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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.

Please forward any Dungeness recording area records to the Warden.
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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.