News archive

May 2018

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Beckenham swift walk

Beckenham swift walk

On Monday 18 June and Thursday 21 June we will be leading free guided swift walks as part of the UK's first Swift Awareness Week. As the first records start to reach us from our survey, we've identified the area around Crease Park in Beckenham to be one of our swift hotpots. Swift surveyor, Liz Anderson, will be giving us a guided walk to show us the extraordinary aerial displays that these remarkable birds perform before dusk.

If you would like to find out more about our borough's swifts and Bromley's other birds, don't miss a talk from the organiser of our swift survey and our Group's Recorder, Peter Smart. Peter will be speaking at Shortlands Library on Monday 11 June in their popular series of Tea and Topics afternoon talks.

More details on our Events page. Booking for both events is essential.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Swift walk in Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on Wednesday 23 May

Swift walk in Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on Wednesday 23 May

We will be leading a free guided walk around Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on Wednesday 23 May, starting at 10.30am.

This is an opportunity to brush up your swift ID skills in the field, to help you take part in this summer's Bromley Swift Survey.

Swifts don't nest in the reserve but they can often be seen feeding over the lakes, together with swallows, house martins and sand martins. It should be a good opportunity to observe the differences between these species. If you have binoculars please bring them, as the birds may be some way off.

If you are interested just turn up. The walk will start at 10.30am and last for a couple of hours. We'll meet in the reserve car park.

The address of the reserve is:

Bradbourne Vale Road
Sevenoaks
Kent
TN13 3DH

There are toilet facilities on the reserve, and a café that serves drinks and snacks. Entrance to the reserve is free, but there is a suggested donation of £2 for non-KWT members.

The reserve is a 15-minute walk from either Sevenoaks or Bat and Ball train stations.

If you would like to sign-up for the survey, please email bromleyrspbrecords@gmail.com.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

On your marks, get set, survey!

On your marks, get set, survey!

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for our survey of Bromley's swifts.

To help get you started, we will be organising free guided swift walks in the next couple of weeks. This will be a chance to brush up your swift ID skills in the field. We'll announce the details on our website and Facebook page soon.

In the meantime, here's a simple guide to telling swifts apart from two similar birds.

Swift - dark all over, wings are long and scythe (crescent) shaped.

House Martin - prominent white on the belly and a white rump.

Swallow - white belly, very defined forked tail and red on the head.

Swifts are also distinctive because of their loud screaming calls (listen here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/27236) and, unlike the other two, they can't perch.

For more info you can watch the British Trust for Ornithology's video (https://youtu.be/klya9oEK57M) or take a look at BBC Nature's handy guide (www.bbc.co.uk/nature/22527420).

This is the first comprehensive survey of the London Borough of Bromley's swifts. Swift numbers have halved in recent years. One of the reasons for the decline is thought to be a reduction in nesting sites in buildings. As a result, it is really important for us to understand where swifts are nesting so that we can help to protect and recover their population.

If you would like to sign-up for the survey, please email bromleyrspbrecords@gmail.com.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

National Nightingale Festival - celebrating one of nature's finest musicians

National Nightingale Festival - celebrating one of nature's finest musicians

Are you longing to hear a nightingale sing? We're delighted to be organising two events in the National Nightingale Festival, a celebration of one of our best-loved but most endangered songbirds.

Join us on Monday 7 May to explore one of their Kentish strongholds, Leybourne Lakes, near Maidstone and on Saturday 12 May for a visit to the beautiful RSPB Northward Hill, near Rochester. More info on our Events page.

One of the UK's fastest declining birds, we need to save their best site from being destroyed. Help us #SaveLodgeHill

For news about nightingales, the latest on the National Nightingale Festival and the RSPB's campaign to protect nightingales at Lodge Hill, visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/national-nightingale-festival. You can also join the conversation using #NightingaleFestival, #Nightingales or #SaveLodgeHill on Facebook and Twitter or follow RSPB South East on Facebook.