Data Protection

At Dungeness Bird Observatory we take security of your data very seriously. The data we hold is kept securely on a password protected device and we never pass on any information to a third party. For more information please read our Data Policy available here.

Local weather


The Observatory can accommodate up to 9 people in two dormitories, you need to bring your own sleeping bags and it is self-catering. As well as Birdwatchers, we welcome people from many areas of interest including Moths, Butterflies, Bugs and Beetles or just a general interest in Nature and the local environment. Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
You can still support the Obs by using Give as you Live when shopping online.

28th Sep

Strong west to south west winds restricted most of the observations to the sea where five hours of watching produced three Mute Swans, five Wigeon, two Mediterranean Gulls, 174 Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern, 14 Arctic Skuas, two Balearic Shearwaters and a Hen Harrier which flew out to sea. It was very quiet for grounded migrants with just a Firecrest in the Trapping Area of note but there was a decent movement overhead with a late Swift, 50 Sand Martins, 5,000 Swallows, 600 House Martins and 500 Meadow Pipits.

Two Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

The run of migrant moths continued despite the poor conditions with another two Palpita vitrealis, a Box-tree Moth, a Delicate and a Clancy's Rustic

27th Sep

A small arrival of migrants in the bushes included 20 Chiffchaffs and nine Blackcaps while 1,400 Swallows, 40 House Martins, six Grey Wagtails, 440 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit, 220 Siskins and 17 Reed Buntings passed overhead. Seawatching during the day produced 41 Brent Geese, 104 Common Scoters, 15 Knot, four Mediterranean Gulls, 606 Sandwich Terns and nine Arctic Skuas.  

Single Porpoise and Grey Seal were seen offshore.

The moth traps were very productive with nine Palpita vitrealis, eight Box-tree Moths, four Gems, two Vestals, a Small Mottled Willow, ten Delicates, a Scarce Bordered Straw and our sixth record of Radford's Flame Shoulder of note.

Three Mediterranean Stick-insects were found in the Observatory garden.

26th Sep

With a fresh southerly breeze this morning the sea provided most of the interest again. The highlights were a Long-tailed Skua and 14 Arctic Skuas, 12 Sooty Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater. Other bits and pieces included a Tufted Duck and two Black Terns and a first-year Caspian Gull and two first-year Yellow-legged Gulls were on the beach. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen on the land and 1,300 Swallows, a Grey Wagtail and 400 Meadow Pipits flew over.

Four Porpoise and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced a Gem, six Delicates and two Scarce Bordered Straws, a Box-tree Moth and a Palpita vitrealis. A Clouded Yellow butterfly was also seen.

Three Mediterranean Stick-insects were seen in the brambles at the Observatory.

25th Sep

A quieter day offshore with five Teal, 17 Arctic Skuas and singles of Sooty and Manx Shearwaters. A Merlin also arrived. Passage overhead included 1,000 Swallows, 50 Siskins and seven Reed Buntings of note.

Six Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

Another Convolvulus Hawkmoth was the highlight from the single moth trap I put out.

24th Sep

A strong SSW wind resulted in most of the interest being offshore. Nearly eight hours of watching produced 32 Sanderlings, 73 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, 606 Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern, 13 Great Skuas, 16 Arctic Skuas and the highlights of 18 Sooty Shearwaters, seven Manx Shearwaters, eight Balearic Shearwaters and a Leach's Petrel. A juvenile/first-winter Caspian Gull made a brief visit to the puddles at the Point. At least 4,000 Swallows and 2,500 House Martins also passed through.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   Dungeness   24th September 2023

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced another Convolvulus Hawkmoth and a Dewick's Plusia.

Dewick's Plusia Macdunnoughia confusa   Dungeness   24th September 2023

23rd Sep

There were a few migrants on the land including 25 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, a Firecrest, a Whinchat and four Wheatears and also a bit of overhead passage with 1000 House Martins, 500 Meadow Pipits, 50 Siskins and 20 Reed Buntings

The moth traps were very productive with our first record of the pyralid Musutima nitidalis and a Golden Twin-spot of real note and also a Palpita vitrealis, a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, nine Delicates and six Scarce Bordered Straws. A Clouded Yellow was also seen but the highlight of the day was easily a female Long-tailed Blue which spent about ten minutes feeding at Purple Toadflax in the Observatory garden.

Musotima nitidalis   Dungeness   23rd September 2023

Golden Twin-spot Chrysodeixis chalcites   Dungeness   23rd Sepember 2023

Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus   female   Dungeness   23rd September 2023 

22nd Sep

Rain overnight and a light westerly breeze brought an excellent arrival of migrants with at least 200 Blackcaps and 100 Chiffchaffs, three Lesser Whitethroats, a Redstart and 12 Wheatear while overhead passage included four Yellow Wagtails, ten Grey Wagtails, 600 Meadow Pipit, three Tree Pipit, 60 Siskins and 22 Reed Buntings. Three Arctic Skuas were lingering offshore.

Five Porpoises were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were very productive overnight with a Convolvulus Hawkmoth, a Bloxworth Snout, a Small Mottled Willow, seven Delicates, six Scarce Bordered Straws and four Palpita vitrealis

21st Sep

A calm morning with rain at first brought a heavy movement overhead with a Little Stint, two Grey Wagtails, two Yellow Wagtails, 1500 Meadow Pipits, two Tree Pipits, 300 Siskins and five Reed Buntings of note  There was also an increase in migrants in the bushes with 40 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 30 Blackcaps, two Lesser Whitethroats and ten Wheatears. The sea was very quiet though with just six Arctic Skuas of note in the early morning session.

Eight Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seals were seen.

20th Sep

The strong SW winds continued and seawatching was the order of the day again. Balearic Shearwaters were the main feature with another 179 birds passing through (which would have been a day record total prior to yesterday's events) and 51 Sooty Shearwaters and four Manx Shearwaters along with 1586 Sandwich Terns, two Black Terns, a Great Skua, 25 Arctic Skuas and 1104 Gannets. Two Hobbies and a Kestrel also flew out to sea.

Five Porpoises, a Common Seal and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Holly Blue butterfly was of note in the Trapping Area.

19th Sep

A distinct change in the weather with strong to gale force SW winds resulted in a superb down-channel movement of seabirds. The obvious highlight was a record day total of 211 Balearic Shearwaters while other notable counts included 726 Sandwich Terns, 14 Arctic Skuas, nine Sooty Shearwaters and 590 Gannets. However, there was a striking lack of Kittiwakes, Little Gulls and Common Terns and Great Skua have become something of a rarity after the ravages of Avian Bird Flu.

Three Porpoises, a Common Seal and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Despite the poor conditions overnight one moth trap was put on and this produced four Delicates and two Box-tree Moths. 

18th Sep

Two Mediterranean Gulls, a Black Tern, 20 Arctic Skuas, a Sooty Shearwater and two Balearic Shearwaters were the meagre highlights from nearly six hours of seawatching.

Two Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

The moth traps were productive with Scarce Bordered Straw, Bordered Straw, three Delicates, two Palpita vitrealis and a remarkable total of 25 Box-tree Moths.

17th Sep

Light NE winds resulted in an increase in birds offshore with four Wigeon, six Teal, 16 Knot, a Little Gull, 18 Mediterranean Gulls, a Great Skua, 38 Arctic Skuas and a Manx Shearwater. A Grey Wagtail and two Crossbills were the only birds of note on the land.

Four Porpoises, a Common Seal and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore. 

16th Sep

Several seawatches during the day produced 240 Sandwich Terns, 27 Arctic Skuas, a Great Skua, three Mediterranean Gulls, four Little Gulls and two Balearic Shearwaters. Ten Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, four Wheatears, five Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, five Siskins and four Reed Buntings were the best on offer on the land.

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

The moth traps were very good again with a Gem, a Barred Red of the green form prasinaria, a Convolvulus Hawk-moth and a Delicate of note. 

Barred Red Hylaea fasciaria f.prasinaria   Dungeness   16th September 2023

15th Sep

Calm, hot conditions limited birds on the land again with just a Golden Plover, a Marsh Harrier, three Buzzards, 12 Chiffchaffs, five Yellow Wagtails, ten Grey Wagtails and two Tree Pipits of note. Six hours of seawatching produced three Teal, 13 Wigeon, 11 Ringed Plovers, 202 Sandwich Terns, 12 Arctic Skuas and a good total of nine Balearic Shearwaters.

Eight Porpoises and five Grey Seals were feeding offshore. A Tuna was also seen.

The moth traps were very productive with a Blair's Mocha, a Vestal, five Delicates and a Marsh Mallow Moth of note.

An evening search for rarer orthoptera resulted in five singing Large Coneheads and seven Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets (including a mating pair) and seven Mediterranean Stick-insects were found around the Observatory.

14th Sep

A Turtle Dove, a Pied Flycatcher and ten Chiffchaffs were seen in the bushes and 11 Yellow Wagtails, four Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 70 Siskins and 11 Reed Buntings flew overhead. Eight Ringed Plovers, a Redshank and another Balearic Shearwater were the only birds of interest offshore.

Nine Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

A Bordered Straw and three Delicates were the best from the moth traps.

13th Sep

It remains very quiet. Two Brent Geese, four Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, an Arctic Skua and a Balearic Shearwater were the best on offer on the sea. A juvenile Cuckoo and an early Goldcrest were the only birds of interest in the Trapping Area.

Ten Delicates and a Scarce Bordered Straw were the highlights from the moth traps.

12th Sep

The seawatching was dominated by a steady westerly movement of 25 Arctic Skuas along with two Mediterranean Gulls and 200 Sandwich Terns. Birds passing overhead included 600 House Martins, 20 Yellow Wagtails, 14 Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and 23 Siskins.

Ten Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Moth-trapping produced two Palpita vitrealis, another Oblique-striped and 16 Delicates. 

11th Sep

A very quiet day on the land but the sea came to the rescue with a juvenile Long-tailed Skua quickly passing through off the fishing boats and in the evening with a very large feeding gathering of Sandwich Terns and Gannets and a few associated Mediterranean Gulls and Arctic Skuas. A juvenile Caspian Gull was also on the beach. Of interest on the land were a juvenile Cuckoo and a Whinchat and 31 Yellow Wagtails and four Grey Wagtails passing overhead.

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans   juvenile   Dungeness   11th September 2023   

Gannets Morus bassana   Dungeness   11th September 2023 

Ten Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

The moth traps provided plenty of excitement with the rare pyralids Hellula undalis (second Observatory record) and Loxostege sticticalis (eighth Observatory record), nine Box-tree Moths, a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, three Cypress Pugs and a Delicate.

Hellula undalis   Dungeness   11th September 2023

Loxostege sticticalis   Dungeness   11th September 2023

10th Sep

A flock of 30 Knot flew west offshore and six Arctic Skuas were chasing terns. It was very quiet in the bushes again but 27 Yellow Wagtails, three Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and six Siskin passed overhead.

An excellent total of at least 25 Porpoises and a Grey Seal feeding offshore.

The moth traps were productive with a Box-tree Moth, a Vestal, an Oblique-striped (the third Observatory record), a Cryptic Fern and three Delicates of note. 

Cryptic Fern Horisme radicaria   Dungeness   10th September 2023

Oblique-striped Phibalapteryx virgata   Dungeness   10th September 2023

9th Sep

Two Mediterranean Gulls and two Arctic Skuas were seen offshore and two Buzzards, 500 Swallows, 12 Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails and six Siskins passed overhead. A Redstart was the only grounded migrant of any note.

At least 13 Porpoises and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced a Box-tree Moth and four Delicates of note and a nymph Ornate Shieldbug was found at the front of the Observatory. Two Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets were seen at the top of the Long Pits.

8th Sep

The main feature of the morning was another large arrival of House Martins with at least 5,000 seen and three Spotted Flycatcher, four Redstarts and four Whinchats in the bushes.

At least 25 Porpoises and a Common Seal were feeding offshore.

Moth trapping produced a Vestal and five Delicates of note. A Western Conifer Seedbug was also found on the Observatory wall. Another aberrant Small Copper was found and a Clouded Yellow was also seen.

Western Conifer Seed-bug Leptoglossus occidentalis   Dungeness   8th September 2023

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas ab.radiata   Dungeness   8th September 2023

7th Sep

Seven Spotted Flycatchers were of note along with a Redstart, two Whinchats, 25 Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit. A Golden Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank all flew over the Observatory. It was very quiet offshore with just 25 Teal of interest.

Four Porpoises were lingering offshore.

A Clay Triple-lines was the best of a small moth catch.

6th Sep

A Woodlark was found in the Desert while a small supply of other grounded migrants included ten Willow Warblers, seven Chiffchaffs, eight Blackcaps, two Whinchat and nine Wheatears. The main feature of the morning though was a massive movement of hirundines with conservative totals of 5000 House Martins, 4000 Swallows and 500 Sand Martins and a Greenshank, 26 Tree Sparrows, 70 Yellow Wagtails and four Grey Wagtails were also of note. 

House Martins Delichon urbicum   Dungeness   6th September 2023

The sea was very quiet with just two Gadwall, an Arctic Skua and the first Red-throated Diver of the autumn. 

Three Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

The moth traps produced a Portland Ribbon Wave and a Beautiful Marbled but the highlight was a Parent Shieldbug which appears to be a new species for the Observatory.

Portland Ribbon Wave Idaea degenaria   Dungeness   6th September 2023
Beautiful Marbled Eublema purpurina   Dungeness   6th September 2023

Parent Shieldbug Elasmucha grisea   Dungeness   6th September 2023

Four Mediterranean Stick-insects were found in the Observatory.

5th Sep

Nearly three hours of seawatching during the day eventually produced 16 Wigeon, 102 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Skuas. A Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard, 500 Swallows, 70 Yellow Wagtails and two Grey Wagtails flew over. Grounded migrants were still present in low numbers with 12 Willow Warblers, four Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Redstart and five Whinchats of note.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata   Dungeness   5th September 2023

Two Porpoises and singles of Common and Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Two Ornate Shieldbugs were seen at the front of the Observatory along with hundreds of Firebugs and an evening visit to the Trapping Area found seven male Large Coneheads and lots of singing Tree Crickets but only two Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets.

4th Sep

Very quiet. Three Spotted Flycatchers and two Whinchats were of note on the land and two Redshanks and three Grey Wagtails  flew over.

A Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

Another aberrant Small Copper was seen - this time an ab.radiata. An Ornate Shieldbug was also found.

Small Copper Lyceana phlaeas ab.radiata   Dungeness   4th September 2023

3rd Sep

Just 12 Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers, a Whinchat, 20 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and three Siskins were the only birds of note. , .

An Ornate Shieldbug was found in front of the Observatory and a search after dark produced eight Large Coneheads and two Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets.

2nd Sep

There was a decent increase in numbers of migrants on the land with the highlight being ten Spotted Flycatchers. Other migrants included 25 Willow Warblers, 25 Lesser and 60 Common Whitethroats. Three Egyptian Geese flew over the area and five Grey Herons flew out to sea along with 116 Swallows, 25 Yellow Wagtails, six Grey Wagtails and six Siskins. There was also a decent movement offshore with six hours of recording producing a Gadwall, 24 Teal, five Dunlin, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 292 Sandwich Terns, three Black Terns, two adult Pomarine Skuas, 38 Arctic Skuas and 13 Balearic Shearwaters.

Five Porpoise and two Grey Seals were feeding offshore.

An Ornate Shieldbug was found at the front of the Observatory. The moths were disappointing but did produce a Cypress Pug and two Delicates.

1st Sep

There was a steady westerly movement of birds during the day with 5.5hours of watching producing eight Teal, 46 Common Scoters, three Sanderlings, two Mediterranean Gulls, 369 Sandwich Terns, 113 Common Terns, eight Arctic Terns, two Black Terns, 42 Arctic Skuas (4E,38W), 83 Gannets and two Balearic Shearwaters. It remained almost birdless on the land.

Two Porpoise, a Grey Seal and a Common Seal were seen offshore.