Folkestone & Hythe Birds,

butterflies, moths and other natural history

Last updated: 2nd March
The 2021 area bird year list is 138 species (117 species at the same time last year)

2nd - 2 Avocets, 9 Shelduck and 200 Brent Geese flew east past Folkestone Pier (Ian Roberts). A Blackcap in a garden in Hythe (Sean McMinn).


1st - A Red-necked Grebe on the sea off the beach to the west of Folkestone Pier, where 2 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 6 Avocets, 15 Fulmars, 110 Razorbills and a record count of 305 Pintails flew east. A Great White Egret, 2 Gadwall and 2 Wigeon at Hoorne's Sewer. A Merlin at Selby Farm and a Great White Egret roosted at Port Lympne (Ian Roberts). 104 White-fronted Geese flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and 30 White-fronted Geese flew over Cheriton this afternoon (Chris Gillard). The Water Pipit at Donkey Street (Brian Harper). A Red Kite flew over Cheriton (Ralph Thorogood). 25 Brent Geese flew east past Hythe (Glenn Tutton).


Small Brindled Beauty and Small Quaker at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).

February 


28th - A Water Pipit, a Peregrine, a Little Egret, 2 Great White Egrets and 3 Green Sandpipers at Donkey Street. 2 Curlew, 3 Shoveler and 45 Teal at the Willop Basin (Ian Roberts). 8 Tufted Ducks and 12 Pochard at Cock Ash Lake and 7 Tufted Ducks at Horton Priory Lake (Derek Smith). 


Diurnea fagella (March Tubic) at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).

Buzzard at Hythe

(Glenn Tutton)

Diurnea fagella at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Tawny Pinion at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

Red Chestnut at Seabrook

(Paul Howe)

27th - A Black Redstart, a Chiffchaff, a Curlew and 2 Shoveler at the Willop Basin, also a Knot and 143 Sanderling at the Outfall. A Crossbill, a Redpoll, 2 Reed Buntings, 3 Greenfinches, 5 Stock Doves, 9 Siskins and 1,276 Chaffinches flew east at Abbotscliffe, also a singing Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest there. 4 Shelduck, 9 Canada Geese and 12 Redwings at Nickolls Quarry. A singing Chiffchaff at Chesterfield Wood (Phil Smith / Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). A Blackcap and a Siskin in a garden in Folkestone (John Tomlinson). 9 Pochard and 11 Tufted Ducks at Cock Ash Lake (Derek Smith).


Hebrew Character at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe).


26th - A Short-eared Owl at Selby Farm and 2 Great White Egrets at Donkey Street (Brian Harper). 2 Red Kites and 10 Buzzards flew east over Hythe (Sean McMinn / Ian Roberts / Glenn Tutton). A Red Kite, a Siskin, 19 Stock Doves and 160 Chaffinches flew east at Abbotscliffe, also c.20 Buzzards there (Ian Roberts). A Red Kite and 2 Ravens flew over Newingreen (Phil Sharp). The Great Northern Diver off Princes Parade, also a Blackcap there and 10 Buzzards flew east (Paul Howe). A Shag at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith).


A Tawny Pinion at Seabrook (Paul Howe), a Bloxworth Snout at Hythe (Ian Roberts) and a Brimstone butterfly at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith) were new for the year. A Peacock at Newingreen (Phil Sharp) and a Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacocks at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were also of note. 


25th - A Red Kite and a Buzzard flew west over Hythe (Ian Roberts / Glenn Tutton). A Water Rail and a Chiffchaff at Holywell (Elliot Ranford). A pair of Blackcaps in a garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe).


Red Chestnut and Agonopterix daucella (Dingy Flat-body) at Seabrook were new for the year (Paul Howe).


24th - The first Wheatear of the year at Samphire Hoe (Cathy Hearsey). A Red Kite flew west at Seabrook (Paul Howe). 7 Redwings at Ladies Walk, Hythe (Glenn Tutton).


23rd - A Water Pipit, a Little Egret, a Shoveler and 12 Wigeon at Donkey Street. 3 Great White Egrets, 2 Gadwall and 17 Teal at Hoorne's Sewer. A Shelduck and 3 Curlew at the Willop Basin (Ian Roberts). A Purple Sandpiper at Hythe, where 37 Brent Geese, 62 Gannets, 175 Red-throated Divers and 200 auks flew east (Sean McMinn). A Water Rail and a Kingfisher along the canal between Hythe and Seabrook (Martin Whybrow).


March Moth at Seabrook was new for the year, also Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell of note there (Paul Howe).


22nd - The Great Northern Diver again off Sandgate (Ian Roberts). A male Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (John Tomlinson). 2 male Blackcaps (1 singing) in another garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe).


Agonopterix alstromeriana (Brown-spot Flat-body) and Amblyptilia acanthadactyla (Beautiful Plume) at Hythe (Ian Roberts), Common Quaker at Saltwood (Sean Clancy) and Agonopterix heracliana (Common Flat-body) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year.


21st - A Black Redstart at Samphire Hoe, where 20 Brent Geese flew east. 9 Rock Pipits at Folkestone Warren. 15 Skylarks at Abbotscliffe (Martin Collins / Elliot Ranford). A dead Woodcock on the beach at Sandgate (Colin Green). A Pochard and 11 Tufted Ducks at Horton Priory pond (Derek Smith).


Emmelina monodactyla (Common Plume) at Cheriton was new for the year (Brian Harper).


20th - A Great White Egret flew south over Lympne (Phil Sharp). A Great White Egret at Botolph's Bridge. 2 Egyptian Geese and 6 Canada Geese at Nickolls Quarry. A Pochard and 2 Egyptian Geese at Cock Ash Lake. 2 Dunlin, 8 Golden Plovers and c.1,000 Lapwings at Haguelands. A Little Egret at Donkey Street (Ian Roberts). The Great Northern Diver again off Sandgate, also 8 Guillemots offshore and 120 Lapwing flew north (James King).


A Small Tortoiseshell at Saltwood (Colin Dunster) and a Peacock at Seabrook (Martin Whybrow) were the first butterfly sightings of the year.


19th - A first-winter Caspian Gull, 7 Golden Plover and 1,110 Lapwings opposite Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh Road. 5 Greylag Geese and 7 Canada Geese at Nickolls Quarry. 2 Dunlin flew west at Princes Parade (Ian Roberts). A Redshank, several Guillemots and Razorbills, and 109 Great Crested Grebes in the Folkestone Harbour area (Phil Smith / Keith Shepherd / David Featherbe). A Black Redstart, a Stonechat, 2 Ravens and c.100 Linnets in the Lympne area (Phil Sharp).


To see some footage of a Snipe feeding at Holywell recently click here.

Caspian Gull at Haguelands

(Ian Roberts)

Black Redstart at Lympne

(Phil Sharp)

Egyptian Goose at the Willop Basin

(Ian Roberts)

Curlew at Botolph's Bridge

(Ian Roberts)

18th - A Water Pipit, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Great White Egrets, 2 Stonechats and 14 Teal in the Donkey Street area (John Thompson). A Ruff at the Willop Basin and 5 Gadwall at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts). A Rock Pipit, 10 Ringed Plovers and 49 Great Crested Grebes at Folkestone Harbour (Stephanie Lea). A Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd).


17th - A Ruff, a Shelduck, 3 Ringed Plovers, 21 Dunlin, 37 Sanderlings and c.600 Lapwings at the Willop Basin/Outfall. A Merlin, a Little Egret and 2 Great White Egrets at the Aldergate Bridge. A male Marsh Harrier at Haguelands. A Merlin, a Little Egret, 7 Canada Geese, 9 Gadwall and 36 Wigeon at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). 2 Teal at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt).


16th - A Ruff, a Shoveler, a Shelduck, a Curlew, 4 Dunlin and 500 Lapwings at the Willop Basin. A Peregrine and 2 Great White Egrets at Donkey Street. 12 Golden Plovers, 14 Dunlin and 1,200 Lapwings at Haguelands. A Little Egret, a Woodcock, 2 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 60 Wigeon and 750 Lapwings at Nickolls Quarry. A Curlew and a Green Sandpiper at Botolph's Bridge (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). A Great White Egret at Seabrook (Paul Howe). A Jack Snipe, a Water Rail and 2 Woodcock at Holywell and a Teal and 2 Woodcock at Cherry Garden reservoirs (Paul Holt / Alfie Gay). A Teal and 3 Little Egrets at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith). 2 Purple Sandpipers at Hythe opposite the Hotel Imperial, also a pair of Blackcaps to the rear of the hotel (John Thompson).


15th - An Egyptian Goose and 2 Dunlin at the Willop Basin. A Green Sandpiper and 2 Curlew at Botolph's Bridge. A Green Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry. 9 Woodcock found dead on the beach at Hythe (Ian Roberts). A male Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). The Great Northern Diver off Sandgate (Paul Howe).


14th - 3 Blackcaps in a garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe). A Blackcap and 50 Redwings in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). A Lapwing, 2 Snipe and 2 Fieldfares at Samphire Hoe (Martin Collins). 14 Ringed Plovers at Folkestone Beach (Stephanie Lea).

13th - A drake Pintail, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Gadwall, 5 Teal, 7 Snipe and 101 Wigeon at Nickolls Quarry. 2 Little Egrets at West Hythe dam. A Little Egret at Turnpike Hill, Hythe (Brian Harper). A Snipe, a Blackcap, 21 Song Thrushes and 85 Linnets in the Lypmne/Westenhanger area (Phil Sharp). A Grey Heron flew east at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

Snipe at Holywell

(Elliot Ranford)

Green Sandpiper at Holywell

(Elliot Ranford)

Fieldfare at Holywell

(Elliot Ranford)

Pintail at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper)

12th - An Egyptian Goose, a Chiffchaff, a Little Egret, 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Dunlin, 4 Gadwall, 4 Shelduck, 5 Redshank, 70 Wigeon, 100 Golden Plovers, 112 Teal, 162 Snipe and 500+ Lapwings in the Willop Basin/Sewage Works area (Ian Roberts). A Green Sandpiper, a Water Rail and a Snipe at Holywell (Elliot Ranford). A female Blackcap and 2 Redwings in a garden in Folkestone (Alistair Mackay). A Snipe in a garden in Hythe (Nicky Stewart). 3 Blackcaps and 30 Redwings in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). A Woodcock, 3 Fieldfares, 4 Yellowhammers and 24 Blackbirds at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett).


11th - A Great Northern Diver and an adult Yellow-legged Gull at Princes Parade (Chris Gillard). A Redshank, a Curlew, 6 Shelduck, 20 Dunlin, 25 Teal, 35 Skylarks and 188 Golden Plover at the Willop Basin. 50 Fieldfares at Donkey Street. 3 Tufted Duck, 5 Teal and 6 Gadwall at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts). A Snipe, 5 Redwing, 5 Fieldfare, 13 Blackbirds and 14 Song Thrushes at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt). A Blackcap, 3 Ravens and 14 Yellowhammers at Lympne (Phil Sharp).


10th - A Ruff, a Merlin, a Little Egret, 2 Peregrines, 20 Dunlin, 136 Golden Plovers and c.1,000 Lapwing in fields opposite Lathe Barn on Donkey Street. A Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and 45 Snipe near Haguelands Farm, a Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, 2 Pintail, 5 Teal, 13 Wigeon, 29 Snipe and 59 Skylarks at Nickolls Quarry, 3 Shoveler, 28 Teal and 67 Snipe at Donkey Street, 5 Shelduck, 15 Dunlin and 88 Golden Plovers at the Willop Basin, with 4 Ringed Plovers and 10 Shelduck flying east offshore, a Barn Owl and 2 Little Owls near Selby Farm, a Woodcock at Folks' Wood and c.10,000 Starlings roosted at the Willop Sewage Works (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).


A Woodcock, a Dunlin, an Oystercatcher, a Fieldfare and 2 Snipe at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett / Phil Smith / Paul Holt). 61 Red-throated Divers and 3,802 Cormorants flew east past Seabrook (Paul Howe). A pair of Blackcaps in a garden in Folkestone and a Little Egret and 19 Redwings flew over (Keith Shepherd). A Green Sandpiper, a Water Rail and 2 Snipe at Holywell (Elliot Ranford).

9th - An Egyptian Goose, a Gadwall, a Green Sandpiper, a Redshank, 2 Dunlin, 3 Shelduck, 15 Snipe, 17 Teal and 78 Wigeon at Nickolls Quarry. An adult Yellow-legged Gull, 5 Shelduck and 9 Dunlin at the Willop Basin. 2 Dunlin, 3 Gadwall, 3 Shelduck, 43 Wigeon and 700 auks flew east past Princes Parade (Ian Roberts). 4 Shelduck, 5 Redshank, 45 Golden Plover and 63 Brent Geese flew past Hythe and 70 Lapwings arrived in off the sea (Sean McMinn). A Chiffchaff at Seabrook and 131 Wigeon and 2,015 Cormorants flew east (Paul Howe). A Snipe on the canal at Seabrook (Martin Whybrow). 


A Pintail, a Snipe, a Teal, and 3 Oystercatchers at Samphire Hoe, where Curlew, a Dunlin and 26 Wigeon flew east and 15 Lapwings arrived in off the sea (Mark Kennett). A Jack Snipe, a Stonechat, 4 Snipe and hundreds of winter thrushes at Holy Well (Elliot Ranford). A Blackcap in a garden in Lympne and 2 Lapwings and 170 Linnets near Oathill Cottages (Philip Sharp). A male Blackcap and 6 Redwings in a garden in Folkestone (David Featherbe).

Jack Snipe at Holywell

(Elliot Ranford)

Snipe at Holywell

(Elliot Ranford)

Redwing at Folkestone

(David Featherbe)

Lapwing at Donkey Street

(Brian Harper)

8th - Severe weather led to an impressive arrival of birds today. A 'red-head' Smew, a Gadwall, a Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, 56 Wigeon and 74 Teal were at Nickolls Quarry. 5 Tundra Bean Geese, 4 Snipe, 8 Dunlin and 233 Golden Plovers were in a field opposite Lathe Barn, with a Woodcock, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler and 45 Brent Geese also along Donkey Street. A Redshank, 3 Shelduck and 65 Dunlin were at the Willop Basin. 176 Golden Plovers were near Haguelands. A total of between 2,500 and 3,000 Lapwing were present across the marsh. 


At sea, a 'red-head' Smew (presumably the same bird), a Shoveler, 2 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 5 Knot, 28 Shelduck, 70 Teal, 100 Brent Geese, 127 Dunlin and about 250 Wigeon were seen off the Willop Outfall and an Avocet, a Snipe, 53 Wigeon, 54 Brent Geese, 61 Dunlin, 110 Gannets, 125 Razorbills and 300 Guillemots were seen off Princes Parade (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts).  


The Great Northern Diver was seen again off Princes Parade and a pair of Blackcaps and 12 Redwings in a garden in Seabrook (Martin Whybrow). A Jack Snipe, a Pintail, 2 Wigeon, 3 Snipe and 9 Teal were at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt). 3 Shelduck, 4 Sanderling and 420 Mediterranean Gulls were at Hythe Ranges (Sean McMinn). A pair of Blackcaps were in a garden in Lympne and 100 Lapwings flew over (Nick Hollands). A pair of Blackcaps were in a garden in Folkestone and 3 Redwings and 12 Fieldfares flew over (Keith Shepherd).

Smew at Nickolls Quarry

(Brian Harper)

Smew at the Willop Outfall

(Brian Harper)

Jack Snipe at Samphire Hoe

(Paul Holt)

Oystercatchers at the Willop Outfall

(Brian Harper)

The annual reports for 2020 are now available as free downloads by clicking on the adjacent images. 


7th - A Shoveler, a Gadwall, 2 Jack Snipe, 17 Snipe and 17 Teal at Nickolls Quarry. A Golden Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Snipe, 25 Fieldfares and 1,000 Lapwings at Botolph's Bridge. 2 Golden Plovers at Donkey Street (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). A Dunlin and an Oystercatcher at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett). 24 Redwings in a garden in Folkestone (Elliot Ranford).


6th - A Water Pipit and 3 Little Egrets at Donkey Street. A Great Northern Diver off Princes Parade. A Curlew at the Willop Basin and 100 Great Crested Grebes and 120 Red-throated Divers offshore (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts). An Oystercatcher at Samphire Hoe, also 30 Razorbills offshore (Barry Woolhouse / Phil Smith).


Dotted Border at Seabrook was new for the year (Paul Howe). A Harbour Porpoise off Folkestone Pier (Ian Roberts).

5th - A Woodcock, a Chiffchaff, 5 Greylag Geese, 6 Snipe, 8 Siskins and 25 Fieldfares at Westenhanger, a Rock Pipit and 7 Ringed Plovers at the Willop Outfall, 7 Canada Geese at Nickolls Quarry and a Black Swan at Haguelands (Brian Harper). The male Blackcap still in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). An Oystercatcher at Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt). 


4th - A Black-throated Diver flew west past Mill Point, also a Rock Pipit at the Hotel Burstin and 3 Redshank in Folkestone Harbour (Keith Shepherd).


3rd -  120 Linnets near Oathill Cottages, Lympne also a Blackcap in a garden in Lympne (Phil Sharp). A Rock Pipit at Folkestone Harbour and 4 Razorbills off Folkestone Pier (Elliot Ranford). A Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd).


3 Harbour Porpoises off Folkestone Pier (Elliot Ranford).


2nd - 120 Redwings at Berwick Manor Farm, Lympne (Phil Sharp).  A Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). 


1st - An unconfirmed report of an Eye-browed Thrush at Oaklands in Hythe (Anthony Ruston). 2 Great White Egrets in a field off Lower Wall Road, near Selby Farm (Ian Roberts). A Snipe at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett). A Blackcap in a garden in Lympne, also 2 Firecrests at Westenhanger (Phil Sharp). A Blackcap in a garden in Folkestone (Keith Shepherd). 15 Brent Geese flew east past Folkestone Pier, also 6 Redshank at Folkestone Harbour (Elliot Ranford).


Early Moth at Seabrook was new for the year, also a Common Seal offshore (Paul Howe).


January 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.