News archive

March 2016

Thursday, 31 March 2016

UPDATED 25.3.16 Proposed new Lower Thames Crossing - RSPB official response

UPDATED 25.3.16 Proposed new Lower Thames Crossing - RSPB official response

Highways England's recommended route (known as Option C) passes to the east of Gravesend and runs through (or potentially under, in the case of a bored tunnel) the network of mudflats, salt marsh and grazing land that is the Thames Estuary and Marshes SPA/Ramsar, as well as RSPB Shorne Marshes. This whole area provides a rich mosaic of feeding, roosting and breeding habitats for birds. In addition, there are nationally important sites (protected as Site of Special Scientific Interest, or SSSIs) and ancient woodland that may be affected both north and south of the river. Click on the link below to the RSPB main website which provides additional information regarding how you can help and the timelines involved.

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Thursday, 31 March 2016

March Bird of the Month - Ring Ouzel

March Bird of the Month - Ring Ouzel

Bird of the month for March is the Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus). A member of the thrush (Turdus) family resembling the more familiar Blackbird (Ousel = old english name for Blackbird), but both the male and female have a very distinctive white crescent (Latin 'torc' = neck-ring) on their breast. This is more pronounced in the male. Dark legs, a yellow-bill and scaley feathers are the other diagnostic features to look for. In March these birds will be passing through Kent on migration to their breeding grounds in North Wales, Scotland and the north of England, having over-wintered in Southern Europe and North Africa. There are approximately 6000-7500 breeding pairs in the UK. Their song is simple and flutey and they have a chattering alarm call when disturbed. Why not join us on our field trip to Northward Hill on 20th March where up to 4 males have been seen en-passage in recent years. For a more detailed ID guide click on the PDF document attached. To see a BTO video of the Ring Ouzel click on the url link below.

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