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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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29th June

And so it goes on with yet more rain for much of the day and the net rides in the Trapping Area already under water. The murky conditions produced a movement of Swifts with 150 seen this morning whilst five Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore. A Little Ringed Plover called several times over the Observatory at 2250hrs.

Two Porpoises were feeding off the Fishing Boats.

28th June

Yet more miserable weather and with restricted visibility making observations difficult. A single Mediterranean Gull was seen at the Patch.

A brief spell of clearer weather in the afternoon gave the chance to catch up with the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly first seen at Dengemarsh last Saturday and a new species for Dungeness.

Norfolk Hawker Aeshna isosceles   Dengemarsh, RSPB   28th June 2021   


27th June

A day that began with mist and light showers and quickly became worse with heavy, frequently torrential, rain from 0900hrs till dark. A Mediterranean Gull was feeding at the Patch and three Black Redstarts were seen around the power station.

A Badger made its nocturnal visit to the garden arriving just after midnight.

The moth traps continue to disappoint with a pathetic total of just 25 "macro" moths from the two traps.

26th June

Five Mediterranean Gulls were seen offshore and a Buzzard flew over. Four Black Redstarts were seen around the Power Station. There has been a small flock of Stock Doves at the Point for some time and today this increased to 29 birds.

A Grey Seal and three Porpoises were seen offshore.

Two Hummingbird Hawk-moths were seen along the power station wall but the moth traps were very disappointing.


25th June

Little to report from another fairly miserable day. Seven Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the Patch in the evening and at least three Black Redstarts were singing again around the power station.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Moths continue to be in short supply in the traps but the first Sussex Emerald and Bordered Straw of the year were trapped.

Sussex Emerald Thalera fimbrialis   Dungeness   25th June 2021


24th June

Not a great deal to report but at least it was a calm and sunny day for a change.

The Badger from yesterday stayed in the garden until 0030hrs.

23rd June

Another Great White Egret flew out to sea this morning and 25 Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch.

A Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. A Badger came into the garden just before midnight and a Common Pipistrelle bat was flying around for a time.

22nd June

Another cold and breezy day with limited coverage but 20 Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch. A Great White Egret flew east and out to sea and a Little Egret flew over the Observatory.

21st June

A thoroughly miserable day of strong NE winds and near continuous rain. A few spells of seawatching produced a few Mediterranean Gulls but little else.

20th June

Five Mediterranean Gulls were seen this evening.

One Badger came into the Observatory garden just after midnight.

The first Large Skipper butterflies of the year were seen.

19th June

Three Mediterranean Gulls flew west and 640 Swifts flew over.

For the first time there were two Badgers in the Observatory Garden in the early hours of the morning.


Badgers Meles meles   Dungeness   19th June 2021

Another Delicate was trapped overnight but more surprising was only our seventh record of The Miller.

The Miller Acronicta leporina   Dungeness   19th June 2021

Elsewhere, a Rose-coloured Starling was seen on several occasions around the Sheep Corral on the RSPB Reserve, the Glossy Ibis continues its stay at ARC and the Hooded Crow continues to be seen along the beach between Littlestone and Greatstone.

18th June

More heavy rain overnight and for much of the day hampered observations but very little in the way of birds to be seen.

Moth trapping produced the first Delicate of the year.

Delicate Mythimna vitellina   Dungeness   18th June 2021


17th June

Nothing to report after a night and early morning of spectacular thunderstorms and torrential rain.

A Rose-coloured Starling was found on the RSPB reserve this evening.

16th June

Warm and sunny for most of the day but with a spectacular thunderstorm in the evening. Thirty Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch. Three male Black Redstarts were singing again as they re-establish their breeding territories for another brood.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The first Meadow Brown of the year was seen and five Holly Blues were seen in the Old Lighthouse Garden including a mating/egg-laying pair. Ten Rest Harrow moths were seen in a late morning search.

15th June

A morning seawatch produced a movement of 21 Mediterranean Gulls and two Grey Herons east but not much else was seen.

A Badger visited the garden again in the early hours and at least 15 Porpoises were feeding offshore.

14th June

Not a great deal to be seen. A Grey Wagtail flew south.

The first Small Skipper butterfly of the year and two Holly Blues were found.

Blue-eyed Grass was another new species for the area.

Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium bermudiana   Dungeness   14th June 2021


13th June

The Observatory's second Rose-coloured Starling of the spring (and fifth of the spring in the greater Dungeness area) was seen on several occasions during the morning and 44 Mediterranean Gulls were seen at the Patch.





Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus   Dungeness   13th June 2021

Two Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.

Moth trapping produced the highlight of a Beautiful Marbled.

Beautiful Marbled Eublemma purpurina   Dungeness   13th June 2021

The patch of ground at the front of the Observatory continues to provide plenty of floral interest with Pale Yellow-eyed Grass found today.


Pale Yellow-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium striatum   Dungeness   13th June 2021

12th June

A Bittern which flew out of the Long Pits reedbed and headed towards ARC this morning was the highlight.

Elsewhere, a Honey Buzzard was seen on the Reserve and the Hooded Crow was seen at Greatstone again. 

11th June

More fog this morning and nothing of note among the birds to be seen.

A total of 17 Variable Damselflies were found  at the Long Pits.

A Collared Pratincole and a Rose-coloured Starling were seen seen again on the RSPB Reserve and the Hooded Crow continues to loiter around the Jolly Fisherman Beach Car Park at Greatstone.

10th June

Yet another day spoilt by thick fog for most of the time and nothing to report.

The Badger made its now regular evening visit.

Five Variable Damselflies were found at the Long Pits.

Most of the interest was elsewhere with the Collared Pratincole seen again on the Reserve where a Rose-coloured Starling also made a brief appearance. The Hooded Crow at Greatstone also reappeared and was a lot more co-operative this evening.





Hooded Crow Corvus cornix   Greatstone   10th June 2021



9th June

Not a great deal to be seen in the way of migrants with just a flock of nine Mediterranean Gulls and a Buzzard offshore of note. Young Wheatears and Black Redstarts are starting to appear and young Stonechats are numerous across the area.

The Badger was seen again in the early hours and 15 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A late Grizzled Skipper was seen and two Rest-harrow moths were found during survey work inside the power station perimeter.

Elsewhere, the two Cattle Egrets and five Great White Egrets were seen on the RSPB Reserve again and the Hooded Crow was seen again at Greatstone but was surprisingly elusive.

8th June

Another morning hampered by very thick fog and very little to be seen even when it did clear at all.

The Badger was in the garden again in the early hours of the morning and just before midnight.

A session hunting insects was productive with one highlight being the finding of two Black-headed Mason Wasps Odynerus melanocephalus which appears to be the first area records and several Common Red-legged Robberflies.Dioctria rufipes. Shield-bugs included Brassica Bug and Bishop's Mitre and seven Variable Damselfly were found at the Long Pits. The first teneral Black-tailed Skimmer was also seen.

Elsewhere, one Collared Pratincole remained on the RSPB Reserve. Two Cattle Egrets, at least four Great White Egrets and the Glossy Ibis were also seen.


7th June

Very quiet again in the Observatory area but viewing was severely hampered by thick fog for much of the day.

A Brimstone butterfly was a notable record and a Mottled Shieldbug was also found.

The Badger came into the garden again just before midnight.

The foggy conditions did make for some unusual weather phenomena though with this Fog Bow forming briefly this afternoon during one of the clearer spells.


Fogbow   Dungeness   7th June 2021

The main ornithological interest remains on the RSPB Reserve where yesterday's two Collared Pratincoles remained and were remarkably joined by a third individual. It seems likely that this is the first time that a flock of three birds have been seen in Britain. A Serin was also seen and heard singing at Dengemarsh.

6th June

A very quiet morning in the Observatory area. Three Mediterranean Gulls flew east and the first young Wheatears were seen.

Three Porpoises were seen offshore and the Badger was feeding in the garden again at 0100hrs.

Grizzled Skippers and Brown Argus butterflies continue to be seen in very small numbers. 

Badger Meles meles   Dungeness   6th June 2021

There was no doubt about the highlights of the day though when two Collared Pratincoles were found by the Burt family on the RSPB Reserve. They spent a lot of time roosting at long range but made frequent feeding forays when they came much closer and gave some superb views.






Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola   RSPB Reserve   6th June 2021

In addition, two Cattle Egrets arrived and were feeding among cattle in the Hayfield area and at least two Great White Egrets were present.



5th June

After a couple of near misses a Rose-coloured Starling finally made it into the Observatory Recording Area. It spent most of the day around the gardens at the top of the estate and gave superb views as it fed at some garden feeders. It was even heard singing on several occasions. At least one, but probably two, Red Kites flew over the area but other migrants remain scarce with just 15 Swifts and two House Martins of note overhead and 11 Mediterranean Gulls east offshore.

A Brown Hare was seen close to the Observatory.

Three Grizzled Skippers were seen and the moth traps produced 33 Diamond-backed Moths Plutella xylostella.



Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus   Dungeness   5th June 2021

It was also a productive day elsewhere around the area with Bee-eaters heard or seen at Dengmarsh and at Belgar Farm just north of Lydd, the second-year Iceland Gull on Burrowes Pit and a Hooded Crow on the beach at Greatstone.




4th June

Very little to report from the recording area although conditions were seriously hampered from early morning with frequent very heavy rain.

Elsewhere, the  clear highlight was a Rose-coloured Starling which was feeding in the fields behind the chicken sheds at Dengemarsh. Views were fairly distant and the heavy rain did not help viewing.

3rd June

Migration seems to be almost at a standstill now so a Turtle Dove which landed in the Lighthouse Gorse and then flew into the Trapping Area was a nice surprise. The second-year Iceland Gull was back on the beach again.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and the evenings entertainment was provided by another visit by the Badger. A Common Pipistrelle was also heard on the Bat Detector. 

Two Grizzled Skippers and three Brown Argus were seen but butterfly numbers remain generally low.


Badger Meles meles   Dungeness   3rd June 2021


2nd June

The highlight of the day on the birdfront was an all too brief Bee-eater which lingered for a few minutes around Southview Cottage before departing in a northerly direction.

Several Porpoises were feeding offshore, a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert and a Badger came in to the back garden again to feed on the spilled grain from the birdfeeders just before midnight.

Two Grizzled Skippers and two Brown Argus were the highlights among the few butterflies seen. A check of the weed patches around the Observatory was very productive with another three Ornate Shieldbugs being found so it looks like we have a breeding population here now. Five Brassica Bugs were also found.


Ornate Shieldbug Eurydema ornatum   Dungeness   2nd June 2021


1st June

It was virtually birdless today.

The highlight though was the finding of an Ornate Shieldbug in the rough area in front of the Observatory.


Ornate Shieldbug Eurydema ornata   Dungeness   1st June 2021

Butterflies continue to be seen in very low numbers and with just two Brown Argus of note.

Elsewhere, an adult Rose-coloured Starling made a brief visit on the RSPB Reserve. 

31st May

The highlight of the day was a brief flyover Serin but other migrants on the land were almost non-existent with just a Hobby over and a Reed Warbler singing in the Moat. Thirteen Mediterranean Gulls and an Arctic Skua were seen offshore.

The Water Shrew was seen again under a metal sheet at the top of the Long Pits and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert. Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Two Brown Argus were also seen.

Elsewhere, a Bee-eater was heard calling over Lydd.