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Corona Virus Update

We are glad to say that the Observatory is now clear and visitors are very welcome. We are very pleased to be accepting bookings at the Observatory. In order to keep staff and visitors as safe as possible, we may request 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.

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12th Sep

The lack of  migrants continues despite another decent feeling morning and seawatching was also hard work but a Sooty Shearwater was seen along with a few Arctic Skuas and 34 Kittiwakes. The few migrants on the land included a Buzzard, a Merlin, ten Willow Warblers, four Wheatears, 20 Tree Sparrows, 18 Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails and two Tree Pipits. However, a White Stork was seen flying over the RSPB Reserve in the late morning and was easily visible from the Moat. This was then eclipsed by a remarkable flock of 45 birds which circled over the peninsula in the late afternoon for about 40 minutes before heading away in a NE direction. It appears that these were birds from the introduction project at Knepp.

The fine and hot afternoon saw vast numbers of Small Coppers on the wing with at least 600 at the front of the Observatory alone and including an aberrant form believed to be fuscae. A Clouded Yellow, plenty of Small Heath and two Brown Argus were also seen.

Small Coppers Lycaena phlaeas   Dungeness   12th September 2021

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab fuscae   Dungeness   12th September 2021 

Brown Argus Aricia agestis   Dungeness   12th September 2021

The moth traps produced a few goodies including a very worn Convolvulus Hawkmoth, a Cypress Pug, our third Hoary Footman of the autumn and a Delicate.
Hoary Footman Eilema caniola   Dungeness   12th September 2021
The fifth Observatory record and the third this autumn.

Another evening visit was made to look for Orthoptera, Despite the decent conditions there was very little singing but cold searching still produced three Large Coneheads including the first two females of the season and 19 Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets with 12 being found at new stations for this species.

Large Conehead Ruspolia nitidula   female   Dungeness   12th September 2021