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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.
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Dragonflies and Damselflies

Records are kept of the Dragonflies (Odonata) seen in the Observatory recording area although recording was fairly casual before 1995.

The first dragonflies to appear are Red-eyed Damselflies, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies and Hairy Hawkers. The first three of these are usually found around the banks of the Long Pits but the Hairy Hawker is just as likely to be seen amongst the bushes of the trapping area or in the moat.
Red-eyed Damselfly 
Hairy Hawker
Black-tailed Skimmers and Four-spotted Chasers are the next to appear with the former usually found holding small territories on open stretches of shingle bank on the Long Pits. Emperor Dragonflies, whilst not occurring in large numbers are very obvious as they patrol large territories over open areas of water. From the end of July it is always worth checking the large dragonflies as in recent years a number of Lesser Emperors have been seen. The first British record of this species was in 1996 but numbers have increased since then and Dungeness has provided a considerable proportion of the records.
Four-spotted Chaser
Lesser Emperor
Early summer sees the emergence of small numbers of Small Red-eyed Damselflies - a recent colonist of the Long Pits. The southern end of the Southern Pit is the best place to look for these.
Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Late autumn sees the emergence of large numbers of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters and their numbers are also increased by the arrival of immigrants from the continent. In some years, exceptional numbers of darters can arrive and when this occurs it is possible that other rarer species will also be involved. The year 1995 was one such year and large numbers of Yellow-winged Darters arrived and with seven individuals of the Vagrant Darter were also identified. However, with the latter species it is almost impossible to separate them from Common Darters without catching them for examination. A small number of the heathland species, the Black Darter were also seen at this time.
In 2015 a Downy Emerald caught in the moat was a new species for Dungeness and only our second record of Broad-bodied Chaser was noted. In 2018 a Vagrant Emperor was added to the list and in 2019 Willow Emerald and Blue-eyed Hawker was added.
Downy Emerald
Broad-bodied Chaser

Please click here for a list of Odonata recorded on Dungeness.