Folkestone & Hythe Birds

and other natural history

Last updated: 25th April
The 2017 area bird year list is 158 species (161 species at the same time last year)

25th - A male Whinchat and 3 Wheatears at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett). A Tree Pipit flew north over Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts). A Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Swallows, 4 Wheatears, 4 Whitethroats and 12 House Martins at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith). A Willow Warbler at Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone (John Tomlinson).

Rustic Shoulder-knot at Hythe was new for the year and 5 Dew Moths were at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts).

24th - A Wheatear at Copt Point (Alistair Mackay). 3 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (Nigel Webster). A Peregrine at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Light Feathered Rustic and Psycoides filicivora (Fern Smut) at Hythe were new for the year (Ian Roberts).

Light Feathered Rustic at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

Purple Sandpiper at Hythe

(Nigel Webster)

Fulmar at Hythe Redoubt

(Brian Harper:

23rd - A Spoonbill flew east at Seabrook (Sean McMinn). 2 Ring Ouzels at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett). A Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail and 8 Corn Buntings at Donkey Street. A Common Sandpiper and 4 Teal at Nickolls Quarry. A Great Skua flew east past Samphire Hoe (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).


A Common Pug at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). 3 Harbour Porpoises off Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

22nd - The first two Swifts of the year flew east over Palmarsh (Jamie Tomsett). A Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatears at Princes Parade. 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, where 13 Whimbrel flew east (Sean McMinn). 8 Willow Warblers at Samphire Hoe, 2 Lesser Whitethroats at Capel-le-Ferne Gun Site and a Lesser Whitethroat at Shorncliffe Camp (Ian Roberts).

Coleophora serratella (Common Case-bearer) and Eriocrania semipurpurella (Early Purple) at Folks' Wood, Bright-line Brown-eye and Lime-speck Pug at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and Puss Moth, Sallow Kitten, Dichrorampha acuminatana (Sharp-winged Drill) and Monopis obviella (Yellow-backed Clothes Moth) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year.

Puss Moth and Sallow Kitten at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Coleophora serratella and Eriocrania semipurpurella at Folks Wd (Ian Roberts)

21st - A Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroats and 5 Willow Warblers at Abbotscliffe, where a Sand Martin, 2 House Martins and 3 Swallows flew in off the sea and a Whimbrel flew east. A Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat at Nickolls Quarry. A Willow Warbler at Hythe. At least 3 Yellow Wagtails still at Donkey Street (Ian Roberts). A Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat at Princes Parade, where 6 Mediterranean Gulls flew east (Nigel Webster). A Lesser Whitethroat at Capel-le-Ferne Gun Site and a Willow Warbler at Folkestone Downs (Mark Varley).

Grey Birch, White Ermine, Brown Silver-line, Clouded Border, Common White Wave, Epinotia immundana and Small Phoenix at Casebourne Wood (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts) were new for the year, as were Pine Hawk-moth, Swallow Prominent, Small Phoenix, Aspilapteryx tringipennella (Ribwort Slender) and Depressaria radiella (Parsnip Moth) at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Grey Birch at Casebourne Wood

(Ian Roberts)

White Ermine at Casebourne Wood (Ian Roberts)

Pine Hawk-moth at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Pale Tussock at Hythe
(Ian Roberts)

20th - A Corn Bunting, 2 Grey Partridges, 5 Yellow Wagtails and 10 Whimbrel at Donkey Street and a pair of Shoveler off the Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper). A Willow Warbler at Samphire Hoe, also 4 Shags offshore (Ian Roberts). A Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat and a House Martin at Abbotscliffe (Mark Varley). A Wheatear at Church Hougham, where a Whimbrel flew over (Mark Kennett).

Small Purple-barred at Peene Quarry, Elachista argentella (Swan-feather Dwarf) at Botolph's Bridge and Samphire Hoe, and Pale Tussock at Hythe were new for the year (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).

Yellow Wagtail and Grey Partridge at Donkey Street

(Brian Harper:

Small Copper at Peene Quarry

(Brian Harper)

Small Copper var. caeruleo-punctata at Samphire Hoe (Colin Brotherwood)

19th - After yesterday's small arrival it was much quieter on the land, though the two Black Redstarts remained at Samphire Hoe. There was some movement at sea, with totals of 5 Grey Plover, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 21 Sandwich Terns, 44 Whimbrel and 55 Gannets heading east (Ian Roberts / Nigel Webster).

A Grey Seal off West Parade, Hythe (Glenn Tutton). 2 Dingy Skippers, 3 Wall and 3 Small Heath at Folkestone Downs (Alfie Gay). A Clouded Yellow at Samphire Hoe was new for the year, also a Dingy Skipper, a Small Heath, 2 Small Coppers (1 of variant form caerulo-punctata) and 4 Wall there (Colin Brotherton).

Bar-tailed Godwits and Whimbrel

at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster)

Common Redstart at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Whitethroat at Samphire Hoe

(Phil Smith) 

Kestrel at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper:

Wall at Folkestone Downs

(Alfie Gay)

Raven nest with 3 fledglings at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt)

Very few Early Spider Orchids are in flower at Samphire Hoe this year but they do include this flavescens variant (@Barbus59)

18th - A Nightingale singing at Mill Point, near the toll house (Neil Frampton). A Whimbrel, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat, 2 Common Redstarts, 2 Black Redstarts, 5 Wheatears and 9 Willow Warblers at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith / Ian Roberts). A Sand Martin, 8 Whimbrel, 10 Swallows and 18 House Martins at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). 2 Wheatears, 6 Reed Warblers, 8 Whitethroats and 14 Willow Warblers at Princes Parade, where 7 Swallows and 16 Linnets flew west (Nigel Webster). 15 Whimbrel flew east past Hythe (Glenn Tutton).

A Peacock Moth at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). A Green Hairstreak, 3 Wall, 6 Dingy Skipper and 7 Small Heath at Cheriton Hill (Alfie Gay).

17th - A Velvet Scoter flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Whitethroat and 2 Wheatears there (Martin Collins / Mark Kennett). A Wheatear and 2 Swallows near the Hotel Imperial, Hythe (Bruce Findlay). 16 Whimbrel flew east past Hythe. 3 Willow Warblers at Shorncliffe Camp (Ian Roberts). 

A Lime Hawk-moth and a Lunar Thorn at Hythe were new for the year (Ian Roberts).

Lime Hawk-moth at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

Purple Sandpiper at Hythe
(Nigel Webster)
Sedge Warbler and Shovelers at Nickolls Quarry
(Brian Harper:

16th - 3 Shoveler, 4 Reed Warblers, 5 Whimbrel, 5 Swallows, 14 Sedge Warblers at Nickolls Quarry. A Wheatear and a Swallow at Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). 2 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Reed Warblers, 5 Swallows and 7 Whitethroats at Princes Parade, where 16 Linnets flew west. 4 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (Nigel Webster). 12 Swallows at Abbotscliffe (Bruce Findlay). A Buzzard flew east and 2 Swallows flew north over Hythe (Glenn Tutton).

15th - 2 Purple Sandpipers and 8 Turnstones at Hythe opposite Twiss Road (Nigel Webster), where 2 House Martins flew in off the sea (Bruce Findlay). A Lesser Whitethroat at Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper).

The Mocha, Small White Wave and White-pinion Spotted at West Hythe were new for the year, as was Yellow-barred Brindle at Hythe. A Hairy Dragonfly was also seen at West Hythe (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).

Mocha at West Hythe (Ian Roberts)

Mullein at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Pale Prominent and Red Twin-spot Carpet at Heane Wood (Ian Roberts)

14th - A Marsh Harrier flew in off the sea at Abbotscliffe, also a House Martin, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Wheatears, 2 Whitethroats and 4 Swallows there and 6 Sand Martins flew in off the sea at Capel-le-Ferne (Mark Varley / Mark Kennett / Ian Roberts). 2 Shoveler on the canal between Palmarsh and West Hythe (John Gomm). A Ringed Plover, 5 Sanderling and 14 Turnstone at Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper).

The Mullein at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

13th - A Greenshank flew over Nickolls Quarry, also 3 Willow Warblers and 3 Whitethroats there (Roger Norman). A Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Swallows and 3 Whitethroats at Princes Parade and 2 Purple Sandpipers at Battery Point (Nigel Webster). A Ring Ouzel and 4 Shags at Abbotscliffe, where a Swallow and 20 Linnets flew in off the sea (Ian Roberts).

Waved Umber, Pale Prominent, Red Twin-spot Carpet, White-spotted Pug, Shuttle-Shaped Dart and Aphomia sociella (Bee Moth) at Heane Wood were new for the year, as were Pebble Prominent and Shuttle-shaped Dart at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and Knot Grass at Cheriton (Brian Harper).

12th - 2 Ring Ouzels at Samphire Hoe (Steve Arthur). 3 Willow Warblers at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett) and a Willow Warbler at Shorncliffe Camp (Ian Roberts).

The Rivulet at Paraker Wood was new for the year (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).

Green Hairstreak and Dingy Skipper at Cheriton Hill (Alfie Gay)

Wall and Holly Blue at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith)

Scalloped Hook-tip and Purple Thorn at Folks' Wood (Ian Roberts)

Nut-tree Tussock at Cheriton

(Brian Harper:

Brimstone at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

11th - The first Common Sandpiper of the year and 4 Tufted Ducks at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman). A Ring Ouzel at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith). a Willow Warbler, 2 Ring Ouzels and 2 Swallows at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts). 2 Swallows, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 5 Whitethroats and 8 Blackcaps at Princes Parade and 2 Purple Sandpipers at Battery Point (Nigel Webster).

Wall butterfly at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith), Green Hairstreak and Red Admiral at Cheriton Hill (Alfie Gay), Tawny Shears at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and Agonopterix ciliella (Large Carrot Flat-body) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year, whilst 8 Dingy Skippers at Folkestone Downs (Alfie Gay) and a Painted Lady at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman) were also of note.

10th - A Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Sand Martins and 4 Wheatears at Abbotscliffe. A Whitethroat, a Redwing, a Swallow, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 House Martins, 3 Sand Martins and 4 Sedge Warblers at Nickolls Quarry (Mark Kennett / Ian Roberts). A Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, 3 Swallows and 3 Willow Warblers at Samphire Hoe, where the Raven pair are now feeding young (Paul Holt).

Agonopterix arenella (Brindled Flat-body), Dyseriocrania subpurpurella (Common Oak Purple), Scalloped Hook-tip, Early Tooth-striped and Purple Thorn at Folks' Wood, Ocnerostoma friesei (Grey Pine Ermel) and Brimstone Moth at Seabrook and Incurvaria masculella (Feathered Bright), Small Dusty Wave and Brimstone Moth at Hythe were new for the year (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts / Paul Howe).

9th - A Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 2 Shoveler, 16 Brent Geese and 117 Sandwich Terns flew east past Mill Point (Ian Roberts).

Nut-tree Tussock at Cheriton (Brian Harper), Least Black Arches and Acleris hastiana (Sallow Button) at Seabrook and Brown-tail larvae at Horn Street (Paul Howe) were new for the year. A Brimstone at Casebourne Wood and Harbour Porpoise off Mill Point (Ian Roberts) and 2 Dingy Skippers at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith) were also of note.

8th - The first 3 Common Terns of the year, a Pintail, 5 Shoveler and 94 Sandwich Terns flew east past Mill Point (Ian Roberts). The first Whitethroat of the year at Copt Point (Alistair Mackay). The Black Redstart singing again from the Stade Court Hotel, Hythe (Sean McMinn). A Wheatear at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster). A Swallow at Samphire Hoe, where 15 Bar-tailed Godwits flew east (Paul Trodd). A Swallow and a Peregrine at Lympne (Philip Sharp). 2 Cetti's Warblers at Princes Parade and 4 Purple Sandpipers at Seabrook (Kevin Harding).

Muslin Moth at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe) as was a Dingy Skipper in Folkestone Warren (Ian Roberts).

Muslin Moth and Pyrausta aurata at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Common Heath and Pyrausta despicata at Cheriton Hill (Alfie Gay)

7th - A Red Kite flew east at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts) and one was seen over Saltwood (Paul Howe). A Black Redstart singing from the Stade Court Hotel, Hythe and 4 Jays flew in off the sea there (Sean McMinn).

The first two Dew Moths of the year at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts). Small Heath, Common Heath and Pyrausta despicata (Straw-barred Pearl) at Cheriton Hill were new for the year, also a Brimstone at Sugarloaf Hill (Alfie Gay). 

6th - A Marsh Harrier, 2 Swallows and 4 Sand Martins flew in off the sea at Abbotscliffe, also a Willow Warbler and 2 Grey Partridge there, and 10 Linnets, 15 Goldfinches and 35 Chaffinches flew east (Mark Varley / Ian Roberts). A male Black Redstart singing at Hythe seafront (Sean McMinn). 3 Greylag Geese flew East at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Reed Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper).

Dew Moth at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts)

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The first modern area record of Emperor Moth at Horn Street and a Chocolate-tip at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe). An Adder at Abbotscliffe (Mark Varley).

5th - A Red Kite flew over Hythe. 2 Purple Sandpipers at Battery Point. A Firecrest at Abbotsliffe. A Swallow flew over Folkestone Downs. A Cetti's Warbler at Princes Parade (Sean McMinn / Ian Roberts / Nigel Webster / Jamie Tomsett / Mark Varley / Kevin Harding).

Lunar Marbled Brown and Pyrausta aurata (Small Purple & Gold) at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). The first Speckled Woods of the year at Folkestone Downs (Mark Varley) and Shorncliffe (Kevin Harding), whilst a remarkable 9 species of butterfly were recorded at Seabrook including a male Brimstone and the first Large White of the year (Paul Howe).

Lunar Marbled Brown at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

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4th - The first two Yellow Wagtails of the year at Donkey Street, near The Little Piece. A Sedge Warbler, a Willow Warbler, 3 Cetti's Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs and 40+ hirundines (of 3 species) at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman). A Red Kite flew west at Samphire Hoe, also a Wheatear, a Black Redstart and 4 Chiffchaffs there (Phil Smith / Ian Roberts). A Swallow flew over Folkestone Downs and 2 Nuthatch at Asholt Wood (Kevin Harding).  

A Gracillaria syringella (Common Slender) at Folkestone was new for the year (Paul Howe).

3rd - The first Reed Warbler at Nickolls Quarry equaled the earliest arrival date, also a Willow Warbler, 2 Redwing and 3 Sedge Warblers there. A Merlin chasing Sky Larks at Donkey Street, also a Peregrine there (Ian Roberts). 2 Ravens and 4 Swallows flew over Lympne Church (Philip Sharp).

2nd - A Wheatear and 60 Sandwich Terns at Hythe Ranges (Sean McMinn). A Willow Warbler at Abbotscliffe where 4 Siskins, 15 Goldfinches, 58 Linnets and 113 Chaffinches flew in/east (Ian Roberts). 2 Red Kites and 2 Buzzards flew over Folkestone (Neil Frampton). A Red Kite flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Willow Warbler at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster). A Barn Owl and a Sedge Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper).

4 Harbour Porpoises in Hythe Bay (Sean McMinn). The first Painted Lady and Small Copper butterflies of the year at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith).

Sedge Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper)

littoralis Rock Pipit at Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper)

1st - Two singing Sedge Warblers at Nickolls Quarry were the earliest ever record locally. A male Marsh Harrier, a female Merlin and a Peregrine at Botolph's Bridge. A littoralis Rock Pipit and 3 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). Another 2 Sedge Warblers, a Cetti's Warbler, a Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaffs along the canal at Seabrook (Dylan Wrathall).

Acleris literana (Lichen Button) at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

Acleris literana at Seabrook (Paul Howe)
Agonopterix alstromeriana at Seabrook (Paul Howe)
March 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.