Trip reports

September Zoom Talk, RSPB Minsmere, A Home for Nature by Ian Barnthorpe

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Ian told us he would take us on a tour of the habitats, management and species of Minsmere and he didn't disappoint. He said that before being taken over by the RSPB, that section of coast was protected by tank defences installed during the second world war. Some of these are now so far out to sea they are only visible during a very low tide, true evidence of the costal erosion that has taken place over the years. Some of the tank traps are still in evidence on the dunes. The sluice was also used at that time to flood part of the land for defence, now home to swallows. More...

Sunday 22 August, RSPB Medway Local Group Free Guided Walk with Nature - Oare Marshes

Sunday, 22 August 2021

It was good to welcome friends both old and new on an overcast morning with rain threatening. Early arrivals were lucky to spot a sparrowhawk sitting on a distant post. More...

August Zoom Talk, Birds of the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica by Keith Betton

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Our speaker on Thursday 19th August, was Keith Betton who was giving talks to the RSPB when he was only 15 years old and still at school, so it is no wonder that he already has his 45 years RSPB badge!! Keith travelled widely for 20 years and then was a consultant, so he has worked and birded for many years. Keith sailed on a ship called Plancius, carrying 116 passengers. He recommended a smaller ship as you get to see more wildlife. However even paying around £10,000 for the holiday there was not much room in the cabins. More...

Sunday 8 August, Medway Local Group Free Guided Walk with Nature at RSPB Dungeness

Sunday, 8 August 2021

The forecast was not good. Rain from about mid-day onwards, and initially strong winds gusting ever stronger as the day progressed. So, I was pleased to see as many as ten of us at the ARC carpark, far too early on a Sunday morning. There was a pied wagtail by the entrance, and the inevitable wood pigeons flying around. More...

Leysdown to Shellness, Isle of Sheppy

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Visited Sheppey today and the usual walk from Leysdown to Shellness with a stop at Harty Ferry viewpoint on the way. More...

Elmley Trust's National Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Local patch birding today at a wet and windy Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey with Nigel Trower. More...

Wednesday 18 August, RSPB Northward Hill

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

A couple of days ago I could hear a lot of squeaking and scratching from one of the bat boxes on the corner of the brick barn at RSPB Northward Hill. Looking up at the narrow-slit entrance it could only be bats as no bird could possibly get in there. More...

Oare Marshes

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Decided to take a trip down to Oare today to see the Bonaparte's gull. More...

Karen Snow with Robin and Jan Cansfield at Samphire Hoe

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Samphire Hoe today wasn't too crowded and the weather was just right. Not a huge number of birds, but lots of rock pipits, as well as house martins. More...

Harty Ferry Road, Sheppey

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Another 6am-8am, pre-work, car-ramble down the Harty Ferry Road, Sheppey this morning. More...

Butterfly Walk at Berry Court Wood

Thursday, 22 July 2021

A few weeks ago, the owner of Berry Court Wood asked me if I would like to do a butterfly walk on his land. I said of course I would be delighted and could pick a small team of knowledgeable colleagues to participate as well. After a couple of cancelations due to poor weather, we finally managed to gather this morning at 10am and the conditions were perfect (if not a little too hot and humid for me). More...

Walk at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Walk at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve More...

Birds of Gambia, Virtual Monthly Talk Using Zoom by Howard Vaughan

Thursday, 15 July 2021

On 15th July we were pleased to welcome, via Zoom, Howard Vaughan to talk to us on Birding in Gambia. For those of you who have had this experience, you will know that there are lots of birds there so I make no apology for almost just making a list of the birds Howard saw and even then I had a job keeping up with him!! More...

Free Guided Walk with Nature to RSPB Northward Hill

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Apologies for the lateness of this report, a bit too much going on at the moment!It was pleasing to see eight of us in the carpark at Bromhey Farm as the weather forecast had been pretty dire i.e., overcast and cloudy, with a good chance of rain or at least drizzle. More...

RSPB Northward Hill

Sunday, 11 July 2021

I found this beauty this afternoon, the caterpillar of the Emperor moth at RSPB Northward Hill. More...

Karen Snow is with Warren Mann, Robin and Jan Cansfield at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Sunday, 11 July 2021

A visit to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve today, hoped to see the black-winged stilts but they were on a far section of the reserve, we stayed on the main part of the reserve, but it was still a lovely day. More...

A Bit of an Amateur Entomologist

Saturday, 3 July 2021

As folks may know I am turning into a bit of an amateur entomologist in my twilight years More...

Free Guided Walk with Nature at RSPB Broadwater Warren

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Seven group members were present on a distinctly muggy and overcast morning, with rain threatening. More...

RSPB Northward Hill

Saturday, 26 June 2021

I feel I have lost an old friend, the huge walnut tree that has dominated the overflow carpark finally gave up the ghost last night and crashed to the ground. More...

Karen Snow is with Robin and Jan at Bishops Glen

Saturday, 26 June 2021

A quick visit to Bishopstone Glen this morning to see the sand martins. More...

Visit to RSPB Northward Hill

Monday, 21 June 2021

Another great find at RSPB Northward Hill, a vapourer moth caterpillar munching away More...

RSPB Northward Hill

Sunday, 20 June 2021

This on a pretty dull and grey morning at RSPB Northward Hill. More...

Karen Snow with Warren Mann at RSPB Dungeness

Sunday, 20 June 2021

A lovely day spent at Dungeness RSPB Reserve today. Thought it was going to be cold and wet, but it turned out to be a lovely sunny day, so was glad I went. Didn't manage to see the rose-coloured starling but did add glossy ibis and great white egret taking my year list up to 137. More...

Free Walk with Nature at Hothfield Heathland Leader: Robin Smith

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

The best time to visit a heathland habitat, for me, is on a hot summer's day in shorts and a tee shirt. This visit coincided with the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury hitting 30o C. All the omens were right for a good day's birding, but did it match up to expectations? I must say no but it still was an OK sort of day and a pleasant walk. More...

Virtual Talk Using Zoom - Wader Quest by Rick and Ellis Simpson

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

On Tuesday 15th June, Rick and Elis Simpson spoke, via a slightly dodgy Zoom from Scotland, on their special project called Waderquest. What do Waderquest do? They raise money, every penny of which goes towards the birds, to save endangered waders around the world including the lovely spoon-billed sandpiper. More...

RSPB Northward Hill

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Karen Snow is with Warren Mann and Robin and Jan CansfieldWent to Northward Hill today hoping it wouldn't be so hot (or crowded) as anywhere else. Was wrong on the hot front, it was very hot on the Sweeny Viewpoint. But very few people about although we did later on bump into Trevor Hatton More...

Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Sunday 6 JuneStodmarsh National Nature ReserveLeader: Karen SnowFourteen people arrived in the car park at Stodmarsh NNR for this walk including two guests brought by a member and one who had posted a message on the Kent Birding Facebook page. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools and Northward Hill

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Seeing the old porta-cabin style office in a skip makes this weekend fairly unique for starters. Then the spectacle of a collared pratincole at RSPB Cliffe Pools adds to the uniqueness of this last few of days of May, the truly 'summer is round the corner' month. As the song goes,' June is busting out all over' and with luck we will find out on Tuesday. More...

Karen Snow is with Robin and Jan Cansfield at Old Lodge Nature Reserve

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Took a trip to Old Lodge Reserve in the Ashdown Forest today. More...

Medway Local Group Guided Walk to Conyer Creek

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Leaders: Sue and SteveIt was good to be re-acquainted with friends old, new and avian on a dry but fairly chilly morning with a rising tide. More...

Medway Local Group Walk at Harty Ferry and Leysdown

Sunday, 23 May 2021

We started the walk at the Harty Ferry Raptor Viewpoint where we spent just over an hour. More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Northward Hill

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Last night was the second and probably last nightingale walk of the year. On Monday at Cliffe Polls we unfortunately hadn't heard one at all even though there are 10 singing males this year, so I was understanably nervous about last night. It was windy and had rained on and off most of the day and I even had thoughts of cancellation More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Northward Hill David Saunders (Medway Local Group Member) with Harriet Smith Medway Council's Tourism Department

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Please find this blog from Harriet Smith of Medway Council's Tourism Department.Nightingale Walk More...

Monthly Talk Report - Gaucho Birding in Argentina by James Lowen

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

James began his fantastic talk with a brief overview of himself, including that he'd written several books on birds, wildlife and wildlife conservation. Outstandingly, one of his guides had won the Major Travel Guidebook of the Year. In 2006, James moved to live in Argentina for three years, and was instantly drawn to the beautiful country after spotting a frequent appearance of hummingbirds [three different species] in his back garden and decided it would be a brilliant place to bird. It's the second largest country in the south and has over 266 important bird areas, so it wasn't a chance to pass up! More...

Free Nightingale Community Walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools

Monday, 17 May 2021

This was the first walk under the newly relaxed government guidelines. We were fully booked at 28, however the weather during the late afternoon and into the early evening was not looking good with showers locally. More...

Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve

Sunday, 16 May 2021

A lovely walk at Stodmarsh today. Aside from one heavy rain shower it was lovely and sunny and reasonably warm. Added six new birds to the list. Started off with the tawny owl, adult and youngster, thanks to Jonathan and the others who helped locate them. No sign of the little owl. More...

Elmley NNR

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Another wet spring day so decided to stay local. Managed to book a last-minute Friends of Elmley ticket for the morning. More...

RSPB Medway Local Group Walk at the Riverside Country Park, Gillingham

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

With the weather typical for this spring, blustery, with cloud and some sunshine the two groups, led by Dave Hale and Trevor Hatton, decided to cover Horrid Hill and Eastcourt Meadow. Generally, the birds were far from cooperative although we did manage to note 44 bird species including some lingering brent geese More...

Guided Walk RSPB Northward Hill

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Twelve members of the Medway RSPB Group were signed up to the walk at Northward Hill today led by myself and David Saunders. More...

Medway Local Group Walk - Sharsted Woods

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

This is only the second time that the group has been to this lovely, peaceful spot overlooking the Newnham Valley and it was a new walk for most. More...

Medway Local Group Walk - RSPB Cliffe Pools

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Leaders Karen snow and Warren MannOur first walk since the start of the pandemic and we had decided to take two groups of 6, 5 plus the leader, on a walk round RSPB Cliffe Pools. Adrian Olsen had kindly agreed to open the car park for us which was a great help and allowed us to meet in the car park in a socially distanced way. We then went off in our two groups. More...

Lovely walk Around Stodmarsh

Friday, 23 April 2021

Lovely walk around Stodmarsh this morning. More...

Seasalter Beach

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Lovely long walk at Seasalter today along the South Swale Nature Reserve to Castle Coot. More...

Hoo SE and Abbots Court

Sunday, 18 April 2021

With a few hours to spare on a Sunday afternoon, along with blue skies and hardly any wind, we chose to go to another area that we'd not really been to before but which we'd seen some posts about - Abbots Court, Hoo - we were not disappointed! More...

Local Nature Walk at Bloors Wharf, Medway

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Lovely nature walk this morning with Trevor Hatton and Steve Cullem and a few others around Bloors Wharf, Medway. More...

Hungary, Birding the Heart of Europe by Simon Ginnaw

Thursday, 15 April 2021

We were lucky to have Simon Ginnaw to "Zoom" to us on Thursday 15th April speaking on Hungary, birding the heart of Europe. Simon told us that Hungary is rich in wildlife, is getting very popular and is very peaceful. More...

RSPB Northward Hill Nightingales

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Every evening for the last week or so I have visited the Hill to listen for the iconic songster to sing his beautiful song and this evening I was rewarded with just that. More...

Grove Ferry to Stodmarsh

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Lovely walk in the sunshine from Grove Ferry to Stodmarsh and back. More...

Visited to Dungeness

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Visited Dungeness today for the first time this year. More...

Shellness Beach After Work

Monday, 5 April 2021

Short walk along Shellness Beach after work. More...

Non-birding walk (if there is such a thing)

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Non-birding walk (if there is such a thing) with my son Stefan around Conyer then from Uplees to Oare via Dan's Dock today. More...

Lapwing

Sunday, 4 April 2021

There is nothing about them that I do not love. We are incredibly blessed @elmleynature to have so many of them, thriving across the marsh, peewittingAbbie Burrows More...

Bough Beech Reservoir

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Decided to avoid the crowds and went to Bough Beech reservoir this morning. More...

Lydden Valley Reserve, near Worth

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Started the day at RSPB Lydden Valley reserve near Worth. Saw a juvenile hen harrier and a pair of 'Channel' wagtails (blue-headed x yellow wagtail cross) - a first for me! More...

Walk Around Oare Marshes and Oare Gunpowder Works

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Walk around Oare Marshes and Oare Gunpowder Works with my son this morning, then a quick check on the wheatears on Sheppey in the afternoon. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools

Saturday, 27 March 2021

With a forecast for light winds and sun all day we needed somewhere away from the crowds and so opted for Cliffe. More...

Birding on Sheppey Today

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Local patch birding on Sheppey today delivered two male wheatears (110) and two grey partridge (111) to keep my year list ticking over. More...

Sheppey

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Local patch birding on Sheppey after work. Great to see the male hen harrier is still around, plus a couple of barn owls. More...

Grey Partridge also known as English Partridge.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Seeing these lovely little puddings whizz around @elmleynature nature puts a smile on my face! Nature has many ways of providing you with happiness. More...

Sunset at Capel Fleet, Harty Ferry Road, Sheppey

Monday, 22 March 2021

Had 30 minutes to spare before cooking dinner tonight, so popped out to watch the sunset at Capel Fleet, Harty Ferry Road, Sheppey. More...

Walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Today's walk was a Cliffe Pools More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 52 plus.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

The last week of our lockdown wildlife year. Jayne and I have seen and logged many great encounters with our local wildlife, be it in our garden or surrounding area, as well as our temporary garden from our trips on Sabrina. The restrictions due to Covid 19 has shown us how much diversity there is in our gardens. More...

Stoke Saltings

Saturday, 20 March 2021

We thought we'd try somewhere local that I'd never been birding to (or at least I have no memory of) - Stoke Saltings. More...

Elmley NNR

Saturday, 20 March 2021

First visit of the year to Elmley and happy to report the hares and marsh harriers were performing well. Supporting cast of lapwings, redshank, little egret, pied wagtail, reed bunting, teal and mallard. More...

March Virtual Talk Return of the Great Bustard given by David Waters.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Our March Zoom talk was an extremely interesting talk on the Return of the Great Bustard given by David Waters of the Great Bustard Group. This group was formed in 1998 by volunteers and the Prince of Wales has become its Patron. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 51

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Spring is definitely on its way on the 10th of March a chiffchaff announced its arrival by singing in the big trees behind our garden. It has been there all week, they successfully bred last year and I hope they do the same this year. More...

Sheppey

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Cold and blustery on Sheppey this morning. More...

Harty Ferry Road

Friday, 12 March 2021

Another long week at work so good to end it with a short drive down Harty Ferry Road, Sheppey to check in on the local cattle egret.Richard Hanman More...

Swale NNR

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Started work early so finished early (well it is my birthday), hoping to catch the hen harrier and merlin at Swale NNR. Drew a blank on both ... but got lucky with a short-eared owl instead. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Despite the cold, there were still a lot of visitors on the reserve. I have seen numbers rise consistently during lock down, and the same at RSPB Cliffe Pools as people are looking to explore new venues to take their 'local' exercise. Let's hope their new discoveries of our fantastic countryside and wildlife continue after the pandemic. I've also noticed an increase in families with children out in the fresh air (and it was very fresh today). More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 50

Sunday, 7 March 2021

We have had a few visitors to the garden this week, a female blackcap appeared taking on energy from the fat ball feeder. It looked in very good condition showing off a new set of feathers. No idea if this was a bird on passage back to Europe or a bird returning to the UK on the southerly winds we have seen. More...

Burham

Sunday, 7 March 2021

A new walking location today. Having seen reports that there may be geese at Burham, More...

Spring

Saturday, 6 March 2021

We have made it to spring! Although let's see how we go as March can see some very mixed weather, meaning our wildlife needs to keep on its toes. However, expect a month of hope as spring flowers start to bloom. More...

Walk Around Bishopden Wood, Swale

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Had a walk around Bishopden Wood, Swale this morning and added two more to my Year List in the form of lesser-spotted woodpecker and tawny owl. Sadly, no photos. More...

Sunday Afternoon at Cobham Woods

Sunday, 28 February 2021

We decided to try Cobham Woods for our local Sunday afternoon birdwatching - I remember walking here many years ago with the Medway YOC group but I've probably neglected it a bit as I've got older in favour of the more coastal areas. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 49

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Last week of February and the temperature on Wednesday reached 18C in our back garden, warm enough to bring out a beautiful male. Brimstone butterfly. Always a cheerful sign that warmer weather is not too far away, brimstones over winter in woodland, awakening to produce next year's brood, laying their eggs on alder buckthorn and buckthorn, the food plant for the caterpillar stage. The adults hatch from the chrysalis usually in July. More...

Wader watching on my local patch at Shellness Beach, Sheppey

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Wader watching on Shellness Beach, Sheppey this morning. More...

Saturday Walk at RSPB Cliffe Pools

Saturday, 27 February 2021

With a forecast for light winds and sun all day we needed somewhere away from the crowds and so opted for Cliffe. More...

Rochester Riverside

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Can't believe that I have made it to 91 birds on the list. Today, I took a walk from home down to Rochester Riverside and added common sandpiper. More...

A Fantasy RSPB Walk

Monday, 22 February 2021

Most of us have been to RSPB Cliffe Pools and Northward Hill on numerous occasions. It is a fantastic site/s, both are really lumped into 'The North Kent Marshes'. This year we decided on a late winter visit, embracing both in one hit. More...

RSPB Northwood Hill

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Northward Hill was the venue for this afternoon's walk - and what a glorious afternoon - light winds and sunshine. More...

Our Local Patch During Lockdown

Sunday, 21 February 2021

In these times of frustrating lockdowns when we are trying not to travel in the car at all, I thought I ought to give a mention to what constitutes "my local patch", Hoath Woods. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 48

Sunday, 21 February 2021

That's winter over? Back to spring this week and summer next? The winter thrushes have all moved away from our area, the change in wind direction and the warmer days has signalled their move back north. More...

Around the Hucking Estate

Sunday, 21 February 2021

16 degrees C, sun shining and birds singing on my walk around The Hucking Estate this morning. Felt more like mid-March than mid-February. More...

Zoom Talk by John Buckingham - Birds and Wildlife of South Africa - Kruger to the Cape

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Thursday 18th February saw the amazing 16th talk by John Buckingham to our Medway Group and a combined Zoom Group (this month not only Maidstone and Medway but Faversham Nats as well). More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 47

Sunday, 14 February 2021

What a change - previous week warm enough to wake up butterflies, to a week of snow. It was either going to be a great week for birds or a washout with the birds moving away from the east winds. More...

Local patch birding on Sheppey - from the car!

Friday, 12 February 2021

Work laptop playing up today, waiting for call back from IT, so took an extended late lunch /early finish local drive around Harty and Leysdown on Sheppey to relocate the snipe from yesterday. More...

Here on the Hoo Peninsula

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Here on the Hoo Peninsula, we are blessed with not one but two nationally and internationally important RSPB reserves, add to that Lodge Hill, the former army camp, and Great Chattenden Wood and we are hugely fortunate. The two reserves are of course RSPB Northward Hill an RSPB Cliffe Pools. More...

Walk through a woodland in Swale

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Walk through a woodland in Swale this morning. Spring is in the air with lots of shoots poking through the leaf litter. Healthy dog fox came trotting down the track, saw me and scarpered across a field. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 46.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Another species for the lockdown list is a goldcrest, bringing the number up to 67 on the life list and 53 on the year list. I saw a small green flash fly across the garden and land in our neighbour's yew tree. I am sure they must have been around, the habitat is good for them, however they have eluded me in the past. There have been a few reports of goldcrest locally, I think they are probably on the move before the really cold weather comes in. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 45.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

After a disapointing count for our garden watch probably due to the poor weather, Jayne and I thought we would walk along the Saxon Shore path. We were due to lead a walk along the path later in the month so we wanted to see what the conditions were like after all the rain we had in the last week. I can say that we don't recommend trying the path at the moment the mud was horrendous and the beach was so thick with mud it could be quite dangerous. More...

Birding Walk at Shellness

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Birding walk at Shellness after another long week glued to a PC screen. More...

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Took a walk along the North Downs way at Bluebell Hill today. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 44

Sunday, 24 January 2021

One of our blue tit's was feeding on fatballs in between a herd of house sparrows who had taken over the feeder.Cyril the squirrel certainly has some good muscle tone managing to eat nyjer seeds through a tiny slot while hanging on by the back legs! More...

Swaleside Walk

Saturday, 23 January 2021

This morning's winter Swaleside walk was taken in Rushenden, Sheppey. Grey and overcast first thing, had the place to myself. More...

January Virtual Talk using Zoom

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Our well-known speaker for the January Zoom talk was Michael Walter, former warden of RSPB Blean Woods from 1982 to 2012. Michael actually called his talk "A rushed tour of Kent's Stour from source to sea". More...

Chatham Dockyard and Riverside Country Park

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Started at Chatham Dockyard, but no sign of the reported shag. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 42

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Despite the cold weather this week we have seen some early signs of birds pairing for the coming breeding season. More...

RSPB Northward Hill

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The sun finally came out this afternoon at RSPB Northward Hill, along with a gorgeous male marsh harrier, sparrowhawk, buzzard and kestrel.David Saunders More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 41 - Happy New Year

Sunday, 3 January 2021

A New Year hoping we can all meet up soon, Jayne and I went for a New Year's walk around Cliffe Pools. A flock of greylag geese flew over making a wildlife smile for 2021 in the early evening sky. More...