Events

We are always happy to see new faces (young and not so young) on our friendly, easy-paced walks. Advice is always on hand with identifying birds, flowers, butterflies and other wildlife. Many of the walks are suitable for the whole family and the less-abled. Walks typically last 3-4 hours and are conducted at a leisurely pace. We recommend bringing a packed lunch with you so that you can enjoy light refreshments during or after the walk. Please remember to bring your RSPB membership card with you to gain free entry to RSPB reserves (otherwise a nominal fee will be charged by the reserve). Occasionally a walk may have to be cancelled at short notice because of adverse weather conditions. If you have any questions regarding the walks then please contact the walk leader or Sue Carter (medwayrspb.walk@btinternet.com or 01795 427 854) in advance.

July 2018

Sun
22

Bough Beech Reservoir (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Location: Bough Beech Reservoir
Postcode: TN14 6LD (Google map)

Plenty to see from the Causeway or from the hide and bird feeders at the KWT visitor centre. Mandarin ducks, waders, kingfisher or even a returning osprey could all appear.
Meet on the Causeway, which is just past the Kent Wildlife Trust visitor centre at the north end of the reservoir, two miles south of Ide Hill. Suitable for the less able-bodied. There is a shop, toilets and refreshments at the centre and the car park there opens at 10.00 am.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07776 331 210

Mon
30

Family Fun Day at RSPB Northward Hill Reserve

Location: Bromhey Farm, Rochester, Kent. ME3 8DS
Postcode: ME3 8DS (Google map)

Hosted and sponsored by The RSPB Medway Local Group

A great opportunity for the whole family to explore and learn about RSPB Northward Hill Reserve. Starts 11.00 am and finishes 3.00 pm. Car parking and admission FREE.

The following activities are FREE, but donations are welcome: Bug sweeping, table top pond dipping, family self-guided wildlife trail, childrens craft, make a bird feeder, guided walks, telescopes at Sweeney Viewpoint and in Gordon's Hide and bird ringing demonstration.

BRING YOUR OWN PICNIC AND BLANKET

All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult!

For the latest information www.rspb.org.uk/groups/medway or https://www.facebook.com/The-RSPB-Medway-Local-Group-733548566806267/

Time: 11.00 am until 3.00 pm

Price: Free

August 2018

Wed
8

RSPB Cliffe Pools Reserve (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Location: RSPB Cliffe Pools Reserve
Postcode: ME3 7SU (Google map)

This time last year Cliffe Pools was the centre of attention with the confirmed breeding of black-winged stilts and the arrival of a rare wader, a marsh sandpiper, plus the birding fraternity turning up in big numbers! What will this year bring to this special place?
Meet in the reserve car park off Salt Lane and bring refreshments as there are no facilities here.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07505 464 114

Sun
12

Oare Marsh Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Kent Wildlife Trust Oare Marsh Reserve
Postcode: ME13 0QA (Google map)

Our summer visit to Oare to catch up with the returning waders. Will Bony the Bonaparte's gull be back again? Will our wader identification be up to scratch? The massed ranks of avocets and black-tailed godwits is a joy to behold, especially when they rise into the air on masse at the approach of a raptor.
Meet in the reserve car park. There are no toilets here, but the walking is easy and there are several hides should the weather prove inclement.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Sun
26

Hothfield Heathland (Leader Karen Snow)

Location: Hothfield Heathland car park
Postcode: TN26 1AP (Google map)

A favourite walk with plenty to see. Previously at this time of year we have had hobby, treecreeper, blackcap, yellowhammer, willow warbler, crests and tit flocks.
Meet in the car park just off the A20 on the left-hand side of the minor road. Unfortunately the toilets in the car park are no longer open and there are no other facilities at this site.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07879 637 686

September 2018

Sun
9

Dungeness sea & shore (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Meet at the old lighthouse car park.
Postcode: TN29 9NE (Google map)

We will meet by the old lighthouse and do a sea watch in front of the power station before heading to the Bird Observatory to see what is around in the trapping area and whether the ringers are in action.
Then later we'll head to the RSPB Reserve to see what we can find from the hides and have our lunch. We will hope to see little gulls and shearwaters on the sea and maybe firecrest, wryneck and other passing migrants.
Park between the old lighthouse and the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway station. Refreshments are available here and there is a WC at the Bird Observatory. Full facilities are also available at the RSPB Reserve.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Thu
13

Holiday - Northern France (Leaders: Rich Hanman and Simon Ginnaw)

Location: Northern France

An autumn visit timed to coincide with peak numbers of waders and wildfowl across the Channel in northern France. Also good possibilities of Black Woodpecker, roosting Hen Harrier and Wild Boar. For full details please contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 4 days

Price: £599 pp (inc. pick up / drop off from Sittingbourne, return Euro Tunnel, minibus and 3 nights full-board)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

E-mail: r.hanman1970@hotmail.co.uk

Tue
18

Birds of the Russian Far East - Chris Collins

Location: Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Gillingham
Postcode: ME8 9PN (Google map)

We are delighted to have got Chris to speak to us as he is extremely busy with tours, lectures, photography and many more aspects of birding, both in the UK and overseas. Lots of information can be found on his website: www.birdsandwildlife.com. We were unable to tie up a date for 2017 but have succeeded for 2018.
This talk is a comprehensive review of the birds and wildlife of this amazing, but rarely visited, region. The talk covers the Sea of Okhotsk, Sakhalin Island, the Kamchatka Peninsula and further North (Koriak and Chukotka) with top-quality images. Another part of the talk covers searches for critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper - a fascinating story. We welcome Chris for his first talk, and I doubt the last.

Time: Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start

Price: £3.50 RSPB members, £4.00 to non-members.

Wed
19

Botolph's Bridge & Royal Military Canal (Leader Robin Smith)

Location: Meet at canal-side car park
Postcode: CT21 4NL (Google map)

An enjoyable venue with a variety of farmland birds on the south side of the canal and warblers, chats, bullfinches and crests on the vegetated north bank. Scan the ridge for passing raptors and if you hear a roar don't be alarmed, it's only the lions at the nearby Port Lympne Zoo!
Meet at the canal-side car park at West Hythe. Botolph's Bridge and pub are one mile to the south. There are no facilities on this walk.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07528 917 350

Sun
23

St Margaret's & Bockhill (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Park by Bockhill monument
Postcode: CT15 6DT (Google map)

Back on the UK side of the English Channel, this area is a noted migration hotspot. We will look for wryneck, ring ouzel, buntings and warblers.
Take the A2 towards Dover turning left onto the A258 towards Deal, then first right onto the B2058. Turn right at the T-junction and proceed through St. Margaret's (toilets are in the car park on the right). At the top of the hill turn left into Glanville Road and continue to the end. Park by the Bockhill Monument. No facilities here other than at the excellent tea room in the old coastguard building.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

October 2018

Sun
7

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory
Postcode: CT3 9PF (Google map)

Another excellent place to be with migration in full swing. Hopefully the conditions will be right for ringing and we may find something exciting in the mist nets. We always get a warm welcome from the staff at the bird observatory where there are full facilities.
We will also spend a little time sea watching and visit the Restharrow Scrape. On arrival at Sandwich Bay Estate toll please advise the attendant that you are visiting the Observatory and you should only be charged a nominal £1.
Please note there will be a suggested donation of £2 per head for SBBO.

Time: 8am

Price: Please note there will be a suggested donation of £2 per head for SBBO.

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
16

Africa, 100 not out - Mike Mockler

Location: Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Gillingham
Postcode: ME8 9PN (Google map)

Mike's fifth visit to us, unless he knows differently, since 1990. Mike is another busy gentleman that I tried to get for 2017 and failed so 2018 comes up trumps again. Mike is a wildlife tour leader, safari guide, photographer, author and lecturer - to name but a few of his talents. He has also appeared many times on television and radio. His recent tours include Kenya in 2015 and Spain and Kenya again in 2016. Our speakers do seem to travel the world very widely. Mike has completed more than 100 African safaris over his 30 years of wildlife travel so my guess is that this will be the starting point for his talk to us. You can find out more about Mike at: www.mikemockler.co.uk

Time: 7.30 to 9.45 pm. Doors Open 7.00 pm

Price: £3.50 RSPB members, £4 non-members

Wed
17

Vinters Valley Nature Reserve (Leader Trevor Hatton)

Location: Please park in Lodge Road but avoid blocking any gates or entrances
Postcode: ME14 5EH (Google map)

A little gem hidden away in between housing estates in the county town of Kent. With autumn fruits and berries in abundance we hope to see finches and thrushes stocking up for the months of scarcity ahead.
Leave the M20 at Junction 7 and take the exit onto the A249 (signposted Maidstone West). At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Bearsted Road (signposted Crematorium) Follow Bearsted Road to the next roundabout and take the 3rd exit onto New Cut Road. At the next roundabout go straight over (2nd exit) Follow New Cut Road to the roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto Lodge Road (no through road). You have arrived!

Time: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07709 925 613

Sun
21

Shellness & Capel Fleet (Leader Richard Hanman)

Location: Meet on the 'Apron' over-looking Leysdown Bay
Postcode: ME14 4RJ (Google map)

Ducks and divers on the sea, raptors over the fields and the wader roost at the Blockhouse. Then we will drive round to the viewpoint at Capel Fleet and hope to add corn buntings, green sandpiper and more raptors!
Meet on the apron overlooking the estuary, just past the caravan park in Leysdown. There are toilets on the left just before the caravan park but there are no other facilities. Please wear suitable footwear and be aware that there is no shelter on this walk.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Thu
25

Holiday - The Best of Norfolk (Leader Simon Ginnaw)

Location: North Norfolk. we will be based in Hunstanton

A return autumn trip to north Norfolk for ducks, geese, swans and waders at Welney, Titchwell and Cley; bullfinch, hawfinch and brambling at Sculthorpe Moor & Holkham; hen harrier, merlin and short-eared owl at Roydon Common; and the possibility of waxwing, shorelark, dotterel and snow bunting at Cley or Holkham. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 4 days

Price: £599 pp (inc. 3 nights hotel, minibus & half board)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

November 2018

Sun
4

Hampton Pier & Clowes Wood (Leader Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Meet at Hampton Pier car park (CT5 1AB); we will then move on to Clowes Wood (CT5 3ER)
Postcode: CT5 1AB (Google map)

At Hampton Pier we will look for turnstone and purple sandpiper on the shoreline at Swalecliffe before heading to Clowes Wood near to Chestfield. At the latter site we will look for redpolls and crests as well as possible crossbills and lesser-spotted woodpecker.
There are toilets at Hampton Pier car park but no facilities at Clowes Wood.
Take the old A299 past Whitstable and at the Greenhill turnoff take the road to Herne Bay but at the first junction turn left onto the B2205, then turn right (north) into Hampton Avenue and continue to the pier car park.
Clowes Wood is reached via Chestfield on the minor road to Tyler Hill. The car park is on a bend on the righthand side.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
20

Dormice in Kent - Alison Ruyter

Location: Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Gillingham. ME8 9PN
Postcode: ME8 9PN (Google map)

Alison has been working for Kent Wildlife Trust since 1999 and last spoke to us in April 2015 where her enthusiasm was infectious for the Medway Living Landscape. Tonight Alison tells us about dormice. She has held a Dormouse License for several years and is well placed to give us this fascinating talk about the incredibly shy and relatively unknown mammal that is the dormouse. Alison is currently the Medway and Mid-Kent Downs Area Warden and has the honour of being our only lady speaker for 2018.

Time: 7.30 to 9.45 pm. Doors Open 7.00 pm

Price: £3.50 RSPB members, £4 non-members

Wed
21

Robin's Nest & Loose Valley (Leader Robin Smith)

Location: Meet at Robin's house which is at the end of the cul-de-sac
Postcode: ME15 9TL (Google map)

Meet at Robin's house, 37 Valley Drive, Loose, where he will show you the redpolls in his garden before heading out for a walk along the Loose Valley. Here we will hope to see wintering thrushes and maybe grey wagtail and kingfisher.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07528 917 350

Sun
25

Elmley Nature Reserve (Leader Richard Hanman)

Location: Meet in the reserve car park
Postcode: ME12 3RW (Google map)

A winter visit to see the reserve at its best with large numbers of wildfowl, swans, geese, birds of prey and maybe owls too.
Meet in the reserve car park where there are toilets and an honesty box for a suggested donation of £5 per car, with all proceeds going to conservation.
Bring a packed lunch and hot drink as we will spend some time in the hides which are a considerable walk from the car park.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

December 2018

Sun
9

RSPB Dungeness Reserve (Leader Peter Saville)

Location: RSPB Dungeness car park
Postcode: TN29 9PN (Google map)

Our third and final visit this year to the RSPB's oldest reserve and your chance to purchase some last minute Christmas presents in the shop!
We hope to see wintering wildfowl including scaup, grebes, goldeneye and smew, plus great egrets and bittern.
Meet in the reserve car park where there are toilets.

Time: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07443 657 521

Tue
18

Rolf Goes Wild - Rolf Williams

Location: Parkwood Community Centre, Parkwood Green, Gillingham ME8 9PN
Postcode: ME8 9PN (Google map)

Ralf was responsible for RSPB publicity in Kent for some time and has spoken to us twice before, on Crossing Boundaries and all about snakes in Rolf Gets Rattled. I am unsure exactly what Rolf Goes Wild will hold for us, but there is mention of a real life didgeridoo!!! Rolf graduated in 1990 from Middlesex University with an honours degree in Graphic Design. His love of natural history includes marine studies, travelling in Florida and photography, and he has worked for radio and television. Rolf has spent the last few years moving about quite a bit, but I am hoping that he will still be in Chatham to make his journey easy in December.

Time: 7.30 to 9.45 pm. Doors Open 7.00 pm

Price: £3.50 RSPB members, £4 non-members

E-mail: medwayRSPB_descar@btinternet.com

Wed
19

Riverside Country Park (Leader Warren Mann)

Location: Riverside Country Park
Postcode: ME7 2XH (Google map)

Our final visit for 2018 to this local reserve with hopes of seeing wintering thrushes, ducks and red-breasted mergansers.
Meet in the car park. Toilets and a cafeteria are situated in the visitor centre.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07845 454 754