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Local weather


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31st May

Very quiet again with just three Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch and a Cuckoo calling this evening of any interest.

A Porpoise was feeding offshore and a Badger was feeding in the garden again this evening.

30th May

It remains incredibly quiet with just two Marsh Harriers and two Buzzards of note.

Eleven Porpoise were feeding offshore.

A total of 12 Variable Damselflies were seen.

29th May

 Very little to report other than a single Buzzard over the area.

28th May

The highlight of the day was a Honey Buzzard which came in over the Point this morning. A Buzzard and a Hobby were also seen.

A Grizzled Skipper was seen in the Moat.

27th May

A Buzzard and a Hobby flew but migrants in the bushes remain non-existent.

A Grizzled Skipper and a Holly Blue were seen.

A Common Pipistrelle was flying around the Observatory in the evening and a Badger came into the garden for its evening meal.

26th May

A Buzzard, 135 Swifts and a Hobby passed overhead while three Sedge Warblers were the only apparent migrants on the land.

Elsewhere, the drake Ring-necked Duck was showing well on the ARC Pit along with a drake Garganey and five Cattle Egrets and a Glossy Ibis were feeding at Dengemarsh.

25th May

Very little to be seen. A Manx Shearwater flew west this afternoon.

Two Badgers were seen in the Observatory garden.

Moth trapping produced our third Striped Hawkmoth of the spring.

Striped Hawkmoth Hyles livornica   Dungeness   25th May 2022


24th May

Very quiet with a Manx Shearwater offshore this evening and a Buzzard and four Corn Buntings of note this morning.

A Porpoise was seen offshore and a Badger came into the Observatory garden again this evening.

The run of unusual moths caught at the traps continues with the best of this mornings catch being our fourth record of Pretty Chalk Carpet along with a couple of Bordered Straws and 12 Silver Y's also of note. A Grizzled Skipper was seen in the Moat.

Pretty Chalk Carpet Melanthia procellata   Dungeness   24th May 2022

23rd May

A day of mostly light winds but with heavy rain for much of the morning. As now expected migrants were few and far between with just a Hobby and a Ring Ouzel in the Desert of note.

A Porpoise was seen offshore, a Common Pipistrelle was flying around the Observatory and two Badgers were feeding in the Observatory garden today..

Although moth numbers in the traps were fairly low they did include a Flame Wainscot which was a new species for the Observatory traps and a Bordered Straw was also of note.

Flame Wainscot Mythimna flammea   Dungeness   23rd May 2022

Elsewhere, the Ring-necked Duck was still showing well on the ARC Pit again.

22nd May

Very little to report despite the good conditions. Two Marsh Harriers and two Buzzards flew over and a Ringed Plover pair with a chick was found.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and Badgers visited the Observatory garden on several occasions during the night.

21st May

It remains extremely quiet on the land with just a Sedge Warbler in the Moat and two Spotted Flycatchers being about the only migrants of note.

Despite a fairly poor catch of moths in terms of numbers last night it was still worth running with the catching of another Striped Hawkmoth.

Striped Hawkmoth Hyles livornica   Dungeness   21st May 2022

Elsewhere on Dungeness the male Ring-necked Duck was refound on the ARC Pit. 

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris   ARC Pit, Dungeness RSPB   21st May 2022 

20th May

Very quiet on the land (yet again) with just two Siskins overhead of any interest at all.

Fourteen Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were quite productive overnight with another Orange Footman and what appears to be a Hoary Footman of note.

19th May

Thunderstorms overnight and during the morning grounded a couple of Spotted Flycatchers but not much else.

The moth traps provided most of the interest with our sixth-ever Striped Hawkmoth and the third record of the tortrix Celypha rufana

Striped Hawkmoth Hyles livornica   Dungeness   19thMay 2022
Our sixth record of this migrant hawkmoth.

Celypha rufana   Dungeness   19th May 2022

18th May

Another decent looking morning failed yet again to deliver any migrants of significance with just a Buzzard, a Collared Dove and two Yellow Wagtails on the land of any interest. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding at the Patch in the late afternoon.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore and two Brown Hares were seen in the Desert.

17th May

Another perfect netting morning which failed to produce with just one Whitethroat caught in over four hours of netting. The highlight of the day was a Hawfinch which spent five minutes or so flying over the Trapping Area. A Spotted Flycatcher was also seen.

Six Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Five Painted Ladies were new arrivals but migrant moths were limited to a few Plutella xylostella.

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui   Dungeness   17th May 2022

Elsewhere, the Purple Heron (first seen on Sunday) gave good flight views at times on the RSPB Reserve.

16th May

 Another quiet day with two Hobbies being about the best on offer.

Just one Porpoise was seen.

15th May

A four hour seawatch this morning produced just two Garganey, eight Shoveler, two Grey Plover, eight Knot, 34 Sanderling and an Arctic Skua of note. Very quiet on the land.

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

14th May

Lovely, calm conditions this morning but yet again no grounded migrants to speak of and the sea was also very quiet. Five Spotted Flycatchers were the best on offer.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was at the Point..

13th May

Today saw a small arrival of late migrants with 13 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart and five Willow Warblers of note. The sea was very quiet.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A few Grizzled Skippers continue to be seen and a handful of Variable Damselflies were seen at the Long Pits.

12th May

Very quiet on both land and at sea. The best on offer were eight Swifts, two Sand Martins, a Spotted Flycatcher at the northern end of the Long Pits and a Corn Bunting over the Trapping Area.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

This moth was caught by hand as it warmed itself in the rising sun this morning. Although it is worn I think it is likely to be an example of the Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria. This species was only added to the British list in 2019 but is now considered to be fairly widespread along the east coast of Kent. This is the first record at the Observatory since this date although photographs of "ferns" taken prior to this date show that it had already occurred here. 

Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria   Dungeness   12th May 2022

Grizzled Skippers and Small Coppers continue to be seen in excellent numbers and another worn example of the aberration radicata was found in the Trapping Area.

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab radicata   Dungeness   12th May 2022.

In addition, a third individual of the rare (only found at Dungeness) shieldbug Geotomus petiti was found in the Moat.

11th May

Grounded migrants remain hard to come by and the sea was also quiet today with four hours of watching producing just five Eiders, an Avocet and two Arctic Skuas of note. The first Spotted Flycatcher of the spring was seen at the Long Pits.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Downy Emerald dragonfly was a notable find at the Long Pits whilst Grizzled Skippers continue to be seen in good numbers with at least 15 noted today.

10th May

Much quieter offshore today with five hours of seawatching producing just nine Shelducks, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Black Tern, singles of Great and Pomarine Skuas and three Arctic Skuas. A Little Ringed Plover and 63 Swifts passed overhead but grounded migrants remain almost non-existent.

Five Porpoise and two Grey Seals were seen offshore.

9th May

Today was dominated by seawatching but the individual bird of the day was our fourth Black Kite of the spring. Coverage from dawn to dusk at the seawatch hide produced 19 Shelduck, two Pintail, 475 Common Scoters, four Black-throated Divers, 79 Grey Plover, 114 Whimbrel, 51 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Knot, 73 Sanderling, a Greenshank, 18 Little Gulls. 28 Little Terns, 5491 Common/ic Terns, 142 Arctic Terns, 48 Black Terns, four Great Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and a superb total of 86 Pomarine Skuas.

Black Kite Milvus migrans   Dungeness   9th May 2022
Comparing the flight feather damage against images of the earlier birds
confirm that this is a different individual to the previous three birds.

At least 40 Porpoise were feeding offshore along with three Grey Seals.

Ten Grizzled Skippers were seen.

8th May

A day of reasonable seawatching although most of the birds passed in the early morning and late evening. The highlights from nearly nine hours were 30 Grey Plovers, three Avocets, 99 Bar-tailed Godwits, 262 Whimbrels, 135 Knot, 53 Sanderlings, a Greenshank, nine Black Terns, 41 Arctic Terns, a Great Skua, 11 Arctic Skuas and five Pomarine Skuas. A Hobby and two Swift also came in. A Common Sandpiper was seen on the Long Pits, 70 Swallows flew through and a Ring Ouzel was seen in the Desert.

A Grey Seal and four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

7th May

It remains very quiet on the land with just six Buzzards, 40 Swallows, three Willow Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, eight Yellow Wagtails and two Siskins of any note. The sea was also slow-going with nearly six hours of watching producing just a single Velvet Scoter, 22 Whimbrel, 12 Sanderling, three Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Little Terns, three Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua.

At least eight Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen on the land.

The bird of the day was seen on the RSPB Reserve when a drake Ring-necked Duck was found on Burrowes Pit.

6th May

Just four Willow Warblers, a Ring Ouzel and four Corn Buntings were seen in the bushes and three Buzzards flew over. Fairly quiet offshore as well with over five hours of watching producing just one Velvet Scoter, three Mediterranean Gulls and a Great Skua of interest.

A Nathusius's Pipistrelle was flying around the Observatory this evening and a Brown Hare was seen in the morning. Offshore, at least six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding.

The highlight from the moth trap was our fourth record of Scalloped Hazel and searching through the hoards of Small Coppers produced a smart aberrant form named radiata+caeruleapunctata.

Scalloped Hazel Odontopera bidentata   Dungeness   6th May 2022

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas   Dungeness   6th May 2022
Just a few of the large numbers to be seen at the moment.

Small Copper Lycaeana phlaeas ab radiata+caeruleopunctata   Dungeness   6th May 2022

5th May

Barely a migrant to be seen on the land and almost no offshore passage but with the highlight of a Red Kite over the area in the morning. Other bits and pieces included five Buzzards, a Swift, 32 Swallows, two Yellow Wagtails and 16 Goldfinches

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Notable insects included seven Variable Damselflies and an example of the rare beetle Hister quadrimaculatus

4th May

A cloudy start to the day saw the first arrival of migrants of any significance for some times. Overall numbers were fairly small but variety was good with notable highlights of a Turtle Dove and a singing Wood Warbler at the Long Pits and a Wood Lark over the Observatory. Other more typical migrants included two Hobbies, five Sand Martins, 80 Swallows, 30 Willow Warblers, three Sedge Warblers, five Garden Warblers, 15 Wheatears, seven Yellow Wagtails and two Tree Pipits. Seawatching was fairly quiet with 6.25hrs of observations producing just three Great Skuas, two Pomarine Skuas and seven Arctic Skuas of note.

The highlight on the sea was a party of three White-beaked Dolphins along with ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal and in the evening a Badger came to scrounge food in the Observatory garden.

Ten Grizzled Skippers and a Holly Blue were of note among the butterflies seen.

3rd May

The highlight today was another Black Kite which flew around the Point before heading inland but other migrants on the land were almost non-existent with just a Buzzard, 25 Swallows, a Garden Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail of any interest. The sea was also generally quiet with a Manx Shearwater, a Little Egret (W), 11 Little Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, two Black Terns, four Pomarine Skuas and nine Arctic Skuas the best from nine hours of watching.

A Grey Seal and 25 Porpoise were feeding offshore.  

2nd May

Almost dawn 'till dusk coverage of the sea produced some good totals although birds were mostly distant in the morning and with the bulk of the numbers passing through from late afternoon. Of note were a drake Goosander, a Great Northern Diver, five Manx Shearwaters, two Little Egrets (west), two Avocets, 43 Whimbrel, 559 Bar-tailed Godwits, ten Mediterranean Gulls, 1216 Common Terns, 363 Arctic Terns, 3435 "Commic" Terns, five Black Terns, eight Pomarine Skuas, 23 Arctic Skuas and a Puffin. A Hobby also came in. Grounded migrants remain very scarce with just five Willow Warblers of any interest. The first fledged Stonechats were also seen.

At least 50 Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore 

1st May

Seawatching continues to dominate proceedings with 11.5 hours of coverage producing two Gadwall, 12 Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 2245 Common Scoters, four Black-throated and four Great Northern Divers, 43 Whimbrel, 53 Little Terns, 1442 "commic" Terns, 14 Great Skuas, 20 Pomarine Skuas and 20 Arctic Skuas. Migrants on the land remain very scare although a Jay was seen in the Trapping Area, 115 Swallows passed through and two Ring Ouzels were still in the Desert.

A Grey Seal and ten Porpoises were seen offshore again and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert. 

30th Apr

Most of the coverage involved seawatching again today. Nearly ten hours of coverage produced four Velvet Scoters, 430 Common Scoters, five Red-breasted Mergansers, two Black-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, 71 Whimbrel, two Little Gulls, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Little Terns, 15 Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 22 Arctic Skuas of note. It remains very quiet on the land with just a Buzzard, our first Swift and Garden Warbler of the year, and three Siskin of note. Swallow numbers have been very poor so far so it was good to record 185 birds today.

Mammals seen today included six Porpoises and two Grey Seals, a Weasel in the Trapping Area another evening visit to the garden by a Badger

The wind finally dropped this afternoon and with sunny conditions there was a mass emergence of Grizzled Skippers with at least 30 seen and of Small Coppers with at least 700 seen. The latter included an example of the aberration radiata.

29th Apr

The clear highlight of the day on the land was a Wood Warbler which was singing at the north-east corner of the Trapping Area during the morning. Three Ring Ouzels were also seen nearby. The sea continues to receive lots of coverage with nearly 12 hours today producing two Tufted Ducks, three Eider, three Red-breasted Mergansers, a Black-throated Diver, three Manx Shearwaters, 67 Whimbrel, 142 Bar-tailed Godwits, 17 Little Terns, 761 Common Terns, 22 Arctic Terns, ten Great Skuas, four Pomarine Skuas and 20 Arctic Skuas of note. A Merlin also came in.

Ten Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

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