Folkestone & Hythe birds, butterflies, moths and other natural history

Last updated: 22nd May.

22nd – A Common Sandpiper at Folkestone Harbour (Brian Harper). 2 Lapwings and 2 Shelducks at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts). 5 Whimbrel and 17 Common Scoter flew east past Samphire Hoe, also a Black Redstart and 8 Swallows there (Mark Kennett).

Small Elephant Hawk-moth and Cypress Carpet at Hythe were new for the year (Ian Roberts).

21st – A Cuckoo at Pennypot (Ralph Thorogood).

Additions to the moth year list were Adoxophyes orana (Summer Fruit Tortrix) that emerged from a larva found at Gibbin’s Brook on the 29th April (Ian Roberts) and larvae of Selania leplastriana (Cabbage Piercer) found at Samphire Hoe (Darren Taylor).

20th – An Avocet, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Shelduck at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). 2 Common Terns, 12 Common Scoters, 16 Bar-tailed Godwits and 35 Swifts flew east at Samphire Hoe (Mark Kennett). A Nightingale at the Road of Remembrance, Folkestone (Steve Wood).

Burnet Companion at Folkestone Warren and the Snout at Kiln Wood were new moths for the year (Ian Roberts).

19th – A female Hen Harrier flew east at Capel-le-Ferne (Steve Wood / Jenny-Louise Read). A Turtle Dove at Sellindge (Derek Smith). A Red Kite at Port Lympne (Pete Coleman).

Additions to the moth year list included Tawny-barred Angle and Dark Spectacle at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

18th – A male Woodchat Shrike at Crete Road West (Owen Leyshon).

Additions to the moth year list included the first area (and second county record) of Devon Carpet and Barred Red at Kiln Wood (Ian Roberts / Darren Taylor), Yellow-tail larva at Shrine Farm and Alabonia geoffrella (Common Tubic) at Thorn Wood (Brian Harper).

17th – 2 Turtle Doves at Port Lympne (Pete Coleman). A Wheatear at Abbotscliffe, where a Shelduck flew east (Mark Kennett), also 2 singing Corn Buntings there (Paul Howe).

51 Silver Ys at Folkestone Downs (Tony Poole) and “hundreds, if not thousands” at Abbotscliffe, also a Pale-shouldered Cloud at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

16th – Ringed-necked Parakeet(s) flew over Enbrook Park (Martin Whybrow) and White Cliff Way in Folkestone (Elliot Ranford).

Additions to the moth year list included Pseudococcyx posticana (Dark Pine Shoot), Eulia ministrana (Brassy Tortrix), Pammene obscurana (Obscure Birch Piercer), Cryptoblabes bistriga (Double-striped Knot-horn), Satin Lutestring and Marbled Brown at Folks’ Wood (Ian Roberts / Brian Harper / Darren Taylor) and Portland Ribbon Wave at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

15th – A Ring-necked Parakeet flew west over Folkestone (Dale Gibson). A Reed Warbler and a Corn Bunting at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett).

Lime Hawk-moth at Cheriton (Edward Piper) and Scoparia pyralella (Meadow Grey) at Fisherman’s Beach (Ian Roberts) were additions to the moth year list. 3 Harbour Porpoises off Seabrook (Ralph Thorogood).

14th – A Wheatear at Hythe Ranges (Steve Wood).

Additions to the moth year list included White Spot and Alder Moth at Cherry Garden Hill, Toadflax Brocade at Cheriton (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts) and Small Square-spot at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

13th – A Red Kite at Summerhouse Hill and a Marsh Harrier at Donkey Street (Steve Wood). A Hobby at Samphire Hoe, where a Yellow Wagtail arrived in off the sea and 2 Whimbrel, 2 Oystercatchers and 18 Brent Geese flew east (Mark Kennett). A Cuckoo and a Corn Bunting at Botolph’s Bridge (Ian Roberts).

Additions to the moth year list included Ancylis mitterbacheriana (Red Roller), Little Emerald, Scalloped Hazel and Dingy Shell at Heane Wood (Kevin Button), Light Emerald at Cheriton (Brian Harper), Mottled Rustic at Seabrook (Paul Howe), Dichrorampha alpinana (Broad-blotch Drill) and Aethes williana (Silver Carrot Conch) at Fisherman’s Beach, Hythe and Aristotelia brizella (Thrift Neb) and Lobesia littoralis (Shore Marble) at Botolph’s Bridge Road (Ian Roberts).

12th – A Bar-tailed Godwit and a Common Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). 12 Oystercatchers flew east past Hythe (Glenn Tutton).

Additions to the moth year list included Agrotera nemoralis (Beautiful Pearl) at Thorn Wood (Brian Harper), Marbled Minor at Cheriton (Edward Piper), Treble Brown Spot, Spruce Carpet, Poplar Grey and Grapholita funebrana (Plum Fruit Piercer) at Seabrook (Paul Howe), the Flame and Common Marbled Carpet at Lympne Park Wood, and the Lychnis at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

11th – A Ring-necked Parakeet flew over Folkestone, also 50+ Swifts there (Steve Wood). A Red Kite flew north over Cheriton (Brian Harper). A Red Kite flew north over Capel-le-Ferne (Ian Roberts / Steve Wood / Dale Gibson). 2 Barnacle Geese flew in off the sea at Hythe, where 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Oystercatchers and 8 Whimbrel flew east (Glenn Tutton). A Common Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts).

Additions to the moth year list included Yellow-legged Clearwing at Seabrook (Paul Howe), Sandy Carpet, Silver-ground Carpet and Nemophora degeerella (Yellow-barred Long-horn) at Heane Wood, Speckled Yellow at Abbotscliffe and Glyphipterix fuscoviridella (Plain Fanner) at Sandling Park (Ian Roberts), and a larval web of Yponomeuta cagnagella (Spindle Ermine) at Thorn Wood (Brian Harper).

10th – 5 Red Kites at Port Lympne (Pete Coleman). 5 Mute Swans on the sea off Seabrook (Paul Howe), later seen at Hythe, where a further three flew inland, and 3 Shelduck flew east (Glenn Tutton). 2 Whimbrel, 5 Oystercatchers and 9 Mute Swans flew east past Hythe (Ian Roberts).

Additions to the moth year list included Broken-barred Carpet, Purple Bar, Pretty Chalk Carpet, Poplar Kitten and Agonopterix pallorella (Pale Flat-body) at Smallpox Hill, Poplar Hawk-moth at Cheriton and Buff-tip at Hythe (Brian Harper / Ian Roberts) and Eyed Hawk-moth at Seabrook (Paul Howe).

9th – A Common Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). A Black Redstart and a Corn Bunting at Abbotscliffe (Ian Roberts).

Additions to the moth year list included Rustic Shoulder-knot at Cheriton (Brian Harper), Small Dusty Wave at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Clouded Border at Bargrove Wood (Ian Roberts).

8th – A Red Kite flew north over Newington and 6 Swallows flew over Princes Parade (Steve Wood). A Yellow Wagtail arrived in off the sea at Capel-le-Ferne (Ian Roberts).

Additions to the moth year list included Ruby Tiger at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Scorched Wing and Brown Silver-line at Heane Wood (Ian Roberts).

7th – The first Garden Warbler at Bluehouse Wood and singles of Green and Common Sandpiper at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). The first Sand Martin and a Red Kite at Church Hougham (Mark Kennett). 5 Swifts over Park Road (Glenn Tutton) and 12 over South Road in Hythe (Martin Whybrow). A drake Mandarin in a garden at Lympne (Phil Sharp).

Small Purple-barred at Folkestone Downs (Tony Poole), Broad-barred White at Hythe and Hysterophora maculosana (Bluebell Conch) at Folks’ Wood (Ian Roberts) were new for the year, as were Clouded Yellow (var. helice) and Small Blue at Samphire Hoe (Phil Smith).

6th – A Spoonbill flew west over Samphire Hoe (Paul Holt), where a Yellow Wagtail arrived in off the sea and 7 Oystercatchers and 80 Common Scoter flew east, whilst a Wheatear was at Abbotscliffe (Mark Kennett). A Nightingale at Horn Street and 4 Avocets and 6 Whimbrel at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper). A Corn Bunting at Abbotscliffe (Chris Gillard).

Additions to the moth year list included Buttoned Snout at Cheriton and Puss Moth at Horn Street (Brian Harper), Foxglove Pug and Treble-lines at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Ethmia bipunctella (Bordered Ermel) and Lobesia reliquana (Oak Marble) at Hythe (Ian Roberts).

5th – 4 Swifts at Folkestone (Elliot Ranford).

May Highflyer and Maiden’s Blush at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Light Feathered Rustic and Marbled Coronet at Hythe Ranges (Ian Roberts) were new for the year.

4th – A Pied Flycatcher reported at Samphire Hoe (per Paul Holt).

Pale-shouldered Cloud at Cheriton and the Mocha and Small White Wave at Bartholomew’s Wood (Brian Harper), Pyrausta nigrata (Wavy-barred Sable) at Folkestone Downs (Tony Poole) and Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) were new for the year.

3rd – A Cattle Egret and 2 Dunlin at Nickolls Quarry (Ian Roberts).

A Hoary Footman, a Diamond-back Moth and 6 Silver Ys at Hythe and a Poplar Lutestring at Bargrove Wood (Ian Roberts). A Diamond-back Moth and 3 Silver Ys at Cheriton, where Cochylichroa atricapitana (Black-headed Conch) and Light Brocade were new for the year (Brian Harper).

2nd – Additions to the moth year list included the Seraphim at Cheriton (Brian Harper), Phtheochroa rugosana (Rough-winged Conch) at Seabrook (Paul Howe) and Phylloporia bistrigella (Striped Leaf-cutter), Dusky Hook-tip, Scalloped Hook-tip, Grey Birch and Lunar Thorn at Gibbin’s Brook (Ian Roberts). Migrant totals were one Dark Sword-grass, 6 Diamond-back Moths and 11 Silver Ys.

1st – A Greenshank at Nickolls Quarry (Brian Harper).

Additions to the moth year list were Psychoides filicivora (Fern Smut) and the Rivulet at Seabrook (Paul Howe), Lime-speck Pug and Willow Beauty at Cheriton (Brian Harper), Dark Sword-grass and Small Waved Umber at Hythe and Elachista subocellea (Brown-barred Dwarf) and Cryptic Fern at Folkestone Warren, and Pyrausta despicata (Straw-barred Pearl), Pyrausta aurata (Small Purple & Gold) and Common Heath at Folkestone Downs, where 14 Silver Ys were of note (Tony Poole). Additions to the butterfly year list were Wall at Folkestone Downs and Dingy Skipper and Green Hairstreak at Folkestone Downs and Warren (Tony Poole / Ian Roberts).

January to April 2024 sightings have been archived – click on the links for the reviews of bird sightings and lepidoptera sightings in 2024 to date.

For the reviews of sightings in 2023 and earlier years visit the “Annual Reports” section.

This website is maintained by Ian Roberts. For enquiries or to report sightings please contact me at

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