Folkestone & Hythe Birds,

butterflies, moths and other natural history

Last updated: 22nd April
The 2021 area bird year list is 169 species (160 species at the same time last year)

22nd - An Arctic Skua, 2 Black-throated Divers, 3 Pomarine Skuas, 3 Whimbrels, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 32 Fulmars and 66 Sandwich Terns flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Shag on the sea there and a Ring Ouzel, a Black Redstart and 2 Wheatears on the land. The first Swift of the year at Nickolls Quarry. A Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Wheatears and 3 Whimbrel at Donkey Street (Mark Kennett / Steve Cutt / Ian Roberts). A Reed Warbler, 2 Cetti's Warblers and 3 Swallows along the canal at Seabrook (Dylan Wrathall).

Whimbrel at Donkey Street

(Ian Roberts)

Whitethroat at Folkestone Downs

(Tony Poole)

Sandwich Tern at Hythe

(Glenn Tutton)

The Mullein at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

21st - An Osprey flew north over Aldergate Lane (Brian Harper). An Arctic Skua, 2 Shovelers, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 24 Whimbrels and 80 Gannets flew east past Samphire Hoe, also 3 Wheatears there and 11 Sand Martins flew in off the sea (Mark Kennett / Ian Roberts). 


Iron Prominent and Pale Prominent at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

20th - A Nightingale (click here for a recording of this bird singing - recorded by Brian Harper), a Willow Warbler and a Sedge Warbler at West Hythe. A Reed Warbler, a Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warblers and 4 Sedge Warblers at Nickolls Quarry. 2 Whimbrel at Donkey Street. 2 Reed Warblers at Botolph's Bridge. A Wheatear, a Swallow and 5 Shags at Samphire Hoe, where a Curlew and a Whimbrel flew east. A Wheatear at Abbotscliffe. A Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat at Capel Battery (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts / Phil Smith). A Fieldfare flew over Lympne Park Wood (Phil Sharp). The first Lesser Whitethroat of the year and a Blackcap at Copt Point (Alistair Mackay).


19th - A Serin flew east at Abbotscliffe, also 2 Grey Partridges there. A Ring Ouzel, a Black Redstart, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Goldcrests, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Wheatears at 5 Chiffchaffs at Samphire Hoe, where an Arctic Skua, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Shoveler and 13 Shelduck flew east and a Mute Swan and 9 Oystercatchers flew west. An Arctic Skua, 16 Whimbrel, 18 Mediterranean Gulls and 185 Sandwich Terns flew east past Mill Point this afternoon, where a Bar-tailed Godwit flew west and a Willow Warbler was singing (Ian Roberts / Paul Holt / Mark Kennett). A Wheatear and a Willow Warbler at Haguelands, a Willow Warbler at Botolph's Bridge and 3 Whimbrel at Donkey Street (Brian Harper). A Willow Warbler by the canal near Twiss Road, Hythe (Clive Nuttman).


18th - A Reed Bunting. 2 Wheatears and 3 Ring Ouzels at Samphire Hoe, where a Whimbrel flew east, 10 Oystercatchers flew west and 3 Swallows arrived in off the sea. A Yellow Wagtail flew in off the sea at Capel Battery (Mark Kennett / Barry Woolhouse / Ian Roberts).


Common Heath at Cherry Garden Hill (Tony Poole) and Large White and Mompha epilobiella (Common Cosmet) at Seabrook (Paul Howe / Ian Roberts) were new for the year.


17th - The first 2 Reed Warblers of the year at Nickolls Quarry, also a Willow Warbler (click here for a recording of this bird singing), 2 Sedge Warblers and 2 Whitethroats there. A Fieldfare at the Willop Sewage Works (Ian Roberts / Brian Harper / Roger Norman). 5 Whimbrel flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).


The first 3 Dingy Skippers of the year at Folkestone Downs (Tony Poole). 

Dingy Skipper at Folkestone Downs

(Tony Poole)

Least Black Arches at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Wheatear at Samphire Hoe

(Elliot Ranford)

Song Thrush at Hythe

(Tony Poole)

16th - The first Willow Warblers of the year at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts) and Lympne, also 32 Fieldfares at Saltwood (Phil Sharp). A Wheatear and 2 Black Redstarts at Samphire Hoe (Elliot Ranford). 5 Greylag Geese flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).


Speckled Wood at Round Hill was new for the year (Tony Poole). A Pippistrelle flying by day at Seabrook (Paul Howe).


15th - 2+ Ring Ouzels and 7 Wheatears at Samphire Hoe (Steve Cutt). 2 Whitethroats at Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper).


Green Hairstreak at Cheriton Hill (Alfie Gay) and Swallow Prominent and Least Black Arches at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year. 


14th - 2 Ring Ouzels and 4 Wheatears at Samphire Hoe, where 7 Sandwich Terns and 81 Gannets flew east (Mark Kennett). 2 House Martins at Lympne (Phil Sharp). A Common Tern at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper).


13th - A Redstart, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Black Redstarts and 2 Wheatears at Samphire Hoe (Steve Cutt / Phil Smith). 40 Linnets at Abbotscliffe (Elliot Ranford).


12th - 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Wheatears and 11 Chiffchaffs at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt). A Sand Martin, 12 House Martins and 50 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry. A Bar-tailed Godwit at the Willop Sewage Works (Ian Roberts).


11th - A Ring Ouzel at Abbotscliffe. A Wheatear at Samphire Hoe, where 14 Sandwich Terns and 182 Gannets flew east (Mark Kennett). A Red Kite flew north-east over the Golden Valley, Cheriton (Chris Gillard). A Green Sandpiper and 9 Corn Buntings at Donkey Street. A Green Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts).


10th - The first Common Tern of the year, a Red-breasted Merganser, 40 Common Scoters and 105 Sandwich Terns flew east past Mill Point. A Sedge Warbler, a Green Sandpiper, 3 House Martins, 4 Sand Martins and 40 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry. A Pochard, a Little Egret, a House Martin, 2 Sand Martins, 7 Tufted Ducks and 60 Swallows at Cock Ash Lake (Ian Roberts).


9th - A Yellow-legged Gull at Samphire Hoe, where a Great Skua, an Eider, 43 Sandwich Terns, 78 Common Scoters and 180 Gannets flew east (Phil Smith / Ian Roberts). A Sedge Warbler and a Whitethroat at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). Single Wheatears at Princes Parade and on the beach at Seabrook (Martin Whybrow).


The first Orange-tip of the year at Botolph's Bridge (Ian Roberts).


8th - 4 Egyptian Geese, 48 Red-throated Divers, 70 Brent Geese, 70 Sandwich Terns, 112 Common Scoters and 533 Gannets flew east past Samphire Hoe (Ian Roberts).


7th - A Wheatear and 2 Sandwich Terns at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett). 3 Green Sandpipers at Hythe Ranges and a Sedge Warbler at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).


6th - The first Sedge Warbler of the year at Nickolls Quarry, also 15 House Martins there. A Red Kite flew west over Palmarsh. A Marsh Harrier flew west over Hythe Roughs (Brian Harper). The White-tailed Eagle made another pass through the local airspace, but this time unseen, as it headed south-west over Saltwood and West Hythe, before leaving the coast at Dungeness and crossing to France (per @RoyDennisWF).

White-tailed Eagle at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Turnstones at Hythe

(Glenn Tutton)

Italian Wall Lizard at Folkestone Warren (Steve Coates)

Caloptilia falconipennella at Seabrook (Paul Howe)

5th - A White-tailed Eagle from the Isle of Wight reintroduction scheme flew in off the sea and then north-east over Samphire Hoe, having previously left the coast at Dover and flown 6.8km into the English Channel (Paul Holt). A Whitethroat, a Water Rail and 140 hirundines at Nickolls Quarry (Chris Gillard / Ian Roberts). The Water Pipit again at Donkey Street, also 4 Snipe there (Brian Harper).


4th - A Wheatear, a Black Redstart and 5 Common Scoter at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett). A Red-legged Partridge at Donkey Street (Chris Gillard). A Cetti's Warbler and 2 Jays at Nickolls Quarry (Roger Norman).


Grey-shoulder Knot and Powdered Quaker at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe). An Italian Wall Lizard at Little Switzerland, Folkestone Warren (Steve Coates).


3rd - 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 14 Common Scoters, 94 Sandwich Terns and 160 Gannets flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Shag offshore. 2 House Martins, 10 Sand Martins and 17 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry. 80 Linnets at Hythe Ranges (Ian Roberts). 20 Common Scoter off the Willop Outfall (Chris Gillard). 7 Sandwich Terns and 16 Gannets flew past Folkestone Pier, also 8 Great Crested Grebes on the sea (Keith Shepherd).


2nd - A Bar-tailed Godwit, a Shelduck, 2 Grey Plovers and 30 Sandwich Terns flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Shag offshore. The first 2 Yellow Wagtails of the year and 3 Gadwall at Hoorne's Sewer. 2 House Martins, 22 Sand Martins and 25 Swallows at Nickolls Quarry. A House Martin and 10 Swallows at Cock Ash Lake. A pair of Gadwall flew east past Hythe (Ian Roberts / Mark Kennett / Brian Harper). 2 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins over the canal at Seabrook (Paul Howe). 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe (Sean McMinn).


Caloptilia falconipennella (Scarce Alder Slender) at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).


1st - A drake Garganey, 10 Common Scoter, 35 Brent Geese, 55 Sandwich Terns and 135 Gannets flew east past Folkestone Pier, also a Redpoll, a Siskin, a Sand Martin and 4 Swallows flew east, 35 Linnets and 40 Goldfinches arrived in off and a Shag was on the sea there (Ian Roberts). There was a passage of hirundines through Nickolls Quarry that comprised at least 6 Sand Martins and 15 Swallows, also a Green Sandpiper there. A Swallow, a Little Egret, 2 Greylag Geese, 3 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew and 120 Sanderling at the Willop Basin/Outfall (Brian Harper). 35 Yellowhammers at Oathill Cottages, Lympne (Phil Sharp). 


January to March 2021 sightings have been archived - click on the links for a review of the bird sightings or the moth, butterfly and other sightings for the year to date.


For the reviews of sightings in 2020 and earlier years select 'Annual Reports' from the menu above.