Folkestone & Hythe Birds

and other natural history

Last updated: 22nd May
The 2017 area bird year list is 172 species (175 species at the same time last year)

22nd - A Common Sandpiper, a Hobby and a Sedge Warbler at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster).

A Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) at Cheriton, where Large Yellow Underwing and Cydia pomonella (Codling Moth) were new for the year (Brian Harper). Poplar Kitten, The Snout, Tawny Marbled Minor, Alabonia geoffrella (Common Tubic) and Argyresthia spinosella (Blackthorn Argent) at Seabrook were also new for the year (Paul Howe), as were Evergestis limbata (Dark Bordered Pearl) at Hythe and Endothenia gentianaeana (Teasel Marble) at Princes Parade (Ian Roberts).

Alabonia geoffrella at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Argyresthia spinosella at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Poplar Kitten at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Nomophila noctuella at Cheriton

(Brian Harper)

21st - A Little Owl at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett).

Humming-bird Hawk-moth at Seabrook, where Pseudoswammerdamia combinella (Copper-tipped Ermel) and Prays fraxinella (Ash Bud Moth) were new for the year (Paul Howe). A Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella) at Hythe and a Silver Y at Crete Road West, whilst Crambus lathoniellus (Hook-streak Grass-veneer) at the latter site was new for the year (Ian Roberts). Small Square-spot at Cheriton was another addition to the year list (Brian Harper).

20th - Rather quiet for both birds and insects with a blustery south-westerly wind. Clouded-bordered Brindle at Seabrook was new for the year. The first Late Spotted Orchids are in flower at Folkestone Downs.

19th - 3 Silver Ys at Hythe (Ian Roberts), whilst The Flame and Adaina microdactyla (Hemp Agrimony Plume) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year.

18th - The first Humming-bird Hawk-moth of the year at the Hythe Redoubt (Brian Harper). A Silver Y at Seabrook, whilst an Alder Moth there (Paul Howe), a Spruce Carpet and Haworth's Pug at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and Nephopterix angustella (Spindle Knot-horn) at both sites were new for the year.

Alder Moth at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Portland Ribbon Wave at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

White-banded Carpet at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Ethmia quadrillella at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

17th - A male Honey Buzzard flew over Abbotscliffe (per RBA).

The first area record of Portland Ribbon Wave at Seabrook, also a White-banded Carpet there, and Clay Triple-lines, Figure of Eighty, Ephesita unicolorella (False Cacao Moth) and Coleophora discordella (Lotus Case-bearer) were also new for the year (Paul Howe). Ethmia quadrillella (Comfrey Ermel) and Nemapogon cloacella (Cork Moth) at Hythe and Ethmia teminella (Five-spot Ermel), Teleoipsis diffinis (Large Groundling), Homoeosoma sinuella (Twin-barred Knot-horn) and Scoparia pyralella (Meadow Grey) at Fisherman's Beach were also additions to the year list, with a Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) at the latter site (Ian Roberts). Mother Shipton at Samphire Hoe was also new for the year (Paul Holt).
16th - Channel Islands Pug, Clouded Silver, Treble Brown Spot, Marbled Minor, Argyresthia trifasciata (Triple-barred Argent), Mompha epilobiella (Common Cosmet) and Celypha striana (Barred Marble) at Seabrook (Paul Howe), The Cinnabar, Treble-bar, Lobesia reliquana (Oak Marble), Tachystola acroxantha (Ruddy Streak) and Platyedra subcinerea (Mallow Groundling) at Hythe, and Speckled Yellow and Glyphipterix simpliciella (Cocksfoot Moth) at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

Channel Islands Pug at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Clouded Silver at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Lobesia reliquana at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

Pine Beauty at Cheriton

(Brian Harper:

15th - A Common Sandpiper at Fisherman's Beach, Hythe (Ian Roberts).

14th - A Bee-eater was heard calling as it flew over Hythe and a Lapwing also flew over there. A female Marsh Harrier flew west over Brockhill Country Park, also a pair of Mandarin there (Ian Roberts).

Orange Footman, Green Carpet and Monopis weaverella (Carrion Moth) at Bargrove Wood were new for the year, as was The Campion at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

Silver Y at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Silver-ground Carpet at 

Bargrove Wood (Ian Roberts)

Capua vulgana at Hythe Ranges

(Ian Roberts)

Dahlica inconspicuella at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts)

13th - A Nightingale singing at Hythe Ranges (Ian Roberts).

A Pine Beauty at Cheriton was new for the year, also 2 Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) there, and Silver-ground Carpet and Adela reaumurella (Green Long-horn) near Folks' Wood were also new for the year (Brian Harper). Silver Y, The Sycamore, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Buff Ermine and Bryotropha desertella (Desert Groundling) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe) as were Light Brocade, Foxglove Pug and Poplar Hawk-moth at Hythe and Capua vulgana (Common Twist), Burnet Companion, Cydia ulicetana (Grey Gorse Piercer) and Adela reaumurella (Green Long-horn) at Hythe Ranges (Ian Roberts).

12th - The first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and a Sedge Warbler at Samphire Hoe (Mark Varley). A Tree Pipit at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett). A Yellow Wagtail at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Poplar Lutestring, Obscure Wainscot, Marbled Coronet, Poplar Grey, Eyed Hawk-moth, The Shears, Blood-vein, Satin Wave, Light Emerald, Cochylis atricapitana (Black-headed Conch), Celypha lacunana (Common Marble) and Clepsis spectrana (Cyclamen Tortrix) at Nickolla Quarry (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts), Peppered Moth and Parornix anglicella (Hawthorn Slender) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Willow Beauty at Hythe (Ian Roberts) were new for the year. A Psychidae moth, one of several found at Abbotscliffe in March/April, has been confirmed at Dahlica inconspicuella (Lesser Lichen Case-bearer) - many thanks to David Shenton for undertaking the genitalia determination.

Small Blue at Samphire Hoe

(Phil Smith)

Adonis Blue at Samphire Hoe

(Phil Smith)

Caloptilia alchimiella at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Lesser Swallow Prominent at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

11th - A Red Kite flew east over Horn Street (Paul Howe). A Common Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).

The first Small Blue and Common Blue of the year at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith / Dave Brown). Lesser Swallow Prominent, Caloptilia alchimiella (Yellow-triangle Slender), Digitivalva pulicariae (Fleabane Smudge) and Notocelia cynosbatella (Yellow-faced Bell) at Seabrook were new for the year, also a Red Admiral and a Wall at Horn Street (Paul Howe). Notocelia cynosbatella (Yellow-faced Bell) also noted at Hythe and a Red Admiral at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts).

10th - 2 Yellow Wagtails flew in off the sea at Abbotscliffe and Swifts, Swallows and House Martins continue to arrive (Ian Roberts).

Hysterophora maculosana (Bluebell Conch) and Nematopogon swammerdamella (Large Long-horn) at Kiln Wood, Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix) at Abbotscliffe and Yellow Belle at Hythe were new for the year (Ian Roberts). A Hornet at Horn Street (Paul Howe).

Hysterophora maculosana at Kiln Wood (Ian Roberts)

Purple Sandpiper at Hythe

(Nigel Webster)

Broad-barred White at Hythe

(Ian Roberts)

Scrobipalpa ocellatella at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts)

9th - A single Purple Sandpiper remains at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (the latest ever departure date is 10th May). 11 Swifts and 57 Swallows flew in off the sea there and 2 Cetti's Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 16 Whitethroats and a very good count of 35 Reed Warblers (equalling the previous record from Nickolls Quarry in 2003) were along the canal at Princes Parade (Nigel Webster). 6 House Martins and 15 Swallows flew in off the sea at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts).

Mottled Pug at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Common Marbled Carpet at Hythe (Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

8th - 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, where 10 Brent Geese flew east and 12 Swifts and 17 Swallows flew in off the sea (Nigel Webster). 30 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts).

Esperia sulphurella at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

7th - An Arctic Skua, 3 Black Terns, 3 Pomarine Skuas, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits, 68 Whimbrel and 683 Common/Arctic Terns flew east past Samphire Hoe, also 3 Shags offshore, 6 Wheatears there and 18 Swallows flew in off the sea (Ian Roberts). 2 Black Terns and 10 Little Terns flew east past the Hythe Redoubt, 2 Eider, 2 Shoveler and 4 Little Terns flew east past Mill Point and a Marsh Harrier was seen off Princes Parade (Brian Harper). A Common Sandpiper along the canal at Hythe, whilst 2 Purple Sandpipers remain opposite Twiss Road and 49 Common Terns flew east (Sean McMinn).

Broad-barred White, Vine's Rustic and Common Swift at Hythe and Micropterix calthella (Plain Gold) at the American Garden in Saltwood were new for the year, whilst a record of Scrobipalpa ocellatella (Beet Moth) from Abbotscliffe on 27th March has now been confirmed (Ian Roberts) - many thanks to David Shenton for undertaking the genitalia determination.

6th - 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Pintails, 5 Grey Plover and 8 Knot flew past Mill Point. A Cuckoo and 6 Swifts at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). Good numbers of Swifts over Hythe (Sean McMinn) and 41 flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Treble Lines and White-point at Seabrook (Paul Howe), Eriocrania salopiella (Small Birch Purple) at Heane Wood and Turnip Moth at Hythe were new for the year, also a Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) at the latter site (Ian Roberts).

Raven at Samphire Hoe

(Nigel Webster)

Purple Sandpiper at Hythe

(Nigel Webster)

Treble Lines at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Eriocrania salopiella at Heane Wood

(Ian Roberts)

5th - An Arctic Skua, a Redshank, 3 Ringed Plovers, 5 Pomarine Skuas, 6 Turnstone, 9 Whimbrel, 10 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin, 32 Bar-tailed Godwits and record counts of 104 Knot and 109 Grey Plover flew east past Mill Point, whilst 2 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 3 Swifts and 36 Swallows flew in off the sea. 2 Hobbies at the Willop Basin and 2 Swifts, 4 Sand Martins, 25 House Martins and 45 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts). 3 Whimbrel and 26 Bar-tailed Godwits flew east past Seabrook, with 8 Common Scoters on the sea and 11 Swifts arriving in off (Paul Howe). 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe, opposite Twiss Road (Nigel Webster). The first Garden Warbler of the year and 12 Swifts were at Beachborough Lakes (Steve Tomlinson).

The Spectacle at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). A Common Seal and 2 Harbour Porpoises off Mill Point (Ian Roberts).

4th - A small arrival of Swifts today, with one flying over Folkestone (John Tomlinson), 2 over Cheriton and 3 at Abbotscliffe (Stephanie Lea), and 4 flying east at Hythe. A Black Redstart and 3 Wheatears at Samphire Hoe, where 2 Yellow Wagtails and 5 Swallows flew in off the sea and a Shoveler and 11 Whimbrel flew east (Ian Roberts).

Heart and Dart at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Dark/Grey Dagger at Hythe (Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

3rd - A rather quiet and wet day. A Great Skua, a Grey Plover and a Whimbrel flew east past Mill Point (Ian Roberts).

Latticed Heath (a presumed immigrant), Plutella xylostella (Diamond-back Moth) and Phtheochroa rugosana (Rough-winged Conch) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

Phtheochroa rugosana at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Aethes williana at Abbotscliffe

(Paul Howe)

Great Skua at Mill Point

(Ian Roberts)

Common Tern at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper:

2nd - A probable Surf Scoter and 2 Whimbrel flew east past Samphire Hoe, also 2 Wheatears there and 3 Yellow Wagtails arrived in off the sea (Ian Roberts / Mark Kennett). A Common Sandpiper, 2 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Oystercatchers at Twiss Road, Hythe (Nigel Webster).

Aethes williana (Silver Carrot Conch) and Drinker larvae at Abbotscliffe were new for the year, also Clouded Yellow, 3 Dew Moths and 7 Walls there (Paul Howe).

1st - 5 Pomarine Skuas flew east past Samphire Hoe, whilst a flock of three were seen passing Mill Point and Copt Point. A Great Skua and 2 Arctic Skuas also flew east. A Yellow-legged Gull at Hythe. A late Fieldfare at Abbotscliffe. A Cuckoo, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Tern, a Swift, a House Martin, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Willow Warblers and 28 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry. 2 Whimbrel on the golf course at Princes Parade (Martin Collins / Brian Harper / Ian Roberts / Dale Gibson / Clive Nuttman / Mark Kennett). 

Whimbrel at Princes Parade

(Brian Harper: )

Whimbrel at Princes Parade
(Ian Roberts)
Turnstone at Princes Parade
(Brian Harper:

Kestrel at Cinderella Farm

(Ian Roberts)

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