News archive

November 2019

Saturday, 30 November 2019

November Bird of the Month - Kingfisher

November Bird of the Month - Kingfisher

Barely bigger than a sparrow, but with large head, dagger-like bill, stunning orange and electric-blue plumage and white throat and neck patches. The tail is short and the wings are broad. The male has an all black bill and the female has a red base to the lower mandible.

Courtship involves high-speed chases and kingfishers are hard to observe because of this and their small size. The best chance of seeing one is to listen for their distinctive high-pitched "chreee" or "kit-cheee" whistle.

First clutches are laid in the nesting chamber in April, with between six and seven eggs being the norm. Incubation is by both sexes for a period of nineteen to twenty-one days. Bothparents feed the young for up to twenty-seven days before they fledge and become independent a few days later.

Their diet includes sticklebacks, minnows, bullheads and loaches, plus insects such as water beetles, mayflies and dragonfly nymphs. Once caught,the prey is taken to a perch where the bird stuns it before swallowing it head first.

Flight is fast, direct and low over the water, although kingfishers will fly higher when taking short-cuts across land.

For a chance of seeing a kingfisher please join our walk at Mote Park on Wednesday 13 November or from the David Feast hide at Stodmarsh on Sunday 1 December. In either case, wrap up warm and bring a hot drink!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Christmas Stall at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre

Christmas Stall at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre

This year's stall will be at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre from Monday 11 to Saturday 16 November 2019. The stall raises funds for the RSPB's nature conservation work of "Giving Nature a Home" and is the 41st such annual event at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre. Come and visit us and buy your Xmas calendars, cards, books and gifts to help the RSPB with its valuable work. The RSPB Medway Local Group would like to take the opportunity to thank Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre for allowing us to hold this event for the last 41 consecutive years.