler and Whitethroats of the year along with 15 Willow Warblers, 12 Chiffchaffs, 12 Wheatears and three Siskins.

The sea was not as busy as yesterday but still produced some good totals with 174 Brent Geese, three Canada Geese, six Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 666 Common Scoters, four Red-breasted Mergansers, 1278 Gannets, a Whimbrel, 48 Kittiwakes, 367 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, five Great Skuas and two Arctic Skuas.  

Four Porpoises were seen offshore and the boat fisherman reported a pod of White-beaked Dolphins again and feeding about two miles out but not seen from the land. 

8th Apr

Virtually all of the days interest was offshore with a considerable easterly movement of birds although fairly limited in species range. Around 8.5hrs of observations produced a Garganey, three Velvet Scoters, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, nine Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua while numbers were provided by 541 Brent Geese, 1984 Common Scoters, 144 Red-throated Divers, 2015 Gannets, 165 Kittiwakes and 613 Sandwich Terns. The regular Iceland Gull was still present at the Patch.

Mammals were also well represented with the most significant being a party of thee White-beaked Dolphins which headed east at 1000hrs. One of the individuals was very distinctive in that it had lost most of its dorsal fin leaving an uneven stump where it should be and might prove to be a trackable individual. Also seen were at least six Porpoises and a Grey Seal

Insects of interest included the first two Comma butterflies and two Light Orange Underwing moths of the year.


7th Apr

Seven Blackcaps were the best on offer on the land while over five hours of seawatching produced 92 Common Scoters, 630 Gannets, a Whimbrel, two Mediterranean Gull, 237 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore and five Brown Hares were seen on the land.

6th Apr

A day for large birds (not that I managed to see any of them) with a White Stork and a yellow wing-tagged Red Kite being seen but these were eclipsed by the passing of a White-tailed Eagle though unfortunately unseen by all and sundry. It was a satellite-tagged bird, G463, from the Isle of Wight project and was tracked from Bockhill this morning. From there it flew south along the coast and then inland over New Romney and Lydd before turning SE, heading over the recording area at a height of 1078metres and then out to sea at 1305hrs. Forty minutes and 47kms later it arrived in France at Boulogne and continued onwards in a SE direction. 

The morning seawatch was very slow going with just two Gadwall, three Mediterranean Gulls and 86 Sandwich Terns of note. Migrants in the bushes were equally scarce with a Firecrest and three Blackcaps of interest.

Four Porpoise were feeding offshore.

5th Apr

A cold and windy day with slightly limited coverage. Seawatching produced the highlight of the day with a White Stork flying over this afternoon and other bits including 13 Pintail, two Mediterranean Gulls and 142 Sandwich Terns. A Willow Warbler and a handful of Chiffchaffs and three Wheatears were seen on the land.

Twelve Porpoises were counted offshore.

4th Apr

A much better day weatherwise but migrants remain thin on the ground with just a Blackcap, a Firecrest, four Wheatears and two Siskins of note although a Red-rumped Swallow was reported on the bird info services.

The sea was not a great better with seven Shelduck, six Fulmars, 18 Whimbrel, three Mediterranean Gulls, the regular Iceland Gull and 21 Sandwich Terns of interest.

At least 18 Porpoises were feeding offshore but frustratingly a pod of White-beaked Dolphins were reported by the boat fisherman from about five miles out to sea (and thus out of sight for us). A Grey Seal was also seen and a Stoat was seen near the New Lighthouse. 

3rd Apr

Another cold and windy day with not a great deal to be seen in the Observatory area. A two-hour seawatch this morning produced just three Red-breasted Mergansers, 245 Gannets, a Ruff and 129 Sandwich Terns. The Iceland Gull was seen at the Patch again. The only migrants of note on the land were a Merlin and two Wheatears.

Six Porpoises were seen offshore.

There was a good spread of birds across the rest of the peninsula including the long-staying Glossy Ibis at Boulderwall, six Garganey still at Dengemarsh along with a Blue-headed Wagtail, three White Wagtails and a Water Pipit and Little Ringed Plover and 18 Yellow Wagtails at Scotney. 

2nd Apr

Another cold and windy day with few migrants to be seen. The morning seawatches produced 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Shag, a Mediterranean Gull, an Arctic Skua and 85 Sandwich Terns of note while the regular Iceland Gull was still feeding at the Patch along with a first-winter Caspian Gull.

Very quiet on the land with just a couple of Swallows and three Wheatears of note.

Eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

1st Apr

A bit of a turnaround in the weather with an increasingly strong and cold NE wind developing. There was very little on the land except for seven Wheatears and a Firecrest although there was a bit of passage overhead including two Swallows, two Rock Pipits, 70 Linnets and 35 Goldfinches. The sea was also fairly slow with just four Shelduck, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and 61 Sandwich Terns along with the first two Common Terns of the year. The Iceland Gull was feeding at the Patch again this evening.

Sixteen Porpoises were seen offshore.

There was a distinct improvement in the moth trap overnight with the best being only our sixth record of Red Chestnut.

Red Chestnut Cerastis rubricosa   Dungeness   1st April 2021    

Two Mottled Shieldbugs were seen.