Folkestone & Hythe Birds

and other natural history

Last updated: 25th February
The 2017 area bird year list is 121 species (121 species at the same time last year)
25th - 7 Fulmars, 30 Kittiwakes and 30 Gannets flew past Mill Point (Ian Roberts).

24th - 7 Brent Geese on the sea off the Willop Outfall and 90 Red-throated Divers flew west. A Cetti's Warbler, a Little Owl and 3 Chiffchaffs at the Willop Sewage Works (Ian Roberts). 2 Marsh Tits and around 5 Buzzards at Casebourne Wood (Simon Warry). A Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, a Cetti's Warbler and 5 Water Rails at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster).

23rd - A foul day as Storm Doris crossed the area, little more than a few Gannets were noted offshore (Ian Roberts).

22nd - 25 Brent Geese flew east past the Willop Outfall (Ian Roberts).

21st - A flock of 7 Egyptian Geese and 7 Curlew at the Willop Basin (Ian Roberts).

Mild conditions overnight led to a number of additions to the moth year list, with Depressaria daucella (Dingy Flat-body) and Agonopterix heracliana (Common Flat-body) at Seabrook (Paul Howe), The Chestnut and Tortricodes alternella (Winter Shade) at Folks' Wood and Double-striped Pug at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

20th - A Shag flew west past Folkestone Pier, also 2 Rock Pipits, 20 Great Crested Grebes, 25 Guillemots and 50 Gannets there, and 3 Redshank and 3 Turnstone in Folkestone Harbour (Kevin Harding).

Crocidosema plebejana (Southern Bell) and Scrobipalpa costella (Winter Groundling) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

19th - A Marsh Harrier flew in off the sea at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Purple Sandpiper at Hythe opposite Twiss Road (Owen Leyshon). A Firecrest at Enbrook Park, Sandgate and a Shag offshore (Brian Harper). A Water Rail and 7 Canada Geese at Nickolls Quarry and a Peregrine along Donkey Street, near the Little Piece (Ian Roberts). A Little Grebe, 2 Ravens and 9 Fulmars at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

A Dotted Border at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

Grey Shoulder-knot at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Dotted Border at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

18th - Most of the day's interest was offshore, with the highlights being a very early Sandwich Tern off Hythe and an Avocet at the Hythe Redoubt. Also of note were totals of 3 Teal, 16 Razorbills, 140 Red-throated Divers and 170 Great Crested Grebes on the sea between the Willop Outfall and Folkestone Harbour, whilst 4 Fulmars and 37 Brent Geese flew east and at least 100 Red-throated Divers flew west. A Kingfisher, a Rock Pipit and 2 Redshank were also at Folkestone Harbour, Purple Sandpipers were seen at Hythe opposite Stade Street (1) and Twiss Road (2), a singing male Blackcap, Kingfisher and 2 Water Rails were at Princes Parade, a Raven and a record count of 62 Snipe were near the Aldington Road, 6 Curlew and 26 Lapwing were at the Willop Basin (David Featherbe / Bruce Findlay / Brian Harper / Stephanie Lea / Roger Norman / Ian Roberts / Nigel Webster).

A Grey Shoulder-knot at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).
17th - A male Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Mick Vandoen). 3 Curlew, 5 Snipe and 200 Lapwings at the Willop Basin, with at least 200 Great Crested Grebes offshore (Roger Norman). 9 Mandarin Ducks and 180 Teal at Chesterfield Wood, Saltwood (Ian Roberts). A small party of Siskins at Casebourne Wood (Simon Warry).

The milder weather has led to the capture of a few moths recently:

Spring Usher at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Pale-brindled Beauty at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Pale-brindled Beauty at Cheriton (Brian Harper:

Satellite at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

15th - A Shag and 2 Ravens at Samphire Hoe (per Derek Smith). 140 Fieldfares and 400 Redwings at Blackhouse Shaw, Saltwood (Nigel Webster).

14th -  A Little Grebe, a Little Egret, a Razorbill and 2 Ravens at Samphire Hoe and 1,172 Cormorants flew past (per Derek Smith). 55 Lapwings at Tumble Tye Farm, Capel-le-Ferne (Mark Kennett).

A Peacock butterfly in a garden in Hythe (Clive Nuttman).  Emmelina monodactyla (Common Plume) at Seabrook was a new moth for the year (Paul Howe).

13th - A Little Egret, a Razorbill and 2 Ravens at Samphire Hoe (per Derek Smith). A Purple Sandpiper, a Guillemot and 9 Red-throated Divers at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (Nigel Webster).

12th - A pair of Blackcaps in a garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe).

11th - 3 Curlew, 3 Redshank, 7 Snipe and 165 Lapwings at the Willop Basin where 3 Brent Geese and 8 Shelduck flew past (Roger Norman / Ian Roberts). A Grey Wagtail at West Hythe dam (David Mansfield).

10th - A female Red-breasted Merganser at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). 2 Ravens and 70 Fieldfares at Botolph's Bridge. 3 Chiffchaffs and 14 Yellowhammers at the Willop Sewage Works (Ian Roberts).

Red-breasted Merganser at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper:

Spring Usher at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

9th - A flock of 20-30 Twite reported at Broadmead Village, Cheriton, in the Lucy Avenue / Perries Mead area CT19 5UD (Jim Wood).

A Spring Usher at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

8th - A Curlew, 11 Redshank and 84 Lapwings at the Willop Basin, also a Shelduck and a Razorbill offshore. 2 Stonechats, 3 Tufted Ducks and 18 Gadwall on the lake at Folkestone Racecourse. There were no sign of the Twite today (Ian Roberts). A Razorbill, 5 Stonechats, 9 Fulmars, 38 Kittiwakes at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

2 Harbour Porpoises off Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

7th - A flock of 8 Twite were reported yesterday at Cheriton, by the Pent Stream at Shearway Business Park, between Pent Road and Caesar's Way (c.TR207375), though there was no sign today (Jon Varley). 1,000 Cormorants flew west at Samphire Hoe, also a Shag there (Per Derek Smith).

6th - A Black Redstart, a Ring-necked Parakeet, a Stonechat, 4 Chiffchaffs (including a bird showing characteristics of the form tristis), 14 Yellowhammers and 70 Pied Wagtails at the Willop Sewage Works, 5 Curlew and 17 Snipe at the Willop Basin and a Shag at Sandgate (Ian Roberts). A Black Redstart at Folkestone Harbour (Brian Harper). 64 Red-throated Divers and 1,290 Cormorants (including a flock of over 800) flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Shag there (Mark Kennett / Pete Coleman / Paul Holt).

5th - 45 Mute Swans and 172 Lapwings at Botolph's Bridge (Ian Roberts). A Little Grebe at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

4th - Rain through much of the day restricted coverage. A Curlew, a Rock Pipit, 3 Redshank and 53 Lapwings at the Willop Basin. 5,000+ Starlings roosted again at Pleydell Gardens, Folkestone (Ian Roberts). 

Black Redstart at the Willop sewage works (Ian Roberts)

3rd - A male Blackcap in a garden in Hythe (Glenn Tutton). 2 Ravens flew west over Lympne Park Wood (Philip Sharp). 2 Teal and 15 Gadwall on the lake at Folkestone Racecourse, Westenhanger. 20+ Yellowhammers at Oxenden Farm, Pedlinge and 20+ Yellowhammers and 70 Fieldfares at Kennet Lane, Stanford (Ian Roberts). A Black Redstart at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).

Blackcap at Hythe (Glenn Tutton)

Purple Sandpiper at Hythe (Martin Casemore:

2nd - Another massive movement of Cormorants, with a record total of 1,471 heading east past Mill Point (Brian Harper) - it would appear that these are birds heading out from a roost at Dungeness (where a record count of 1,860 came in this evening) to feed in the Channel. A Blackcap again in a garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe). 19 Redwings at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett). 

1st - 650 Cormorants flew east at Sandgate this morning and 750 flew west along the coast this afternoon. c.5,000 Starlings roosted at Pleydell Gardens, Folkestone. 46 Mute Swans and 130 Lapwings at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts / Barry Minter).

January 2017 sightings have been archived - click here for a review of the year to date.

The 2016 annual reports for birds and moths/butterflies are now available to download by clicking on the images opposite.