Folkestone & Hythe Birds

and other natural history

Last updated: 17th March
The 2017 area bird year list is 130 species (130 species at the same time last year)
17th - 2 Hawfinches in a garden in Folkestone (John Tomlinson). A Pochard, a Chiffchaff, 2 Avocets, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 4 Shelduck and 5 Tufted Ducks at Nickolls Quarry, a Sand Martin and 3 Barnacle Geese at the Willop Basin, 3 Purple Sandpipers at the Hythe Redoubt and a Firecrest and a Chiffchaff at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper). An adult Little Gull, 4 Gadwall and 225 Brent Geese flew east past Hythe (Bruce Findlay / Ian Roberts). A Black Redstart, a Dunlin, 3 Oystercatchers, 7 Shelduck, 8 Teal and 113 Brent Geese at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett).

An Early Grey at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

Pochard and Tufted Ducks at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper)

Avocets at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper:

Firecrest at Botolph's Bridge

(Brian Harper:

Brent Geese passing Samphire Hoe

(Ian Roberts)

Red-green Carpet at Cheriton

(Brian Harper:

Yellow Horned at Folks' Wood

(Ian Roberts)

Yellow Horned
(Ian Roberts)

Twin-spotted Quaker at Folks' Wood

(Ian Roberts)

16th - A Marsh Harrier and a Merlin at Samphire Hoe, where 90 Brent Geese flew east (Ian Roberts). At least 90 Great Crested Grebes off Copt Point (Mark Varley). A Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff  in a garden in Folkestone (Mick Vandoen). A Black Redstart at the Hythe Sailing Club (Bruce Findlay) and 3 Purple Sandpipers at opposite the Hotel Imperial (David Gower). A Black Redstart and 2 Rock Pipits at Folkestone Pier (Martin Collins).

Red-green Carpet at Cheriton was new for the year (Brian Harper).

15th - 2 Egyptian Geese flew west past Samphire Hoe, also a Black Redstart and 8 Ravens there (Ian Roberts / Steve Cutt).

Yellow Horned, Red Chestnut, Twin-spotted Quaker, The Engrailed and Acleris cristana (Tufted Button) at Folks' Wood were amongst several additions to the year list (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).

14th - 2 Shoveler, 4 Avocets, 6 Sandwich Terns, 36 Red-throated Divers and 281 Brent Geese flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

The first Brimstone butterfly of the year was at Samphire Hoe and the first Small Tortoiseshell was at Folkestone Downs.

13th - A Firecrest, 2 Black Redstarts, 4 Redwings and 600 Cormorants at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith / Ian Roberts) and the first migrant Chiffchaff of the year in a garden in Folkestone (Mick Vandoen).

Tortricodes alternella (Winter Shade) and Eudonia angustea (Narrow-winged Grey) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (Beautiful Plume) at Hythe (Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

Redwing at Samphire Hoe

(Ian Roberts)

Tortricodes alternella at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

Acleris literana at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Grey Shoulder-knot at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

12th - A Hawfinch and and a pair of Blackcaps in a garden in Saltwood (Geoff Cooke). 3 Sandwich Terns were reported flying east past Samphire Hoe.

11th - 2 Ruff at the Willop Basin (Brian Harper). A Firecrest at Samphire Hoe, where 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and 670 Brent Geese flew east (Ian Roberts / Steve Cutt). A Shelduck and 141 Brent Geese flew east past Seabrook, also 33 Great Crested Grebes on the sea there (Paul Howe). 200 Brent Geese flew east past Hythe (Bruce Findlay).

Acleris literana (Lichen Button) and Small Quaker at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe). 

10th - 20 Common Scoter and 210 Brent Geese flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts). A pair of Ravens at Mill Point (Stephanie Lea). A Pochard at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper).

Diurnea fagella (March Tubic) and Depressaria daucella (Dingy Flat-body) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

9th - A Firecrest and a Blackcap along the Royal Military Canal near the Burmarsh Road bridge. A Tufted Duck and 10 Great Crested Grebes at Nickolls Quarry. A Curlew and 17 Lapwings at the Willop Basin (Roger Norman).

A Grey Shoulder-knot at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

7th - The Ruff and 164 Lapwings still at the Willop Basin (Roger Norman). A Reed Bunting, a Snipe, 2 Grey Partridges, 23 Stock Doves and 40 Yellowhammers at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett). A Golden Plover, a Curlew and a Little Egret flew west at Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts). A Marsh Harrier flew west over Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson). An Oystercatcher at Copt Point (Alistair Mackay).

An Early Moth, an Oak Beauty, 2 March Moths and 3 Pale Brindled Beauty at Seabrook (Paul Howe). An Oak Beauty at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

Grey Wagtail at Botolph's Bridge

(Brian Harper:

Shelduck at Botolph's Bridge

(Brian Harper:

March Moth at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Oak Beauty at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

6th - The Ruff, a Curlew and 161 Lapwings at the Willop Basin and a drake Pochard at Botolph's Bridge (Ian Roberts). A Black-throated Diver, a Great Skua and 47 Red-throated Divers flew past Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith).

A Mompha subbistrigella (Garden Cosmet) at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

5th - A Goshawk and 2 Ravens flew over Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Great White Egret at West Hythe dam. A Ruff, a Dunlin, a Curlew, 5 Wigeon and 304 Lapwings at the Willop Basin. A Black Redstart at the Hythe Redoubt. 12 Brent Geese and 90 Red-throated Divers flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts / Roger Norman).

A Pale Brindled Beauty at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Harbour Porpoise off Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

4th - 20 Brent Geese and 232 Red-throated Divers flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Shelduck and 4 Fieldfare there (Ian Roberts). A Little Egret, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Shelduck and 61 Fieldfares at Botolph's Bridge, a Wigeon on the canal at Seabrook and 5 Dunlin at the Willop Outfall (Brian Harper).

A Pale Brindled Beauty at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

3rd - A Shoveler, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Curlew, a Shelduck, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 22 Brent Geese, 67 Great Crested Grebes, 170 Red-throated Divers, 1,500 Cormorants and 1,565 auks flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Wigeon, a Shelduck, a Fieldfare and 2 Snipe there (Paul Holt / Ian Roberts). 2 Snipe, 3 Wigeon and 19 Lapwing at the Willop Basin, where 44 Brent Geese flew east. 3 Green Sandpipers at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman). A Lapwing flew west at Seabrook and a Peregrine, and 1,438 Cormorants flew east, also 5 Shelduck in the bay (Paul Howe). 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe (Sean McMinn). 2 Blackcaps in a garden in Hythe (Garry Blackburn).

Wigeon at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Shelduck at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Shelduck at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Blackcap at Hythe

(Garry Blackburn)

2nd - A Little Gull, a Shag, 2 Great Skuas, 7 Wigeon, 23 Bar-tailed Godwits, 40 Fulmars, 60 Red-throated Divers, 120 Gannets, 155 Great Crested Grebes and 2,165 Cormorants flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Snipe and a Fieldfare there (Ian Roberts).

A Harbour Porpoise off Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).

1st - A Golden Plover, a Woodcock, a Wigeon, a Shelduck, 3 Snipe and 4 Fieldfares at Samphire Hoe (Steve Cutt / Ian Roberts). A male Blackcap in a garden in Hythe (Sean McMinn) and in a garden in Saltwood there were a female Blackcap and 2 Greenfinches (the first at this location in over a year) (Geoff Cooke). A Lapwing flew over Park Farm industrial estate (Alistair Mackay). 11 Bar-tailed Godwits flew east past Seabrook (Paul Howe).

January and February 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).