Monday 7 December 2020

 Since the last post, a December Moth in late November has been the only addtion to the garden moth list for 2020. The long staying Crag Martin at Kingsdown and Samphire Hoe was the first I've seen in the UK. Red-brested Mergansers showed well at Swalecliffe and a recent influx of geese to Kent included 4 Bean Geese at Godmersham.

 December Moth

Red-breasted Merganser
Bean Goose
Crag Martin

Saturday 21 November 2020

Not a great deal to report for November. The first Winter Moth of the season turned up near the moth trap. Early in the month there were 4 Glossy Ibis on the RSPB reserve at Dungeness, and the Barn Owl showed well one late afternoon at Seasalter. The usual Mediterranean Gull was at Hampton Pier but no sign of any Purple Sandpipers there yet.

    Barn Owl

                                                                  Mediterranean Gull

                                                                       Winter Moth

 Glossy Ibis



Sunday 1 November 2020

The moth trap year list for the end of October is now 410-13 more than my previous best year. The most interesting recent addition was a small pyralid Musotima nitidalis, an adventive species that originates from Australia or New Zealand. Other recent additions for the year are: Large Wainscot, Feathered Thorn and Barred Sallow. The ornithological highlight of the month was a Masked Shrike at Shuart in NE Kent, which the first record for the county. At Dunge a Black Redstart posed near the power station.

 Musotima nitidalis

Barred Sallow

Masked Shrike

Black Redstart


Friday 16 October 2020

Since my last post another new moth species has appeared in the trap, a pyralid: Palpita vitrealis. Also a Merveille du Jour on the ivy by the trap was the 400th species of the year-the first time I've reached this goal. They has a so been a few interesting migrant birds turning up. On last Sunday morning I photographed some Ring Ouzels at Langdon Cliffs, Dover and on Wednesday the long staying juvenile Red-backed Shrike continued to show incredibly well at St. Mary's Bay near Littlestone.

Ring Ouzel

Red-backed Shrike
Palpita vitrealis
Merveille du Jour

Friday 2 October 2020

 We've reached the end of another month with the trap total standing at 396 species for the year, which is only 1 short of my best year total in 2018. Since my last post Beaded Chestnut and Garden Rose Tortrix have been added. At Dungeness yesterday there were still at least 6 Cattle Egrets present on the RSPB Reserve. The sun came out after lunch and, on the Dungeness NNR, we saw the rare Mottled Shieldbugs which were first recorded in the UK in 2010. On the RSPB reserve Gorse Shieldbugs were fairly common on the gorse.

Mottled Shieldbug

Gorse Shieldbug
Cattle Egrets
Garden Rose Tortrix

Sunday 27 September 2020

The weather has changed now and moth numbers are well down in the last few days. However, there has been a good selection of Autumnal species already including a new one for the garden list: Dusky-lemon Sallow. Other good records have included 2nd records of Clancy's Rustic and Autumnal Rustic, and 3rd records of The Delicate and Hedge Rustic. 

 Dusky-lemon Sallow

                                                                     Clancy's Rustic


                                                                        The Delicate


                                                                      Hedge Rustic

Autumnal Rustic

Friday 11 September 2020

Had a better visit to Dungeness last week with Glossy Ibis, Little Stint, Little Gull, 7 Cattle Egrets, 17 Whinchats and an Osprey. On Sunday the Wryneck showed on and off at Swalecliffe. Today at Dungeness it was much quieter. The Ibis was still present with 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, and about 30 Siskins were flying over the ARC Pit. A young Grass Snake was seen along the Dengemarsh Gully. In the moth trap this week an Orange Sallow was new for the year, and there have been 2 examples of the infamous Boxworm Moth, which was the first I've seen. Another first was the Rambur's Pied Shieldbug which I found in the kitchen. This species was first recorded in the UK in Kent in 2011-obviously spreading.

 Rambur's Pied Shieldbug


Grass Snake
Orange Sallow
Boxworm Moth

Wednesday 2 September 2020

We've reached the end of another month and the moth trap year list stands at 375 which is 10 ahead of my previous best year at this stage. I've also had 29 new species this year which I think is pretty good for the 21st year of trapping here. Things have quietened down now with the change in the weather, but the strong northerlies over the weekend brought a big seabird passage along the North Kent coast. I managed 75 arctic Skuas and 25 Bonxies (Great Skuas) in about 2 hours on Sunday morning. A visit to Dunge a week or so ago produced 3 Black Terns on the RSPB reserve. A crab spider in the garden was interesting too.

 Bonxie passing the blockhouse on Sheppey


                                                                          Black Tern

Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)


Tuesday 25 August 2020

 Since my last post the weather is changing but before it did, another new species: a Rest Harrow moth arrived in the trap. I looked for the species at Dungeness earlier in the summer but I assume the one here was a migrant. I've also had my 2nd record of The Shark-the 1st was 17 years ago. Another Golden Twin-spot and a Clay Triple-lines were also of interest.

 Rest Harrow

The Shark
Clay Triple-lines

Saturday 15 August 2020

 Since my last post the moth trap has continued to be busy due to the hot and humid weather. There have been 2 new macro species for the garden list: Golden Twin-spot and Narrow-winged Pug. I was also pleased to photograph Chrysoesthia drurella-my 3rd garden record. At Dungeness this week the Glossy Ibis was still on the ARC pit and 2 Pied Flycatchers were near the Power Station.

Chrysoesthia drurella


Golden Twin-spot

Narrow-winged Pug
Pied Flycatcher
Glossy Ibis

Sunday 9 August 2020

 The very hot weather has produced some big catches in the moth trap with a somewhat battered Convolvulus Hawk-moth the most interesting, and a month earlier than my previous records. Oak Hook-tip and Maiden's Blush have beem amongst new species this year. At Dungeness last week there were 5 Cattle Egrets, a Black-necked Grebe, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and several Willow Warblers on the ARC Pit, and at The St. Thomas A'Becket Church on the Romney Marsh there were a good selections of Dragonflies including 1 Blue-eyed Hawker.


 Oak Hook-tip

Maiden's Blush

Willow Warbler

Convolvulus Hawk-moth


Saturday 1 August 2020

It's the end of another month and the garden moth list stands at 328 which is well ahead of last year's figure of 284 at the same stage, but only just ahead of the figure for my best year of 2018 which was 326 at the end of July. Lesser Spotted Pinion this morning was another new one for the garden list and a True Lover's Knot this week was the first for 19 years. A juvenile Lesser Whitethroat showed well at Dungeness on Wednesday but we struggled to find much else.

Lesser Spotted Pinion

True Lover's Knot

 Lesser Whitethroat

Monday 27 July 2020

The trap continues to produce new species for me with the "very local" Ethmia quadrillella this morning and a Lobster Moth a couple of days ago. I've also had my 4th record of Peach Blossom.

 Ethmia quadrillella

 Lobster Moth

Peach Blossom