17th Aug

A wet morning with a light southerly breeze produced an excellent seawatch with day totals of 106 Common Scoters, a Sooty Shearwater and a Shag, 80 Grey Plover, two Whimbrel, 237 Bar-tailed Godwits, 100 Turnstones, 80 Knot, 50 Sanderling, a Great Skua, 34 Little Terns, 29 Black Terns, 1015 Sandwich Terns, 750 Common Terns and 107 Kittiwakes. At least six Arctic Skuas appeared to be lingering offshore and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls were feeding along the beach. 
Very quiet on the land but a Whinchat was seen by the New Lighthouse and nine Swifts and a Tree Pipit flew over.

Shag Phalarocrax aristotelis   Dungeness   17th August 2017
A surprisingly scarce bird at Dungeness
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola   Dungeness    17th August 2017

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica   Dungeness   17th August 2017




Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus   Dungeness    17th August 2017
At least 12 Porpoises and the regular bull Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

A Scarce Bordered Straw was trapped overnight and six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day despite the mainly miserable weather.

16th Aug

There was a good scatter of migrants in the bushes and with good netting conditions a total of 66 birds were ringed during the day. The bulk of the migrants were Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroats and Common Whitethroats but other bits and pieces included three Grey Herons, five Wheatears, 34 Yellow Wagtails and two Tree Pipits
The sea was fairly quiet with just the ongoing westerly movements of Gannets, Sandwich Terns and Kittiwakes and five Arctic Skuas of note.

At least ten Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Four Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day but the moth traps were fairly quiet. One Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and a couple of Tree Crickets were found in a brief search this afternoon.

15th Aug

The highlight of the day was a party of two Great White Egrets and a Spoonbill which flew over the trapping area and out to the east in the morning. Other birds passing overhead included a Buzzard, a Green Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 50 Swallows, 36 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and another Corn Bunting. There was also a decent scatter of grounded migrants after the thunderstorms in early hours and including 32 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, ten Lesser Whitethroats, three Sedge Warblers, a Redstart, a Whinchat and 23 Wheatears.
Offshore, 11 Arctic Skuas were seen along with a few Sandwich Terns and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls were seen at the Patch.

At least 12 Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen offshore.

Two Clouded Yellows and seven Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day and the mothtraps produced another Rest Harrow (with another seen by day) and a Gem of note.

A daylight search of the main area for the rarer crickets produced a female Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket and this Tree Cricket.

Tree Cricket Oecanthus pelluncens   Dungeness   5th August 2017

14th Aug

A decent day with a good numbers of migrants on the land and passing overhead and a few birds offshore.
Birds passing overhead included three Marsh Harriers and four Buzzards, two Common Sandpipers, 24 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and a Corn Bunting (first of the year) whilst grounded migrants included a Turtle Dove and a Cuckoo, 30 Willow Warblers, 14 Lesser Whitethroats, 170 Whitethroats, seven Sedge Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and seven Wheatears.
Offshore, two Teal and singles of Arctic and Great Skuas were seen and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was feeding on emerging flying ants near the Britannia.

Buzzard Buteo buteo  Dungeness   14th August 2017
One of the birds was a very pale individual.

At least 12 Porpoises and singles of Grey and Common Seal were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen in the Desert.

A Red-eared Terrapin was seen in the Southern Long Pit.

Butterflies included two Clouded Yellows whilst the highlights of the moth trapping overnight a Rest Harrow and a Jersey Tiger whilst a Bordered Straw was seen feeding at the Red Valerian in the moat. At least eight Hummingbird Hawkmoths were also noted during the day.
Rest Harrow Aplasta onoraria    Dungeness   14th August 2017
Formerly considered a very scarce migrant to Dungeness this species is now breeding here and even expanding its range in the Observatory recording area.

Jersey Tiger Euplagia quadripunctaria   Dungeness   14th August 2017
A torchlight search for orthoptera this evening produced three Sickle-bearing Bush-crickets and an excellent chorus of singing Tree Crickets with several individuals seen.

Sickle-bearing Bush-cricket Phaneroptera falcata    Female above, male below   Dungeness    14th August 2017



13th Aug

There was another decent spread of migrants on the land with a Kingfisher at the Long Pits, 70 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 15 Lesser Whitethroats, 60 Whitethroats and seven Sedge Warblers whilst four Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard, 1050 Sand Martins and 12 Yellow Wagtails flew over.

The sea remains fairly quiet although three Arctic Skuas were lingering offshore and 383 Sandwich Terns and two Mediterranean Gulls flew west.

Four Porpoises and a Grey Seal were feeding offshore.

Six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day and two Scarce Bordered Straws were of note from the moth traps. Butterflies included three Painted Ladies, 80 Small Coppers and three Brown Argus.

A Sunflower Helianthus annuus was found growing on the road side yesterday and survived the weekend. The only previous record of a "wild" plant appears to have been in 2000.  
Sunflower Helianthus annuus   Dungeness   13th August 2017



12th Aug

There was a decent arrival of migrants in the bushes with a total of five Lesser Whitethroats of particular note along with 20 Willow Warblers, 30 Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher. Fourteen Swifts and a couple of Yellow Wagtails also flew over.

Terns continue to move westwards at sea with two Black Terns and 544 Sandwich Terns counted along with 143 Common Scoters, 455 Gannets and five Arctic Skuas of interest.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore and a visit to the Long Pits with the Kent Bat Group this evening produced a single Nathusius's Pipistrelle as well as six Soprano and a Common Pipistrelle. A Noctule Bat was also noted.


Nathusius's Pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii   Dungeness   12th August 2017

A Scarce Bordered Straw and a Dog's Tooth were trapped overnight and six Hummingbird Hawkmoths were seen during the day.

On the flora front, a total of 15 Autumn Lady's-tresses were found along the western side of the trapping area although most of these were still in bud.
Autumn Lady's-tresses Spiranthes spiralis   Dungeness   12th August 2017

11th Aug

Again four and a half hours seawatching today included the following; 65 Common Scoter, 212 Gannet, two Yellow-legged Gulls, seven Arctic Skua, 575 Sandwich Terns and a single Black Tern.
On land a Little Ringed Plover over, two Yellow Wagtails, 215 Sand Martin, 25 Willow Warblers, 70 Whitethroat, 10 Lesser Whitethroat and four Sedge Warbler.

Six Porpoises and a Grey Seal were seen.

Insect highlights included a Clouded Yellow and Hummingbird Hawk-moth.