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.

January 2018

Sun
28

Oare Marsh Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

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

A superb reserve where you can get close views of the birds on the flood and the easy walk along the sea wall can produce divers and mergansers. Harriers and owls also possible.

Meet in the reserve car park. There are several hides but no toilets.

Time: 8.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

February 2018

Sat
3

Holiday - Southern Spain & Portugal

Location: Southern Spain & Portugal (return flights from London to Faro)

Eight days winter birding in southern Spain (Cota Donana) and Portugal (Alentejo & Rio Formosa) in search of great bustards, common crane, black-bellied sandgrouse, golden eagle, Montagu's harrier, black-shouldered kite, purple swamphen, marbled teal, bluethroat, crested tit and many many more. For full details please check the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 8 days

Price: £1299 per person (inc. flights)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sun
11

Capel Fleet & Harty Ferry Road (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Capel Fleet Raptor Viewing Point and Harty Ferry Rd, Isle of Sheppey
Postcode: ME12 4BQ (Google map)

We'll hope for an array of raptors, plus geese and wildfowl on the Swale.

The Raptor Viewpoint is situated on the left along the minor road between the B2231 and the eastern end of Sheppey. Follow signs to the Harty Ferry Inn. There are no facilities and please dress warmly.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Wed
14

New Hythe Lakes (Leader Warren Mann)

Location: Meet in Brooklands car park
Postcode: ME6 5UD (Google map)

Winter thrushes, wildfowl, grebes and maybe kingfisher are all possible.

Please be aware that there are no facilities or shelter on this walk.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07845 454 754

Tue
20

Birds & Wildlife of New Zealand - Graham Ekins

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

Graham has travelled extensively around the world from an Essex village to southern France, Thailand, Argentina, Japan, the South Atlantic Islands and, of course, New Zealand. So he has a very wide range of talks and is also an accomplished photographer. Graham is always off doing surveys and trips abroad so the talk planned for 2017 had to be postponed, but he has just returned from an eight-day survey for the Marinelife Organisation and I managed to pin him down for February 2018. I am sure we are going to have an excellent talk from Graham.

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

Sun
25

Sissinghurst Castle Grounds (Leader Robin Smith)

Location: Sissinghurst Castle
Postcode: TN17 2AB (Google map)

A popular walk in a stunning setting with treecreepers, marsh tit and bullfinches to delight you and scrummy cakes in the cafeteria to tempt you on our return.

The cafeteria and toilets should be open, but at this time of year please be aware that the woods can be very muddy and slippery.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07528 917 350

March 2018

Wed
7

RSPB Rainham Marshes, Essex (Leader Warren Mann)

Location: RSPB Rainham Marshes, Essex.
Postcode: RM19 1WX (Google map)

We always get a good welcome from Howard and the bird list is usually full and varied. This reserve is gaining a reputation for attracting some good birds and is suitable for the less able-bodied.
You can see the Thames from the award-winning visitor centre with its shop, cafeteria and toilets. Please bring your membership card with you as non-RSPB visitors will be charged £5 entrance fee.
Take the Dartford Crossing (DART charge) and follow the first exit after the tunnel. Access is via the A1090 New Tanks Road, Purfleet.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07845 454 754

Fri
9

Holiday - Welsh Borders (Leader Simon Ginnaw)

Location: Our hotel will be in Gloucester and we will have daily minibus excursions to the best birding sites on the Welsh Borders

Four days exploring the spectacular birds and scenery of the Forest of Dean, Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons, WWT Slimbridge and the Severn estuary as we seek out goshawk, peregrine, red kite, crossbill, hawfinch, great grey shrike, dipper and grey wagtail among others. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 4 days

Price: £599 pp (inc. 4 nights hotel, minibus & half board)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sun
18

Conyer Creek (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Location: Park on the road by the Ship Inn, Conyer
Postcode: ME9 9HR (Google map)

Earlier in the year than usual but there is always something to see with waders and wildfowl on the Swale and passerines in the bushes.
Park on the left-hand side of the road immediately before the Ship Inn. The walk is easy and circular though it can be muddy in places so please dress appropriately. There are no facilities on this walk.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07776 331 210

Tue
20

Kenyan Safari - Birds and Animals - Brian Gallop

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

This will be Brian's fifth visit to our group going back as far as 1992 when he spoke on the Flora & Fauna of SE England - I wonder who remembers that one! Brian is a natural history photographer, tour leader (UK and abroad) and is a past group leader of RSPB Tonbridge Local Group so he is well qualified to speak to us. He also has a large variety of talks though this one is slightly further afield than his last SW Ireland talk - with no rain! We look forward to welcoming Brian back again to Medway.

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

Sun
25

RSPB Northward Hill Reserve (Leader David Saunders)

Location: RSPB Northward Hill reserve
Postcode: ME3 3DS (Google map)

Nesting will be well underway at the UK's largest heronry where grey herons and little egrets should be busy. We may also get some early migrants.
Meet in the Marshland car park where there are toilets.

Time: 9.00am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07788 202 445

April 2018

Wed
4

Haysden Lake Country Park (Leader Robin Smith)

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

A new addition to our walks which covers 160 acres in the Medway Valley to the west of Tonbridge. It includes a range of habitats such as river, grassland, freshwater lakes, woodland, marshland so hopefully with it a diverse range of species!
Follow the Haysden CP signs from Tonbridge town centre, along Brook Street to Lower Haysden Lane where you will find the main entrance and car park (pay & display).

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07528 917 350

Sat
14

Holiday - Costa Blanca, Spain (Leader Richard Hanman)

Location: Costa Blanca, Spain

Eight days of birding in the glorious Spanish sunshine - eight days of sun, sea, sand and sangria and the perfect opportunity to add bee-eater, roller, great spotted cuckoo, great bustard, little bustard, black-bellied sandgrouse, griffon vulture, golden eagle, booted eagle, short-toed eagle, crested tit, red-knobbed coot, red-crested pochard, purple swamphen, marbled teal, white-headed duck, greater flamingo, spoonbill, Audouin's gull, slender-billed gull and many, many others to your year lists. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 8 days

Price: £999 pp (inc. flights, hotel, half board, minibus, etc.)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sun
15

KWT Sevenoaks Reserve (Leader Karen Snow)

Location: Kent Wildlife Trust Sevenoaks Reserve
Postcode: TN13 3DH (Google map)

Another popular venue with a stroll through the woods and alongside the lakes. We will hope to see early migrants such as little-ringed plover, garganey and martins.

Meet in the car park where there is a visitor centre with a cafeteria and toilets. There are plenty of hides to shelter in should the weather be inclement.

Time: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07879 637 686

Tue
17

The Pantanal - Dr Peter Gasson

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

Peter is a plant anatomist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has been watching and photographing wildlife in Britain and abroad since the early 1970s. The talks that he gives concentrate on scenes, habitats and a wide range of the relevant wildlife including birds, mammals, insects and plants. He is another speaker with a very wide range of subjects from British orchids to Spitsbergen. Peter is willing to take a day off work to come to talk to us so I think that speaks volumes. We look forward to welcoming Peter for his first visit to RSPB Medway Local Group.

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

Sun
29

Shuart & Reculver (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Contact the walk leader for parking instructions
Postcode: CT7 0NB (Google map)

A new take on an old venue with an early start! When we checked this site last year we had yellow wagtail, lesser whitethroat, whimbrel, sanderling and grasshopper warbler.
We will walk from Shuart across the railway line to the sea wall and Coldharbour, then cut across to Chambers Wall and return via the embankment back across the fields and hedgerows.
Take the A299 Thanet Way and turn off at the St Nicholas-at-Wade junction. Turn right at the T-junction, then first left and continue on to the end of the lane where there are a few parking spaces. Please book with the walk leaders as we may need to car share.
There are no facilities on this walk.

Time: 8.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

May 2018

Wed
2

Northward Hill Dawn Chorus Walk (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Location: RSPB Northward Hill Reserve
Postcode: ME3 3DS (Google map)

Apologies for the early start, but the early birder gets the goodies! Hopefully we will see and hear nightingales, cuckoo, whitethroat, garden warbler and blackcap.
Meet in the Marshland car park where there are toilets.

Time: 5am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07505 464 114

Thu
3

Holiday - Northern France (Leader Richard Hanman & Simon Ginnaw)

Location: Based in the small village of Cucq near Le Touquet

Five days across the Channel exploring the fantastic birds of Marquenterre, Romeleare, Marais de Guines and Crecy Forest. An annual pilgrimage for most Kent-based birders tempted across the water by bluethroat, honey buzzard, white stork, common crane, short-toed treecreeper, nightingale, turtle dove, cuckoo, and many others. For further details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 5 days

Price: £699 pp (inc. return Euro Tunnel, minibus and full-board acccommodation)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

Sun
13

Ashdown Forest (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Ashdown Forest (Old Lodge) Reserve
Postcode: TN22 3JD (Google map)

Another firm favourite with stunning views and the lure of specialities such as woodlark, tree pipit, redstart and cuckoo. Will the Dartford warbler have recolonised its former territory?
Meet in the Sussex Wildlife Trust car park and bring a packed lunch. There are no facilities here and some of the walk is on steep terrain.

Time: 9am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
15

Birds of the Medway Estuary - Edward Towne (plus AGM)

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

The first few minutes of the evening will be taken up by our Annual General Meeting which hopefully will not take very long. Edward lives in Rochester and is a member of our Group. He does help with talks to local groups and schools when required. However he has not reached the dizzy heights of being on the RSPB list of local speakers so as he is "one of our own" I thought it only right that we invite him to speak to us. He will be speaking on the Medway Estuary which will include the Hoo Peninsula, the Swale and parts of Sheppey (the former RSPB reserve at Elmley). The main species will include rails, cormorants, waders (we all need help with these), grebes, wildfowl, gulls, raptors and passerines. I am sure we will give a big welcome to Edward.

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

Sun
20

Coach Trip to RSPB Minsmere

Location: Contact David Saunders to book your place on the coach and confirm your pick up time and place

Book your seat and put your feet up as we whisk you off to the RSPB's premier reserve, where you will find a wellstocked shop, a superb cafeteria and hides galore. Minsmere is so special because of its variety of habitat from sea and shore to scrapes, heathland, woodland and reedbeds. Otters are often seen and the long bird list includes bittern, marsh harrier, hobby, Dartford warbler, stone curlew, little tern, little gull and kittiwake.
Please join us - you will be made very welcome and will have an enjoyable and relaxing day out.

Time: Contact Davod Saunders for coach pick up details.

Price: Contact David Saunders for details

Booking essential

Telephone: 07788 202 445

Thu
24

Holiday - The Best of Norfolk (Leader Simon Ginnaw)

Location: Based at Hunstanton

Five days exploring the birding mecca that is North Norfolk taking in Welney, Titchwell, Cley, Sculthorpe Moor, Holkham, The Brecks, Dersingham Bog, Blakeney and Hickling Broad. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 5 days

Price: £699 pp (inc. minibus, 5 nts hotel, B&B & EM)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

E-mail: info@bargainbirdingclub.com

Sun
27

Stodmarsh & Grove Ferry (Leader Peter Saville)

Location: Meet in the car park at Stodmarsh
Postcode: CT3 4BE (Google map)

Another favourite walk with reedbeds, woods and riverside and some special birds too. Cetti's warbler is guaranteed to be heard, if not seen, and the supporting cast includes cuckoo, hobby, garden warbler, swifts and hirundines and the iconic, but sadly declining, turtle dove.
Meet in the Stodmarsh car park for the circular walk to Grove Ferry and back. There are toilets at both ends and numerous hides on the route.
Last year we clocked up 61 species on this walk!

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07443 657 521

June 2018

Wed
6

Rye Harbour (Leader Warren Mann)

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

We should be able to find the breeding terns and gulls without too much trouble, 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: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07845 454 754

Sun
10

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Location: Samphire Hoe, near Dover
Postcode: CT17 9EL (Google map)

Stretching out into the English Channel and with the white cliffs as a backdrop, this is a very popular place and has some interesting plants and butterflies as well as adders! Avian species seen here are peregrine, raven, fulmar, black redstart and rock pipit.
Meet in the car park where there is a small charge. Easy walking in a delightful location with the bonus of a cafeteria and toilets.

Time: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07879 637 686

Tue
19

Broadwater Warren: How to make a Nature Reserve - Alan Loweth

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

Some of you may recognise Alan as he is the Office Manager and Volunteer Co-ordinator at RSPB Broadwater Warren and is often about there. This is another first as we have not had a talk from Alan before, but I have met him at Broadwater Warren where he has been for some years now, and he is very interesting and knowledgeable. Alan will fascinate us with the story of how this RSPB site has grown over the years and how they have developed the habitats there.

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
27

Holiday - Northern Ireland & Southern Scotland (Leader Richard Hanman)

Location: 27 June to 1 July (Northern Ireland) then 1 to 4 July (Scotland)

5 days in Northern Ireland plus 3 days in Dumfies & Galloway for spectacular summer sea-birds. Get up close and personal to breeding colonies of puffin, fulmar, gannet, kittiwake, razorbill, guillemot, black guillemot and eider duck. Visit Rathlin Island, Giant's Causeway, Glens of Antrim and Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, then board the 2 hour ferry crossing from Larne to Cairnryan to explore the birds and countryside of Loch Ryan, The Rhins and the Machars. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 8 days

Price: £699pp (Northern Ireland) + £499pp (Scotland)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

E-mail: info@bargainbirdingclub.com

Sat
30

Nightjar Watch (Leader Trevor Hatton)

Location: Contact Trevor Hatton for details of our meeting place and time

We've picked a night with an almost full moon to maximise our chances of hearing and hopefully seeing nightjar, woodcock and maybe an owl or glowworm as well.

Time: Contact Trevor Hatton for details of our meeting place and time.

Price: Free

Booking essential

Telephone: 07709 925 613

July 2018

Wed
11

Riverside Country Park (Leader Warren Mann)

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

A stroll around the country park and Eastcourt Meadows ooking at birds on the Medway and in the bushes.
Meet in the car park off the B2007. There are toilets and a cafeteria here.

Time: 10am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07845 454 754

Sun
15

RSPB Broadwater Warren (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Location: Braodwater Warren Nature Reserve
Postcode: TN3 9JP (Google map)

Just over the border in East Sussex to this recently established reserve where historic woodland and heathland is being restored. Hopefully our timing will be right for the emergence of both white admiral and silver-washed fritillary butterflies. The woods hold spotted flycatchers and the heath is home to yellowhammers, stonechats and nightjars.
From Tunbridge Wells take the A26 south towards Crowborough. After 2.1 miles turn right into Broadwater Forest Lane. Continue on for 0.8 miles and the reserve car park is on the left.
Please bring a packed lunch. There are no facilities here.

Time: 9.30am

Price: Free

Telephone: 07745 343 072

Tue
17

Adventures in Alaska - Barry Wright

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

We welcome Barry for his third talk to us since 2013. Barry's talks have progressed from slide shows to fully digital so I can see we will be in for a good evening. As another well-travelled gentleman, judging from his other talks, Adventures in Alaska should be a treat. We have already heard about Barry's Travels in Columbia in 2013 and Ethiopia in 2015. Adventures in Alaska promises to be just as good.

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

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

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

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

Thu
20

Holiday - Northern France (Leader Simon Ginnaw)

Location: Northern France

A return autumn visit to coincide with peak numbers of waders and wildfowl across the Channel in northern France. Also good possibilitoes of black woodpecker, roosting hen harrier and wild boar. For full details please check out the website or contact Richard Hanman.

Time: 4 days

Price: £599 pp (inc. return Euro Tunnel, minibus and full-board acccommodation)

Booking essential

Telephone: 07785 707 797

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