Trip reports

Riverside Country Park (Leader Dave Hale)

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

On a rather overcast and breezy morning I set out from the car park with nine members and guests to see what birds could be found. High water was due just before midday so I decided to head towards Copperhouse Marsh via Eastcourt Meadow. More...

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 25 August 2019

A very hot day at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Twelve people joined us for the walk, including two who just happened to be there and wanted to know more about the reserve. We also welcomed our two newest members and a potential new member. More...

Haysden Country Park (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

When you go birdwatching as you all know you have good days and you have bad days. This trip would be filed away in the 'baddest of the bad' drawer. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader Warren Mann)

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Not for the first time at Cliffe Pools the strong wind dictated how we would best view the expected high tide roost. We decided it would not be worth attempting a complete circuit as for much of the walk we would be exposed to the full effect of the wind. Instead we would walk up to the top of Flamingo pool and back. If there was time we would also go to the observation point half way along the bottom of Radar pool. More...

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Only in Britain could the previous two days have produced record-breaking temperatures of 38 degrees, followed by heavy, unrelenting rain which had increased the water levels on the flood considerably. The morning dawned overcast and much cooler as a dozen regulars met in car park and set out for the east flood ahead of high tide. More...

Hothfield Heathland (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Hothfield Heathland is a 200-acre Kent Wildlife Trust reserve and is the only major heathland left in Kent. It comprises open heath, grassland and bog with some ancient trees around the perimeter. It is this mixture of habitats that make it a special site for birds and unusual plants. More...

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Travelling down to Samphire Hoe, I found out that once again we were scheduled to be in the same place as the Gravesend Group. However, when we arrived I spoke to the Gravesend group and we decided to go in opposite directions so as not to be a large group. More...

Free Walk with Nature - Nightjar Watch (Leader Trevor Hatton)

Saturday, 22 June 2019

It was that time of the year again, time to hopefully see and hear that charismatic nocturnal bird, the nightjar. More...

Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Prompt at 9.00 am the gate to the reserve swung open as if by magic and eleven of us, including newcomer Debbie, assembled in the car park. More...

Free Walk with Nature - Medway Local Council's Riverside Country Park (Leader Dave Hale)

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

With a moderate breeze, some sun and lots of bird song 17 members and guests left the car park and headed toward Motney Hill. A distant cuckoo perched on a hawthorn bush, lingered long enough for everybody to view. More...

Coach Trip to Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Yesterday saw the long-awaited trip to see the best place in England to see these fascinating birds. This is the second time the two groups have amalgamated on coach trips and has proved very successful. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Yesterday evening was the last walk in this series showing people the beauty and uniqueness of RSPB Northward Hill. There is something special about an evening walk at this time of year, the light of the setting sun across the marsh to the west is pretty stunning, giving the vista a rich golden bath. It goes without saying the freshly emerging foliage on ancient trees such as the mighty oak in that light is absolutely magic. As to the nightingales, as I have said before, the walks run from about the second/third week in April to the third/fourth week in May. The first and last are the two that give me most concern as singing males aren't always guaranteed. More...

Staple Project & Monkton Nature Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Anticipation was high as six of us set off to the village of Staple and we received a warm welcome from Bridget and David, who with four other villagers had purchased some land and set up a reserve as a turtle dove sanctuary. More...

Stodmarsh & Grove Ferry NNR (Leader Peter Saville)

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The day started overcast temperature 18 degrees c. Six members from the Medway group plus two locals who saw the walk on the Medway website. We started the walk through the woodland, lots of bird song. Finding the songsters was hard due to the leaf canopy. Garden warbler, blackcap, robin, chiffchaff, white throat, black bird, wren. From the woodland we headed out towards Grove Ferry. Cuckoos heard calling but remained elusive throughout the day. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Cliffe (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Thursday was the second walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools and the fifth one overall. It was a pleasant surprise to meet twenty people in the car-park at Cliffe, even though I was a couple of minutes late and the gates were locked as I'd forgotten to remind reserve staff not to close it at five as normal. Once I'd unlocked we went in, parked up and introduced ourselves. It was nice to see a few returning faces and some from last year. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Spending most the day on the reserve at Northward Hill I was well used to the weather patterns this Thursday. Basically, it was torrential rain for 20 minutes, then dry for the same period. It was nice to meet the volunteers who'd been out on the reserve planting up comfrey, ground ivy, white dead nettle and black horehound as they had their lunch. More...

Conyer Creek (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Well there is rain and there is rain, and we had the latter sort. It was the time to start our walk and it was absolutely tipping it down. The five of us standing in our dripping wet-weather gear decided against going home but to give it a go. After all, hadn't the forecast been that it would blow through in the next half hour or so? We should have known better. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

It was nice to again see a good turnout for the third walk (and second at RSPB Northward Hill reserve. In all including me, there were 24 of us in Bromhey Farm car-park for a prompt start at 7 o'clock. I must admit I am always a little nervous that the object of our walk would not perform. Earlier in the day, I'd heard two males singing well in the scrub just after the pond on the way up to Ernie Hemsley Viewpoint. As I was talking to the visitors, I could hear them limbering up, even though they were a few hundred yards away! More...

Old Lodge SWT Reserve Ashdown Forest (Leaders Sue Carter and Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Seventeen of us, including Pete's enchanting eight-year-old grandson Jacob, met in the reserve car park and passed pleasantries with the Friends of Ashdown Forest, who opted to do their walk around the reserve the opposite way to us. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of guiding 12 members of the public along the Saxon Shore Way at RSPB Cliffe Pools to listen to the wonderful song of the nightingales. As usual I pretty much promised them the song, but I never guarantee a sighting, knowing how difficult they are to see. More...

Dawn Chorus at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

With a slight chill in the air and mist on the ground six hardy souls started at 5.00 am to hear what early birds have arrived from the southern hemisphere for a new spring day at RSPB Northward Hill nature reserve. More...

Medway Local Council's (MLC) English Festival at MLC's Riverside Country Park

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Saturday 20th April was the most lovely, hot, spring day for the English Festival at Riverside Country Park. There was every activity that you could think of and every type of food available, all on stalls that had been made to look so pretty and inviting. I am not a great one for visiting events such as these, I dislike the crowds, but even I thought it was amazing. Visitors, young and old, were having a wonderful time in the sunshine with so much to see and do. I didn't even mind queueing for about 20 minutes to get a very scrumptious "99" ice cream!!! More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 18 April 2019

This evening was the first walk of the year to listen to the wonderful song of this amazing bird. Thirty of us met in the car-park at Bromhey Farm a little before 7 o'clock. I gave a small talk about nightingales and their plight generally and specifically Lodge Hill in Chattenden, Kent. More...

Kent Wildlife Reserve - Sevenoaks (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Having heard that there was a ring ouzel in the paddocks at the Riding Stables just outside the reserve, we all met up there before the official start time. We all managed a view of the distant bird along with the Gravesend Group who were also on a group visit. There were also mistle thrush, crow and magpie. More...

Dungeness Peninsular (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 31 March 2019

What with the clocks going forward, it being Mothering Sunday and a chilly north-east wind blowing, it was heartening to see eight people turn up at the early start time of 8.00 am. More...

Church Wood RSPB Blean Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

The spring equinox dawned overcast but dry with a predicted high of 14 degrees as eleven participants assembled in the well-used car park. We opted to follow the red route through the wood, but the whole reserve bore testament to the high levels of rainfall over the previous week or so and the paths were very muddy. More...

Walk with Nature at RSPB Rainham Marshes Essex (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 10 March 2019

The weather forecast was for strong winds and rain showers, but even so, seven of us braved the elements (and the traffic) and headed over the water to Essex to the RSPB Reserve at Rainham Marshes. More...

Sissinghurst (Leader Robin Smith)

Sunday, 24 February 2019

What a difference a year makes. At this walk in 2018 the following day brought the 'Beast from the East' with 250mm of snow blanketing the countryside for several days. This year, however, the only snow on show was Karen, the sun shone from the outset, the sky was completely blue and by the end of the walk clothes were being discarded as we returned to the car park through a sea of picnickers, many in shorts. More...

Free Walk with Nature Oare Marshes (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 17 February 2019

An early 8.00 am start for this popular venue as we welcomed newcomers Gary, Peter and Tony to bring the total participants to sixteen. The day dawned bright and sunny, although the chilly wind made the predicted 10 degrees seem a little exaggerated. More...

Thames side Plastic Clean-Up (Leader David Saunders)

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Yesterday's Thames Cliffe Marshes Plastic Clean-up was the first of the year and importantly a year since we did the very first one - February 2018. Then we removed from the tide-line, as I recall, 1.96 tons of plastic and I had an overwhelming 80 volunteers turn up. More...

Free Walk with Nature RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The weather forecasts over the last few days had been dreadful with predictions of prolonged and heavy rain caused by a "waving weather front" wandering back and forth across the south east. Then on the day it turned out to be dry after all. Buoyed up by this change in the state of affairs eight of us gathered in the car park at Cliffe Pools with patches of blue sky developing. More...

Capel Fleet & Swale NNR (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 27 January 2019

On a cold and blustery morning Steve and I were surprised and heartened to be joined by twelve other like-minded souls, including Terry and Louis who had travelled all the way from Suffolk. More...

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Twelve of us had braved the Medway rush hour on a rather damp, cold, overcast morning. From the car park we saw a number of birds you would expect to see in your back garden plus a pheasant. Just past the feeders we saw the first of several linnet, and as we made our way to the Ernie Hemsley viewpoint various sightings were made including wren and redwing. More...

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Peter Saville)

Sunday, 6 January 2019

I arrived at the ARC Pit just before 7am to see the Bewick swans before they left for their feeding grounds the other side of Lydd. Sue and Steve arrived shortly after. We had good views of the swans. I counted 30 birds in the flock until 7.30 am when, after a lot of their distinct, calls they flew off in two groups. We continued birding until 8.45 am when I walked back to meet the group. 19 members had arrived including Terry and his partner Louis who had driven down from Suffolk. A new lady who had seen the walk on our website also joined the party. More...

Medway Local Council's Riverside Country Park (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

When we gathered at the car park it was not too cold - overcast but importantly it was dry. However, this was not to last. As we were about 25 minutes before high tide, we decided to head straight to Copperhouse Marsh to try and locate the red-breasted mergansers (RBM) which were often seen there at high tide in winter. On the way via Sharp's Green we saw some common garden birds. When we reached the river there were a good number of brent geese close to the shore, together with black-headed gulls. On one of the wrecks there were about 30 ringed plovers, rather more turnstones and a single dunlin. More...

RSPB Dungeness - Walk with Nature (Leader Pete Saville)

Sunday, 9 December 2018

I started the day early as I wanted to see the Bewick swans on the ARC pit. I arrived at 7.30 only to be told by another birder that they flown off to feed on the rape fields near Lydd. I spent a couple of hours there until it was time to meet up with the group at 10 am. More...

Elmley Conservation Trust's Elmley National Nature Reserve (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 25 November 2018

I had the pleasure of leading a walk for the RSPB Medway Local Group on my local patch at Elmley today. More...

Loose Valley (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

An ideal day with cerulean blue sky and a crisp nip in the air greeted the 12 members as they joined me for a stroll through the Loose Valley. Alas the lesser redpolls promised in the programme have long since deserted me. Perhaps later this year they will return again to light up my garden on the huge nyjer feeder I purchased for them several years ago. More...

Hampton Pier/Bishopstone Glen (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 4 November 2018

At the appointed hour ten regulars assembled next to Hampton Pier and were dismayed to find that the rising tide had come in ahead of the predicted time. However, all was not lost as keen eyes picked out our number one target, when an extremely confiding purple sandpiper was found by Richard on the seaweed strewn rocks at the base of the pier. We all managed to see the bird well and even invited some keen passers-by to view the bird through our scopes. More...

Isle of Sheppey - Leader Richard Hanman

Sunday, 21 October 2018

An island surrounded by blue seas and white shell beaches. No not the Caribbean, it's our own Isle of Sheppey.On a balmy warm (21C) late Autumn day, I had the pleasure of leading 7 keen birders around my local patch of Shellness Beach (Swale NNR) and the Harty Ferry Road (RSPB Capel Fleet Raptor Viewpoint). 51 Species seen or heard including Short-eared Owl, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Golden Plover, Grey Plover and Wheatear. More...

Vinters Valley Nature Reserve (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Vinters Valley Nature Reserve was a new venue for nearly all the 12 who assembled in Lodge Road opposite the TV studios, but apparently, according to our leader Trevor, the Group has visited there before in years past. More...

Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 7 October 2018

The Dynamic Dozen assembled promptly at 8.00 am and received the usual warm welcome from the Sandwich Bay Observatory staff. We loitered in the car park ticking off jackdaw, curlew, dunnock and redwing before the ringers returned with their bouncing bags and we gathered in the hut to watch. Chiffchaffs, robin and chaffinches emerged in turn to be sexed, aged, weighed and ringed, as well as having their body fat measured. We learnt about emargination and outer primary coverts and were thrilled to see a first-year redwing, which was less than happy to see us and squawked loudly whilst being processed. Happy to report that he/she flew off strongly after the humiliation, but not before it had left its calling card! More...

Botolph's Bridge (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Last year's visit to this site coincided with the arrival of Storm Aileen. This year it was Storm Ali that greeted us and it fundamentally had the same effect of keeping the bird list pretty minimal. The problem with windy weather is not only that the birds tend to keep a low profile but also it makes it difficult to hear bird calls above the noise of rustling leaves. More...

Dungeness Sea Shore (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Sixteen members met up in the car park of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch light railway station by the old lighthouse. We quickly realised that we were somewhat overdressed as despite a cooling on-shore breeze the sun was out and the temperature was rising rapidly. More...

Hothfield Heathlands - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 26 August 2018

This heathland at Hothfield just outside Ashford has a mixture of scrub, woodland, heathland and bog, it's worth a visit at any time of year. Eight members of the group set off from the car park, crossing the road and going through the coppice woodland onto the heath. It was very quiet although there were a lot of dog walkers. More...

Oare Marshes - Free Walk with Nature (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 12 August 2018

It was good to welcome old friends and new among the thirteen members who assembled at this popular reserve on an altogether cooler and more welcoming day than of late. More...

Cliffe Pools - Free Walk With Nature (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Ten members arrived plus four other keen birders for our walk around Cliffe pools. The rain the night before freshened up the morning air and made the walk easier after the prolonged heat wave. Starting from the car park view point, there were sightings of the usual birds - great crested grebe, loads of coots, little grebe, redshanks, lapwings and a cormorant. More...

Kent Wildlife Trust's Bough Beech Reservoir (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The Bough Beech nature reserve, which is situated between Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge and run by the Kent Wildlife Trust, is undoubtedly one of most interesting birdwatching spots of our county and it has been part of the group's programme for many years. More...

Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Fourteen participants assembled in the reserve car park on what must have been the hottest day of the year and we were joined by warden Alan Loweth, who had given us an interesting and informative talk at our indoor meeting the month before. It's good to see how the efforts of so many volunteers have made such a difference to this superb reserve where restored heathland meets ancient woodland. More...

Medway Local Council's Riverside Country Park (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

After the stiflingly hot weather we had been experiencing, it was with some relief that twelve of us met at the RCP in pleasantly warm, slightly overcast conditions. Before leaving the car park we had seen a wood pigeon, collared dove, greenfinch, goldfinch and great tit. We made our way to the path leading to Horrid Hill and surveyed the mud flats. It was three hours before high tide, and the tide line was some distance away, so it was mainly telescope work. There were the inevitable black-headed gulls plus a herring gull, redshank, curlew, oystercatcher, lapwing and little egret. More...

Nightjar Walk (Leader Trevor Hatton)

Saturday, 30 June 2018

15 of us met at Kings Wood, Challock on a lovely sunny evening with the hope of seeing the elusive nightjar. Trevor warned us that it would turn cold later, that the midges might bite and that we should have a torch, so we took appropriate action and set off into the wood. More...

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Six members of the Medway Group arrived at a breezy Samphire Hoe to see what was about. Richard was first to arrive and spoke with Paul, the warden, who said that the peregrines and ravens had both nested, and the black redstart was showing well. Richard had seen the peregrine before the rest of us arrived but we didn't manage to see it again. More...

RSPB Medway Local Group's Third Thames Side Plastic Clean-up

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Taken from Dr Hoo's Northward Hill BlogThis was a bit of a mini clean-up in the Cliffe Creek area at the top end over the seawall looking across to Tilbury. More...

Rye Harbour Reserve (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

When I reach the roundabout at the far end of the A2070 I always wonder should I turn left for Dungeness, or go straight on for Rye Harbour, as both can provide wonderful bird watching. On a brightening early summer morning eight of us opted to go straight on for Rye Harbour. As we assembled in the free car park we saw the first of many herring gulls, some on chimneys, others sitting on the tarmac and one perched on the roof of a car. I wondered if it would leave a calling card. There were house sparrows, wood pigeons, black-headed gulls and crows around, together with a great black-backed gull on the Martello tower. More...

Stodmarsh and Grove Ferry NNR (Leader Peter Saville)

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The walk started at 9.30 am. Ten members plus myself. Two new members who had not been on our group walks before were Bill and Helen. More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Yesterday evening was the last of this year's 'Nightingale Walks' and I was always a little worried as their singing period is so short and this was pretty near the end of that period. Never-the-less nearly thirty members of the public and volunteers gathered in the Bromhey Farm car park to hear the nightingale's legendary song. Alongside the usual welcome, I gave the assembled people a short talk and literature re the Medway Council's plans to build 2,000 houses on the SSSI site at Lodge Hill, the ex-army camp in Chattenden, less than a mile away from where we were standing More...

RSPB Medway and Maidstone Group's Coach trip to RSPB Minsmere

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunday was a bit of a big day for the Medway and Maidstone RSPB local groups, for the first time we joined forces for a joint coach trip to RSPB Minsmere. This is something I have been trying to organise with another group for some time. With falling coach numbers and the rising cost of coach hire it made perfect sense when Simon Ginnaw of the Maidstone group rang me up and suggested, we pitch in together. It took a bit of organising as we only could have two pick-ups, Parkwood in Rainham and County Hall in Maidstone. But we got there in the end and filled a 53-seater Chalkwell coach with forty-eight bums on seats easily covering the cost, instead struggling to get enough to avoid a substantial loss. More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 17 May 2018

This evening was the fourth nightingale walk on the North Kent Marshes and it was a privilege to meet and greet 28 people and to give the 20+ or so of them who had never heard, let alone seen a nightingale, the opportunity to change that. More...

Ashdown Forest (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Eleven members assembled on a dry but overcast morning at the Old Lodge, Sussex Wildlife Trust Reserve in the Ashdown Forest. We were met with a chorus of song from blackcap, song thrush, garden warbler and chiffchaff and managed to see fleeting glimpses of them all. More...

RSPB Medway Local Group's Thames Side Big Plastic Clean-up

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Yesterday was the second of the year's attempts to remove plastic from the foreshore tide-line on the North Kent Marshes. We more or less covered the same area from Redham Mead to Lower Hope Point. However, this time the difference was we were aiming for the smaller stuff more fiddly, more difficult, more everything really, but in many ways more important as the smaller the particles the more the environmental impact now. Of course, two litre bottles will break down in time to become micro-particles - but one job at a time - the problem is so huge that only so much can be tackled. More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 3 May 2018

The 3rd of May saw the second evening walk at the reserve hosted by the Medway Local Group. By 7pm 27 of us had gathered to hear the legendary bird sing, a good two thirds had never heard a nightingale and I promised them a real treat. Up to Sweeney Viewpoint and down the gentle hill to Lipwell where a couple of males could be heard limbering up. More...

Dawn Chorus at Northward Hill (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

On a cold cloudy morning at 5.00 am all three of us set off for a woodland walk to hear what bird song sounds like at this time of the morning. Surprisingly, tawny owl was still up and 'hooting' as the day-light was breaking through whilst cuckoos was calling in the distance at the same time. As we wandered past the cherry orchard and up into the woodland, with a song thrush singing away and the distant nightingales just warming up into full crescendo, the cloudy cold start to the day didn't seem to matter anymore. More...

Shuart & Reculver (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Six keen souls arrived at the early starting time of 8.30 am at Shuart, despite the ominous weather forecast. Before we had left the car park we had seen blackcap, chiffchaff, wren, song thrush, mistle thrush, blackbird, jackdaw, rook, red-legged partridge, two green woodpeckers and a stunning male wheatear sitting on the crest of a ploughed field furrow. Thanks to John for spotting him! More...

Nightingale Walk - Berry Court Wood - Lodge Hill (Public event)

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Yesterday evening was the 2nd Nightingale Walk run by the Medway Local Group and the first and only one of the series advertised nationally by the RSPB's Adrian Thomas Project Manager currently leading the Save Lodge Hill campaign. Thanks to the local landowner Michael Ryan allowing us to use his car park we were able to accommodate a much larger group than would have otherwise been possible. More...

Medway Local Council's English Festival - Riverside Country Park

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The weather was already hot at 9.30 am when Marie, Rob, Des and I arrived to set up our stall. We quickly erected the gazebo and tables and set out our offerings. By this time Lesley had arrived with her equipment so Rob and Marie were free to leave. More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Northward Hill

Thursday, 19 April 2018

So, this evening was the first of several walks to illustrate the iconic and uniqueness of this much-loved songster throughout and up to the end of May, the main singing period for the males as they establish their territories. More...

Sevenoaks KWT Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 15 April 2018

There was finally a touch of Spring in the air as we arrived in the car park to the accompaniment of blackcaps and chiffchaffs in full song. Seven Medway Group members were joined by Ann from Sevenoaks Group and Nigel from Maidstone Group. More...

Haysden Country Park (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Haysden Country Park in Tonbridge is a new venue for the group and promised to have all the ingredients with easy cheap parking, toilets and a café. On our arrival the first stop was to head to the loo but disaster loomed as there was a notice on the door saying 'out of order - nearest toilet at Tonbridge Station'. However, we did discover a disabled toilet that was working so problem was averted which was a relief to all of us! More...

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Sunday, 25 March 2018

I have to admit the weather for the morning didn't look too promising but at least it wasn't raining or cold but expectations of high numbers of birds were not, well, high! More...

RSPB Rainham Marshes (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Only five of us braved the heavy traffic and the cold winter rain. One of our number was Terry who had travelled from his new home in Ipswich to meet up with us. He sent his best wishes to all his friends at the Group. We decided that as the Visitor Centre was now open, it would be a sensible to stay there for a while and start by having a good look at the feeders and the Purfleet scrape beyond. We soon racked a good number of common garden birds on the feeders such as tits and finches, together with a reed bunting, and on the scrape there were many ducks - tufted ducks, mallards, wigeons, pintails, a few shovelers, shelduck and Canada geese, and single teal and gadwall. There were a number of lapwing, a single curlews, lesser black-backed gulls and redshanks, and the inevitable coots. More...

Sissinghurst (Leader Robin Smith)

Sunday, 25 February 2018

This walk always seems to attract a good number of members and this year was no exception with 18 arriving at the start including two newcomers (Kamara and James) joining us for the first time. I would like to think that the reason for the high turnout was the magnetic draw of the charismatic and charming leader but fear it was due instead to the lovely crisp sunny morning and the spectacular setting of the Castle! More...

New Hythe Lakes (Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

We managed to see 14 species between the four of us before we left the car park. They were mainly garden birds but included song thrush, goldfinch, dunnock and a fleeting view of a grey heron. Unfortunately, in terms of species this was by far the most productive period of the day, but who judges the quality of their birding day just by the number of species seen? More...

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

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Seven hardy souls braved the bracing wind for a jaunt around the eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey. We started off at Capel Fleet corner in an endeavour to find the whooper swans and white-fronted geese which had been reported there. Unfortunately, we drew a blank, but Steve found a distant barn owl quartering the fields and we all managed to get onto it. On the fleet itself we saw plenty of shelducks, mallards and coots. More...

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Despite the early start of 8.00 am there was a good turnout of nine regulars on a murky but mild morning. Wildfowlers were still shooting from the sea wall so we set off with some trepidation. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Plan A was simple enough: as the start was at 9.30 and high tide was at 13.20 we would walk round the whole reserve in a clockwise direction and arrive at the top of the Saxon Shore Way about 11.30, by which time the birds would be moving off the mud flats and on to Flamingo pool for our viewing delectation. However, that was scuppered when the low temperatures and very strong winds made a walk around the exposed top of the reserve an extremely unpleasant prospect. Plan B was to linger around Crystal Pool and the sheltered part of the reserve, perhaps getting as far as Alan's Pond or may be the Black Barn, before retracing our steps and reaching Flamingo from the bottom end of the Saxon Shore Way. But at Crystal Pool we were greeted by not by the sound of bird song but of brush cutters, as today was the day when all the islands were to get the horticultural equivalent of a number one haircut. Not surprisingly, most of the birds had flown but our quick scan showed a few individuals, comprising gadwall, pochard, mallard and tufted ducks plus a little grebe and the inevitable coot. More...

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Cold and very windy (40mph blasts at times) at Dungeness today leading 13 keen members of RSPB Medway Group on our first field trip of 2018. A few of the group arrived early and had a fleeting glimpse of a bittern flying beyond the screen and Bewick's swan in the approach fields. More...

Conyer Creek (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Fog and widespread frost did not discourage nine group members who decided to put the Christmas shopping on hold and join me for the last outing of the year. Not surprisingly I would say, as Conyer creek, which has been part of our program for several years now, hardly ever disappoints. More...

Elmley and Capel Fleet (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Eight of us met up in the car park to be greeted by a covey of guinea fowls and a large displaying turkey! Wasn't expecting that! More...

Cliffe Pools (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A sunny but very windy day as seven hardy birders including three new people joined us for a walk around Cliffe Pools. More...

Hampton Pier/Clowes Wood (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Hampton-on-Sea consisted of a pub, seventeen houses and an oyster fishery buildings when it was drowned by coastal erosion and finally abandoned in 1916. The only remaining buildings are the stub of the original pier, the rocky arc of the ruined coastal defences, viewable at low tide, Hampton Inn - Hampton-on-Sea's only intact building. More...

Reculver Country Park (Leader Pete Saville)

Sunday, 12 November 2017

The day started clear with a blustery wind. While waiting for the walk to start from the carpark, pied wagtail, herring gulls, cormorants' sparrow hawk, goosander and gannets seen. Thirteen members arrived ready for the off. We decided to walk along the Roman wall looking for any birds in the scrub. Dunnock, red-legged partridge and kestrel seen from scrub and fields, then onto the North Seawall. More...

Shellness Beach / Capel Fleet (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Ten hardy souls donned big winter coats and joined me on the RSPB Medway Local Group field trip to Leysdown Bay, Shellness Beach, Capel Fleet and the Raptor Viewing Point on Isle of Sheppey today. More...

St Margaret's/Bockhill (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Ahead of the predicted gale force winds in the wake of hurricane Ophelia, nine regulars met up at the Dover Patrol Monument at Bockhill and welcomed newcomer Chris from Folkestone. More...

Sandwich Bay (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 1 October 2017

First of the month and officially 'grandparents' day and so it was especially nice to welcome Ellie, grand-daughter of Lesley on this guided walk, along with Warren, Yeuk, Adrian, Ed and myself. The morning started with a cool 14C and drizzle. So much drizzle in fact that the bird-ringing had been cancelled so we sheltered in the Bird Observatory hoping for a break in the weather. More...

Rainham Marshes (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

I was asked to lead this walk in the absence of Robin Smith who had a prior commitment, and 15 of us made it over the river to Rainham Marshes. This reserve is situated on the bank of the Thames within sight of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge and relatively straight forward to find (although one or two took wrong turns). More...

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Warren Mann)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

On the drive down it did not look too promising, overcast skies where it wasn't thick mist and the temperature never above 9 degrees. We had dispensed with tradition, and rather than a 10.00 start at the visitor centre Sue had opted for a 9.00 start at the ARC side of the reserve. This proved to be an inspired choice as we had a really enjoyable day, but with the ARC pit being particularly rewarding. More...

Hothfield Heathlands (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 3 September 2017

So, after having to get up early on a Sunday morning to lead this walk, I arrived 15 minutes early. Those that know me well realise how rare this is! When I arrived Yeuk was already in the car park and it turned out that we were to be joined by just one other person. More...

Bough Beech (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Situated between Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge, the Bough Beech nature reserve, which is run by the Kent Wildlife Trust, is undoubtedly one of most interesting birdwatching spots in West Kent and it has been part of the group's programme for a very long time. More...

Evening walk at Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Last night I had the privilege to lead an evening walk at Northward Hill RSPB Reserve. It is always a pleasure to show members and others round this excellent site. The reserve is famous for nightingales and cuckoos. It was of course too late for both, but there was still plenty to see, even as the temperature dipped along with the light. More...

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sunday 6th August dawned bright and proved to be extremely popular with spritsail barges getting ready to sail on the rising tide and at least two other groups of birders doing the circuit. More...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

A magnificent seven (well six and me!) turned up at a very busy Rye Harbour car park for our annual visit to what potentially can be a productive venue. The down side was that a persistent strong wind did not ease for the entire visit and many birds decided it was far more comfortable snuggled down in the undergrowth than perching upon swaying stems and branches. However it did have some good moments. Excellent views of a pair of sedge warblers greeted us just a couple of metres off the path as we headed out alongside the caravan park. More...

Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve (Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 16 July 2017

This field trip was not all about the birds but pitched to coincide with the emergence of both silver-washed fritillaries and white admirals. The weather was overcast and humid once the sun started to break through. More...

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

It was a lovely bright, warm summer's evening, but even so it was a bit of a surprise when 19 people to turned up, but very pleasant that so many were new faces. It was decided that it would be best to divide the group in two. Marie led her party in the direction of Sharps Green whilst Warren was co-opted to lead the remaining people towards Bloors Wharf. More...

Elmley NNR (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Our summer visit to Elmley was scheduled to start at 9am from the car park so many of our 12 strong group took the opportunity to start birding early on the approach track to the car park. This always proves fruitful and today was no exception with amazing close views of hares, lapwings and oystercatchers. The crop margins were planted with comfrey which attracted meadow pipits, skylarks and yellow wagtails. More...

Blean Woods (Leader Dave Perrin)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, 14 participants abandoned their plans to watch Saturday night television and met in the ancient woodland at RSPB Church Wood/Blean Reserve at 8.30 pm, with torches and insect repellent to hand. Such dedication is inspired by our intrigue over one very special species - the nightjar! More...

Stodmarsh & Grove Ferry (Leader Pete Saville)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Six regulars plus three new faces, Mary from Sevenoaks, Watson from Dover and Michael from Sandwich. It was good to see some new faces. In the carpark garden warblers were heard singing plus many other more common species. More...

St Helen's C of E Primary School Walk With Nature (Leader David Saunders)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

This week I had the job of taking a class of year 4 children plus three staff, on a nature trek to Cliffe Pools. They were from St Helen's Church of England Primary School half a mile or so away. We met at 9.30 am and had a little look at the flowers left in tribute to Gill Moore as the class included her Granddaughter. More...

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Six of us met in the Manor Park Country Park car park for a walk on a lovely early summer morning. The trees were alive with bird song and before we actually got started we had heard or seen song thrush, great-spotted woodpecker, blackcap, chaffinch, collared dove, wren, robin, crow and jay. Nearly all of these we were to see and hear again on our walk round. More...

Minsmere (Coach Trip)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

This was our first and only coach trip of the 2017 season, but if we only have one trip it has to be Minsmere in either spring, as this year or autumn, as last year. Why? Because it is a fabulous RSPB reserve. Why else would the BBC almost permanently base Springwatch there? More...

Old Lodge - Ashdown Forest (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dark storm clouds and heavy rain accompanied our drive over to East Sussex, but on arrival the sun came out and we were welcomed by singing willow and garden warblers. The small car park started to fill rapidly and we were on the lookout for newcomers Mike and Lesley. We soon realised that the Sussex Bird Club had also organised a walk at this delightful reserve too, but eventually our twelve strong party assembled and we set off on the circuit. More...