Pegwell Bay

Pegwell Bay is an NNR, SSSI, SPA, SAC, and RAMSAR site designated for its importance to wildlife. It is managed primarily by Kent Wildlife Trust and is one the best areas for wetland birds.

Find Pegwell Bay on our Recording Area map HERE.

Wader flock at Pegwell Bay by Steve Ray

In spring Pegwell Bay sees the arrival of migrants such as the Whimbrel and Nightingale. Garganey are a scarcer species but you may be lucky to spot them here around the saltmarsh. Kentish Plover can often be seen on the shores in spring among large numbers of Ringed Plover. This species gets its name from specimens first collected from right here in Kent. Despite being a former breeding species, the Kentish Plover is now quite a scarce summer visitor to the South East coast of the UK, but Pegwell Bay remains the best place to connect with it. Turtle Dove, Hobby, and Garden Warbler may also be seen.

Waders such as Curlew are often still around in summer and you can see Shelducks and their broods of piebald ducklings. Within the Country Park and Hoverpad area look for Green Hairstreaks and Bee Orchids.

Pegwell Bay high tide by P. Brinn

Autumn is the time to look for Terns in Pegwell. There are several species around such as the well-named Sandwich Tern as well as the Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Black Tern, Little Tern and Roseate Tern. Try to spot the differences between each species! It is a good time to spot Greenshanks, Curlew Sandpipers, and Little Stints, and if you’re lucky, passing Honey Buzzards overhead. The Country Park has an enviable record of rarities with Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Hoopoe, and Bee-eater all possible.

Lapwings at Pegwell Bay by Steve Miles

In winter, look among the vast Gull flocks for Little, Caspian, and Glaucous Gulls. There are lots winter waders on offer, including Knot and Grey Plover, whilst small numbers of Black-tailed Godwits come from their breeding grounds in Iceland and winter along our coasts here. You may also find Brent Geese along the Western Undercliff and the lovely Pintail near the edges of the saltmarsh.