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 2019

Sun
28

Oare Marshes - Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich

Location: Oare Marsh KWT Reserve
Postcode: ME13 0QA (Google map)

Wader passage should be in full swing and with any luck and the high tide they should all be on the east flood! Will Bony be back for his 7th year?

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: 8.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

August 2019

Sun
11

Cliffe Pools - David Saunders

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

A few years ago Cliffe was the centre of attention for the birding fraternity with the confirmed breeding by blackwinged stilts and a surprise visit by a rare marsh sandpiper. What will we find this time?

Meet in the reserve car park off Salt Lane . There are no facilities here.

Time: 9.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07788 202 445

Wed
21

Haysden Lake CP - Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich

Location: Haysden Lake CP
Postcode: TN11 9BB (Google map)

Later in the year for our second visit to this country park at Tonbridge. The habitat comprises freshwater lakes, marshland, woodland, river and fields so should attract a wide range of birds.

Follow the Haysden CP signs from Tonbridge town centre, along Brook Street to Lower Haysden Lane where you will find the main entrance and the pay and display car park.

Time: 10.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Sun
25

Rye Harbour - Karen Snow

Location: Rye Harbour
Postcode: TN31 7TU (Google map)

A Sunday visit for a change. There should still be terns around, plus waders near the harbour and passerines in the scrub.

Take the A259 southbound from Rye. The minor road to Rye Harbour is signposted on the left.

The large car park is beyond the village and has both toilets and a snack bar.

Time: 10.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07879 637 686

September 2019

Sun
1

Medway Local Group Holiday - Bulgaria

Location: Bulgaria

Join us on a holiday to explore the bird life of the Black Sea coast and Eastern Rodopi Mountains of Bulgaria.
Thousands of pelicans, storks, raptors & passerines on migration
Black kite plus booted, spotted, short-toed and white-tailed eagle
Vulture feeding station, plus assorted buzzards, harriers & falcons
Pied wheatear, semi-collared and red-breasted flycatcher
Marsh sandpiper, red-necked phalarope and collared pratincole
4 nights half board Black Sea coast (Via Pontica migration route)
Atanasovsko, Poda, Pomorie, Gorista, Bolata, Durankulak & Shabla
3 nights half board E. Rodopi Mountains (raptors & woodpeckers)
Madzharovo, Studen Kladenets Dam, Sakar & Sliven (Sousliks)
Includes return flights Gatwick/Bourgas, local transport and guide

Full details are available on the Bargain Birding Cub website:

http://www.bargainbirdingclub.com/budget-birding-tours.php

Time: 8 days

Price: £1299 per person

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sat
7

Coach Trip - Lakenheath Fen

Location: Contact David Saunders for details of pick up / drop off points.

Another combined trip for Medway/Maidstone groups to visit everyone's favourite reserve.

With a variety of habitat and home to some iconic species such as bittern, marsh harrier, stone curlew and Dartford warbler. Otters and deer are also regularly seen.

With superb visitor centre, shop, tearoom, toilets and plenty of hides this premier reserve has it all.

Time: TBC

Price: TBC

Booking essential

Telephone: 07788 202 445

Wed
11

Riverside Country Park - David Hale

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

With a rising tide we will hope to see waders including godwits and greenshank as well as teal and other wildfowl. We may also be lucky to see passerine migrants in the bushes.

Meet in the car park off the B2007. There are toilets and refreshments here.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07808 772 783

Tue
17

Wild Canadian Rockies - Martin Davies

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

Martin is another man who is hard to pin down. As I emailed him he was in Sulawesi in Indonesia delivering a training course. Good job we have the world wide web!! Martin first visited us in September 2016 and talked on Wild Cuba and we have another wild place this time.
An RSPB staff member for over 40 years, Martin worked in various regional offices before moving to the RSPB's International Division in 1992. As Head of International Programme Development for 20 years, he led a team which handled all RSPB's approaches to international funding agencies, raising many large grants for conservation projects overseas and in the UK. Together with Tim Appleton, he was co-founder and co-organiser of the Birdfair at Rutland Water for 27 years.

Time: 7.30 - 9.45pm. (Doors open at 7pm)

Price: £3.50 for members, £4.00 for non-members.

Sun
29

Hampton Pier & Reculver - Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich

Location: Hampton Pier & Reculver
Postcode: CT6 8DL (Google map)

We will meet at 9.00 am at Hampton Pier car park and look for purple sandpipers and other waders on the shore line. We will then drive the few miles to the free car park at Bishopstone Glen overlooking Grenham Bay. We can do a sea watch before walking through the Glen looking for migrant passerines.

If time permits, we could also go on to Reculver depending on what is around.

There are toilets at Hampton Pier car park and at Reculver, where there is also a cafeteria.

Time: 9.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

October 2019

Sun
6

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory - Richard Hanman

Location: Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory
Postcode: CT13 9PF (Google map)

An excellent place to be with migration in full swing.

Hopefully the weather will be suitable for ringing and we may find something exciting in the mist nets as we watch the ringers at work. We always get a warm welcome from the staff at the observatory where there are full facilities.

We will also visit the Elms Copse and Restharrow Scrape as well as doing a sea watch.

On arrival at Sandwich Bay Estate road toll please advise the attendant that you are visiting the Observatory and you should only be charged a nominal £1.

There will be a suggested donation of £2 per head for SBBO.

Time: 8.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sun
13

Dungeness Sea & Shore - Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich

Location: Dungeness Lighthouse
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.

Then later we will head to the RSPB Reserve to see what we can find from the hides and have lunch.

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: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
15

A Year in the life of a BTO Regional Rep - Penny Williams

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

This is Penny's first visit to the Medway Group and we welcome her along. Penny's summary of her job is how to combine an interest in bird, butterfly and reptile surveys, conservation work and holidays. Although Penny's region is called Surrey she also covers small amounts of West Sussex, Berkshire and some of the London Boroughs.
As well as the regional representative for Surrey, Penny is Membership Secretary for Surrey Bird Club and the Local Organiser for the WeBS count in Surrey and London south of the Thames. So once again, that saying of 'if you want something done, ask a busy person' comes to mind. I am sure this will be a rather different talk and we will learn from it.

Time: 7.30 - 9.45pm. (Doors open at 7pm)

Price: £3.50 for members, £4.00 for non-members.

Wed
16

Conningbrook Lakes - Robin Smith

Location: Conningbrook Lakes, Ashford
Postcode: TN24 9QX (Google map)

A new venue for us, managed by Kent Wildlife Trust, comprising three lakes in former gravel pits, wet woodland, river and grassland. The lakes once hosted a pied-billed grebe.

Accessed off the A2070 via the Julie Rose Stadium,

There are toilets and picnic areas here.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07528 917 350

Sun
27

Shellness & Capel Fleet - Richard Hanman

Location: Meet at Leysdown Bay (aka The Apron).
Postcode: ME12 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 cover at either site.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

November 2019

Sun
10

Conyer Creek - Richard Hanman

Location: Conyer Creek
Postcode: ME9 9HR (Google map)

A winter visit for a change looking at birds on the Swale and in the bushes.
Park on the left-hand side immediately before the Ship Inn. There are no facilities at this site.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Wed
13

Mote Park - Robin Smith

Location: Mote Park, Maidstone
Postcode: ME15 7SU (Google map)

It's three years since we last visited this gem in Maidstone's crown, but Simon Ginnaw's talk back in 2018 inspired me to revisit it.

An easy place to catch up with gulls and ducks on the lake or tits, woodpeckers and thrushes in the trees. If we are lucky we might see a kingfisher or grey wagtail on the River Len.

Meet in the main car park accessed from the main entrance. Toilets are here.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Tue
19

Eastern Indonesian Birds & Other Wildlife - Graham Ekins

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

We welcome Graham for his second talk to us, the first was on Birds and Wildlife of New Zealand. Graham is an Ecological Consultant and World Wildlife Photographer and has been a keen birder since his early years. He trained as a ringer with the BTO and still holds his permit gained at age 18. Along with his wife Evie, they have visited many countries to carry out birding and wildlife photography. Graham currently has about 3200 images of 1700 bird species linked to AVIBASE. He also has a Flickr site with many, many more photos.

Time: 7.30 - 9.45pm. (Doors open at 7pm)

Price: £3.50 for members, £4.00 for non-members.

Sun
24

Dungeness RSPB Reserve - Richard Hanman

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

No apologies for the fourth visit of the year to this superb place, the RSPB's oldest reserve. There is always something to see at any of the pits at any time of year.

With easy walking and plenty of hides to visit there is also still time to buy your last minute Christmas cards and gifts in the shop!

Time: 10.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07785 707 797

December 2019

Sun
1

Stodmarsh & Grove Ferry - Peter Saville

Location: Stodmarsh & Grove Ferry NR
Postcode: CT3 4BE (Google map)

A winter visit for a change in the hope of seeing a hen harrier or water rail.

Meet in the Stodmarsh car park for the circular walk to Grove Ferry and back. There are toilets at both ends and several hides to take a break in.

Time: 9.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07443 657 521

Wed
11

Lower Halstow - Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich

Location: Lower Halstow (Lapwing Drive)
Postcode: ME9 7DZ (Google map)

A new venue for us with the possibility of red-breasted merganser and other sea ducks. A short walk along the creek and then we'll retrace our steps and go back through the scrub area.

Take the A2 and turn north signposted Lower Halstow. Park at the end of Lapwing Drive.

There are no facilities or shelter on this walk so please dress warmly.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
17

Kent's Wild Year - Simon Ginnaw

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

Having rescued me last March when Brian Gallop was ill, I now have Simon booked, in his own right, to do our last talk of 2019. Simon is so completely passionate about what he does, and the way that he does it, that his talks just keep getting better and better. This will be his 5th talk to the group in seven years but I, for one, never tire of his great talks combining Simon's endless knowledge, beautiful photos and wonderful sound, all at the same time. Simon will take us on a personal journey through the seasons around the Kent countryside, stopping off at the coast, deep in the woods, on our heathlands and across our farmland. We will explore the county's stunning landscapes, rich history and beautiful wildlife. It should be a great end to 2019.

Time: 7.30 - 9.45pm. (Doors open at 7pm)

Price: £3.50 for members, £4.00 for non-members.