News archive

May 2019

Friday, 31 May 2019

May Bird of the Month - Osprey

May Bird of the Month - Osprey

Pairs return separately from Africa as early as March and build or refurbish their huge stick nest in a mature tree or ready-made platform, as is the case at Rutland.

Sexes are alike although the female is slightly larger than the male. They are predominantly fish eaters but a few small mammals, reptiles and amphibians can also be taken. Slightly longer bodied than a buzzard but with much longer wings, the osprey can resemble a large gull at times. The uniformly brown upperparts contrast with the white underparts. There is a light brown breast-band and the head is white with thick black stripes through and behind the yellow eyes. The tail is short, dark, square-cut and barred underneath. There are dark patches on the underwings. Juveniles are similar but have orange eyes and the buff tips to their feathers give a scaly appearance.

Adults are normally seen singly, except at the nest and will perch for long periods on dead branches near to feeding areas such as inland lakes, large rivers, coastal lagoons and estuaries. When hunting for fish the osprey will frequently hover before folding back its wings and diving feet first into the water to grasp its prey, which is then carried head first to reduce drag.

Between two and four eggs are laid. Incubation is by both sexes, although the female does the bulk of it, and starts when the first egg is laid resulting in young of different ages. Return migration starts in mid-August and the juveniles find their own way to Africa.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Free Nightingale Walks with Nature (April & May - RSPB Northward Hill Reserve)

Free Nightingale Walks with Nature (April & May - RSPB Northward Hill Reserve)

A free evening Walk with Nature to celebrate the wonder of Nightingales, organised and led by the RSPB Medway Local Group. The walk is open to all. Meet at 7.00 pm in the car park at the reserve where members of the RSPB Medway Local Group will meet you and assist in the location and identification of singing male nightingales. The walk will last about two hours, but we will only be walking about a mile in total. Our apologies - because of the terrain, the walk is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Dates: Thursday 18 April, 2, 9 & 23 May

Location: RSPB Northward Hill Reserve,TQ767764 (ME3 8DS)

Contact David Saunders on 07788 202 445 or saunders303@hotmail.com for more information

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Thursday, 16 May 2019

Free Nightingale Walks with Nature (April & May - RSPB Cliffe Pools Reserve)

Free Nightingale Walks with Nature (April & May - RSPB Cliffe Pools Reserve)

A free evening Walk with Nature to celebrate the wonder of Nightingales, organised and led by the RSPB Medway Local Group. The walk is open to all. Meet at 7.00 pm in the car park at the reserve where members of the RSPB Medway Local Group will meet you and assist in the location and identification of singing male nightingales. The walk will last about two hours, but we will only be walking about a mile in total. Our apologies - because of the terrain, the walk is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Dates: Thursday 25 April & 16 May

Location: RSPB Cliffe Pools Reserve,TQ724763 (ME3 7SU)

Contact David Saunders on 07788 202 445 or saunders303@hotmail.com for more information

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