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Corona Virus Update

Due to ongoing advice about the Corona Virus we have taken the decision to close the Observatory building to visitors for the foreseeable future. We are still operating our monitoring programme. Please think carefully about Social Distancing before approaching our Wardens. Please forward any Dungeness records to the Warden.
You can still support the Obs by using Give as you Live or Google Smile when shopping online.
Thank You for your understanding
The Trustees.

Covid-19 and Dungeness


The COVID-19 restrictions on access to the Dungeness Estate will be lifted on Friday 29th May. The Observatory building and hides will, however, have to remain closed for the time being. Many thanks for your understanding. 

3rd June

Very quiet. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore and a Marsh Harrier was hunting over the Long Pits.

Two Porpoises were also feeding offshore and a Common Pipistrelle was picked up on the bat detector.

A decent catch of moths included the eighth Observatory record of Four-dotted Footman.
Four-dotted Footman Cybosia mesomella   Dungeness   3rd June 2020

 

2nd June

The highlight of the day was a Bee-eater seen and/or heard on a couple of occasions during the morning but any other migrants remain virtually non-existent. Nine Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore this evening.

At least three Porpoises were feeding offshore and the Grey Squirrel was seen again. A Common Pipistrelle was heard this evening  on the bat detector.at the Observatory


1st June

Three Mediterranean Gulls and an Arctic Skua offshore and a Corn Bunting over the Long Pits were about the best on offer on another day of wall-to-wall sunshine.

The Grey Squirrel reappeared, this time around Experimental Station, and a single Porpoise was seen offshore.


31st May

Despite hours spent in the field there was barely a bird of interest to be seen. A single Mediterranean Gull was feeding offshore and a Siskin flew over.

Three Porpoises were feeding offshore.

Five Holly Blues were seen in the Old Lighthouse Garden but the insect highlight of the day was the finding of another Mottled Shieldbug in the Trapping Area - the third record for Dungeness and all this year. This species was first seen in Britain in London during 2010 and has spread rapidly from there. 
Mottled Shieldbug Rhaphigaster nebulosa   Dungeness   31st May 2020

Some news from yesterday concerns the finding of the rare Spotted Dark Bee, Stelis ornatula, which also appears to be another new species for Dungeness. A second individual was also found today.

Spotted Dark Bee Stelis ornatula   Dungeness   30th May 2020

 

30th May

Very clear and windy again and few birds to be seen. Three Mediterranean Gulls were feeding offshore.

Elsewhere, a Serin was singing for a few minutes this morning in a private garden at Greatstone.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore.

A single Variable Damselfly was seen at the Long Pits as was the first Large Skipper butterfly of the year.

29th May

A Long-eared Owl seen in the Trapping Area was a nice surprise and a Redpoll flew over. There were 22 Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch and a flock of eight Shovelers flew east.

Four Porpoises were feeding offshore but the most unexpected sighting of the day was of a Grey Squirrel found on the peanut feeder in the Observatory garden. 


Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis   Dungeness   29th May 2020
Three Holly Blues were seen in the Trapping Area.

28th May

A bright and sunny day but with a strong NE wind. Birding was fairly hard going in the strong winds but a female Montagu's Harrier flew out to sea at 1100hrs and single Buzzard and Marsh Harrier were also seen during the day.

Two Porpoises were feeding offshore and a Brown Hare was seen  at the Fishing Boats.

The first Emperor Dragonfly of the year was seen.
Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator   Dungeness   28th May 2020.

The Covid-19 lockdown of the estate will be lifted at 0900hrs tomorrow morning. However, the Bird Observatory and the hides will have to remain shut for a while longer yet. Visitors should still follow the social distancing rules.
The last day of the Covid-19 lockdown of the estate.

nd

27th May

A single Buzzard overhead was about the only bird of note seen today.

A couple of just-emerged Rest Harrow moths were seen in the area.

Rest Harrow Aplasta ononaria   Dungeness   27th May 2020.

26th May

Very quiet again with just two Buzzards over, a Redshank on the beach and three Mediterranean Gulls at the Patch of note.

Two Porpoise and a Grey Seal were seen offshore while Common Pipistrelle bats were picked up on the bat detector this evening.

A decent enough catch of moths in terms of numbers overnight but the only scarcer individuals were an Oak-tree Pug and a Treble Lines.
Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammmica
Only the eight Observatory record.