Folkestone & Hythe Birds

and other natural history

Last updated: 25th April
The 2017 area bird year list is 165 species (159 species at the same time last year)
25th - A Ring Ouzel at Samphire Hoe (@Sandwichbirdobs).

24th - 3 Ring Ouzels at Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper). 3 Great Skuas and 71 Sandwich Terns flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts). A Wheatear in a garden in Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Chocolate-tip at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

Bearded Tit at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper) 

Yellow Wagtail at Donkey Street

(Brian Harper)

Reed Bunting at Donkey Street

(Brian Harper)

Red Kite at Beachborough Lakes

(Steve Tomlinson)

Chocolate-tip at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Gravitarmata margarotana at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Pine Beauty at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

Italian Wall Lizard at Folk. Warren

(Jacques Turner-Moss)

23rd - 3 Red Kites flew over Park Farm industrial estate in Folkestone (Ralph Thorogood) and there was a notable arrival of Wheatears today with 4 at Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts), 4 at Princes Parade and a good count of 18 at Hythe Ranges, were a Whimbrel was also seen (Brian Harper). A Whitethroat at Copt Point (Alistair Mackay).

Flame Carpet at Horn Street (Paul Howe), Tawny Shears at Hythe and Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (Common Oak Purple) at Paraker Wood (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

22nd - A Little Tern and 60 Common Scoter off the Hythe Redoubt (Roger Norman). An Arctic Skua, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Mute Swans, 80 Sandwich Terns and 155 Common Scoter flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

A good night in the traps with a number of additions to the year list, including Bloxworth Snout, Spruce Carpet and Cabbage Moth at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and Poplar Kitten, Channel Islands Pug, Lime-speck Pug, Oak-tree Pug, Buff Ermine and Shuttle-shaped Dart at Horn Street / Seabrook (Paul Howe). 6 Brimstone butterflies at Folkestone Downs (Brian Harper).
21st - A Manx Shearwater, an Avocet, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Great Skuas and 16 Oystercatchers flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Red Kite, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and 2 House Martins there and a Redpoll and 30 Linnets flew east (Steve Cutt / Ian Roberts). Further Red Kites flew over the Golden Valley in Cherition (Chris Gillard) and West Hougham (John Tomlinson). A Wheatear, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and 6 House Martins at Abbotscliffe (Mark Varley). A pair of Bearded Tits at Nickolls Quarry. A Jack Snipe, a Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Corn Buntings and 2 Yellow Wagtails at Donkey Street (Brian Harper). 2 Brent Geese flew north-east over Hythe (Sean McMinn).

Gravitarmata margarotana (Pine Cone Moth) at Seabrook was a new species for the area and White-pinion Spotted, The Mullein, Muslin Moth and Bright-line Brown-eye at Horn Street / Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe). An Italian Wall Lizard at Folkestone Warren (Jacques Turner-Moss). 

Red Kite at Samphire Hoe

(Ian Roberts)

Wheatear at Samphire Hoe

(Ian Roberts)

White-pinion Spotted at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

The Mullein at Horn Street 

(Paul Howe)

20th - 15 Red Kites flew over Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson), 2 flew over West Hythe (Stuart Ashford) and 1 flew over Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, a House Martin and a Lesser Whitethroat at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith / Ian Roberts). 4 Lesser Whitethroats at Folkestone Downs (Mark Varley). A Yellow Wagtail flew over Copt Point (Brian Harper).

The moth year list is finally growing more quickly, with additions last night including Semioscopis steinkellneriana (Dawn Flat-body), Agonopterix rotundella (Rolling Carrot Flat-body), Waved Umber, Chinese Character and Least Black Arches at Folkestone Warren (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts) and Pammene giganteana (Early Oak Piercer),  Agonopterix subpropinquella (Ruddy Flat-body) and Pebble Prominent at Seabrook, where a Clouded Yellow flew east and the first Holly Blue was seen (Paul Howe). The first Speckled Wood at Castle Hill and a Green Hairstreak nearby (Kevin Harding).
Semioscopis steinkellneriana at Folkestone Warren (Ian Roberts)

Pammene giganteana at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Phyllonorycter sorbi at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Water Carpet at Horn Street

(Paul Howe)

19th - A Serin reported singing near Folkestone Harbour (per Birdguides). A Black-necked Grebe off Mill Point (Brian Harper). A Ring Ouzel and a Whitethroat at Samphire Hoe, where 2 Red Kites flew west and an Arctic Skua and 4 Little Gulls flew east (Steve Cutt / Ian Roberts). A Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Swallows at Abbotscliffe, where an Arctic Skua flew east (Mark Varley). A Yellow Wagtail, a Swallow and a Little Owl at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett). A Ring Ouzel and a Red Kite flew over Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson).

There were several additions to the moth year list including Water Carpet and Purple Thorn at both Heane Wood and Seabrook, Early Tooth-striped at the former site (Ian Roberts) and Phyllonorycter sorbi (Rowan Midget), Agonopterix propinquella (Black-spot Flat-body) and The Herald at the latter (Paul Howe). Green Hairstreak at Abbotscliffe was new for the year (Mark Varley).

18th - A Red Kite flew over Saltwood (Bryn Green). 2 Arctic Skuas, 4 Shelduck and 110 Common Scoter flew past Folkestone Pier, where a Swallow arrived in off (Mark Varley). The first two Swifts of the year were seen over Sandling Station (Kate Featherbe).

Scorched Carpet at Horn Street and Large White and Lunar Marbled Brown at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

17th - 2 Arctic Skuas and 9 Great Skuas flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Little Grebe and a Wheatear there (Ian Roberts / Geoff Burton / Phil Smith). A Whimbrel flew east past Mill Point (Brian Harper). A Cuckoo, a Sedge Warbler and a Cetti's Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Geoff Cooke).

A Clouded Yellow at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith). Caloptilia falconipennella (Scarce Alder Slender) and Digitivalva pulicariae (Fleabane Smudge) at Horn Street were new for the year (Paul Howe). A Harbour Porpoise at Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

Painted Lady at Folkestone Escarpment (Alfie Gay)

Lead-coloured Drab at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Shovelers at Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson)

Little Owl at Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper:

16th - The first Cuckoo of the year and a Reed Warbler at Nickolls Quarry and 2 Wheatears at Princes Parade (Brian Harper / Jamie Tomsett). A Little Gull and a Little Egret flew past Samphire Hoe, also a Wheatear there and a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Swallows arrived in off the sea (Mark Kennett / Steve Cutt / Ian Roberts). A Raven flew over Saltwood (Paul Howe).

A Lead-coloured Drab (the first area record since 2015) and an Angle Shades at Seabrook and an Orange-tip at Saltwood (Paul Howe). A Common Heath at Cheriton Hill and the first Painted Lady of the year, a Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Green-veined White and 3 Peacocks at Folkestone Escarpment (Alfie Gay).

15th - A Long-tailed Duck, a Great Northern Diver, 5 Black-necked Grebesa Mute Swan, a Greylag Goose, 2 Shovelers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Oystercatchers, 170 Brent Geese and 650 Common Scoter passed Samphire Hoe, also 2 Wheatears, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Swallows there (Steve Cutt / Martin Collins / Barry Woolhouse / Paul Holt / Ian Roberts). A Great White Egret, a Little Egret and 2 Common Sandpipers at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper). 2 Red Kites flew over Folkestone Warren (Dale Gibson).

The V-Pug and Agonopterix arenella (Brindled Flat-body) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

Great White Egret at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper)

Black-necked Grebes at Princes Parade (Brian Harper)

Long-eared Owl at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith)

Tree Pipit at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper)

Pine Beauty at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Powdered Quaker at Seabrook
(Paul Howe)
Shoulder Stripe at Seabrook
(Paul Howe)
Brindled Beauty at Seabrook
(Paul Howe)

14th – A Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Firecrest, a Marsh Harrier and a Green Sandpiper at Botolph’s Bridge and a Yellow Wagtail at Donkey Street (Brian Harper). A Garden Warbler and a Willow Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman). A Ring Ouzel at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

13th - 2 Black-necked Grebes off Princes Parade, also a Firecrest there, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Green Sandpiper, a Red-legged Partridge and 43 Stock Doves at Botolph’s Bridge and a Snipe and a Little Owl at Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper). 2 Slavonian Grebes off Folkestone Beach, to the west of the pier (O. Leyshon). A Lesser Whitethroat at Abbotscliffe (Mark Varley).

12th - 3 Slavonian Grebes, a Wheatear, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Redwings, 10 Whimbrel and 54 Gannets at Samphire Hoe (Steve Cutt). A Common Sandpiper, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Tufted Duck and 2 Shoveler at Hythe Ranges, 2 House Martins, 3 Sand Martins and 48 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry, a Jack Snipe, a Wheatear, a Gadwall and 27 Stock Doves at Donkey Street, 3 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe Redoubt, a Marsh Tit and 2 Nuthatch at Bargrove Wood and a Little Egret and 2 Brent Geese at the Willop Basin (Brian Harper). A House Martin, a Shoveler, a Water Rail, 5 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 7 Swallows and 39 Meadow Pipits at Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson). 10 Redwings and 19 Fieldfares at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett).

Pale Pinion and Agonopterix alstromeriana (Brown-spot Flat-body) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).  

11th - The first Reed Warbler and 2 Snipe at Botolph’s Bridge and a Sand Martin at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). A Brambling, 2 Water Rails, 2 Redwings and 5 Shoveler at Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson).

Pine Beauty, The Streamer, Swallow Prominent, Nut-tree Tussock, Parornix anglicella (Hawthorn Slender) and Alucita hexadactyla (Twenty-plume Moth) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

10th - A Long-eared Owl at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith / Paul Holt). A Jack Snipe at Donkey Street, a Green Sandpiper and a Peregrine at Botolph’s Bridge and 5 Siskins along the canal at Palmarsh (Brian Harper).

The first Small White of the year at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

9th - A Great Northern Diver on the sea between Sandgate and Seabrook (Neil Frampton). A Short-eared Owl, a Black-throated Diver, a Wheatear, 2 Swallows and 25 Sandwich Terns at Samphire Hoe (Steve Cutt). A Snipe, 2 Pochard, 3 Sand Martins and 38 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry, a Green Sandpiper at Botolph’s Bridge, a Firecrest at Folks’ Wood and a Marsh Tit and 2 Redwings at Bargrove Wood (Brian Harper). 2 Swallows flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Powdered Quaker at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). 4 Harbour Porpoises off Hythe (Sean McMinn).

8th - A Ring Ouzel, a Black Redstart and a Swallow at Creteway Down (Dale Gibson). A drake Red-breasted Merganser at Battery Point, a Wheatear at Hythe Ranges and 2 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). A Swallow at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

A Barred Tooth-striped at Folkestone Warren (Fred Butcher / Tony Rouse).

7th - A Tree Pipit and a Swallow at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper).

Shoulder Stripe, Brindled Pug and Zelleria hepariella (Brown Ash Ermel) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).  

6th - The first 2 Sedge Warblers singing at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper) and the first Swallow arrived in off the sea at Fisherman's Beach, Hythe. An adult Little Gull, 2 Black-throated Divers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Common Terns, 11 Shoveler, 13 Siskins, 55 Sandwich Terns and 255 Common Scoters flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Firecrest, a Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaffs there (Tony Swandale / Ian Roberts). A Red-breasted Merganser flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Green-veined White, Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Brimstone at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Brimstone in a garden in Cheriton (Chris Gillard).

5th - A male Brambling in a garden in Cheriton (Neil Frampton). A female Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone, also 3 Buzzards flew over (John Tomlinson). Up to 4 Chiffchaffs along the canal between Hythe and Seabrook (Clive Nuttman).

4th - A Water Rail, a Teal, 2 Red-legged Partridges and 21 Redwings at Beachborough Lakes, where 2 Bramblings flew east (Steve Tomlinson). 2 Wheatears at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett). 2 Chiffchaffs at Abbotscliffe (Mark Varley) and 2 Chiffchaffs in a garden in Folkestone (John Tomlinson).

3rd - 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (Mark Varley). A Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Mick Vandoen).

2nd - A Wheatear, a Firecrest, a Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff at Samphire Hoe, where 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 8 Shelduck, 190 Gannets, 440 Brent Geese and 540 Common Scoter flew east. A Firecrest at Ladies Walk, Hythe (Ian Roberts). A Black Redstart in a garden in Folkestone (Mick Vandoen). 3 Redshanks and 30 Great Crested Grebes at Folkestone Harbour (Mark Varley).

A Harbour Porpoise off Folkestone Harbour (Mark Varley).

1st - A Short-eared Owl, a Firecrest, a Black Redstart, a Chiffchaff, a Redwing, 2 Wheatears and 12 Stonechats at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt / Martin Collins / Phil Smith / Ian Roberts). A Red Kite and 2 Chiffchaffs at Asholt Wood (Chris Gillard). A Chiffchaff singing at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

2 Harbour Porpoises off Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts / Paul Holt).

Short-eared Owl at Samphire Hoe (Martin Collins)

Firecrest at Samphire Hoe (Martin Collins)

January and March 2018 sightings have been archived - click here for a review of the bird sightings for the year or here for a review of the moth, butterfly and other sightings.

The 2017 Folkestone & Hythe Bird Report is available as a free download (click on the link to open).