Trip reports

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...

A Trip Down to Faversham

Sunday, 3 January 2021

A trip down to Faversham today. More...

Flying Visit to Graveney and Oare.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Combined a supermarket shop at Sainsbury's in Faversham this morning with a quick drive around the strawberry fields at Graveney and a flying visit (10 mins) to Oare. More...

Visit to Chatham Council's Riverside Country Park

Friday, 1 January 2021

To start the new year a short (due to the cold temperature) visit for a couple of hours to Riverside CP More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools

Friday, 1 January 2021

Started the birding year with a trip to Cliffe Pools. More...

New Year's Day on Sheppey

Friday, 1 January 2021

Grey and dank New Year's Day on Sheppey wasn't great for photos but still lots of birds to kick-start the 2021 Year List. More...

Visit to RSPB Northward Hill

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Still a lot of water out on the marsh in the fading light at Northward Hill. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools with Richard Hanman

Monday, 28 December 2020

Black-necked grebe at Cliffe Pools this morning. More...

Early Morning Visit to RSPB Cliffe Pools

Monday, 28 December 2020

Early morning visit to RSPB Cliffe Pools to see the black-necked grebe for one last throw of the dice to boost my year list. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 39 / 40

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Where better to go for Christmas shopping? Whitstable was the choice. No big shopping centres to worry about, in fact it was a great day to go as there seemed to be about twelve people in the town. More...

Walk Along Shellness Beach Christmas Day

Friday, 25 December 2020

Lovely walk with Lisa along Shellness beach on Christmas Day. More...

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas and New Year.RSPB Medway Local Group More...

Birding on the Isle of Sheppey

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Inspired by Linda Lyon's recent photos of swirling flocks of waders. decided to pay a visit to Swale NR at lunch time today - just before the hailstorm started. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Cliffe Pools was the destination today, lovely sunny day for a change. More...

December Virtual Monthly Talk Winter Wildlife of Northern Japan by Paul Hale

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Tuesday was the last of our Zoom talks for the strange 2020 and it was good to welcome back Paul Hale who had not spoken to us since 2015 when his topic was Wildlife of New York and New Jersey. More...

Wetland Bird Survey at Medway Councils Riverside Country Park

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Wetland Bird Survey again today at Riverside Country Park. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 38

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Whilst eating breakfast Jayne and I watch the birds on the feeders. Every morning the magpies come into the garden to polish off the seeds that drop from the feeders. Tuesday morning was slightly different. More...

Foreness Point

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Foreness point was today's destination with Robin and Jan. More...

Arthur's Lockdown 2020

Thursday, 10 December 2020

At 86 and now with a poor knee I have been in a sort of lockdown from a week before the official one started. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 37

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Nice sunny day full of promise as we headed off to Cliffe. We parked next to the church which gave us a good walk out to the sea wall. I was hoping to see some winter thrushes, especially fieldfare but alas we did not. The weather has been too mild for the time of the year and winter has not pushed these northern migrants south, yet. More...

Walland Marsh, near Lydd

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Birding restricted to weekends within our County tier at the moment so decided this morning to have a drive around Walland Marsh near Lydd as not properly explored this area before. More...

Reculver

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Took another trip to Reculver today. More...

Medway Local Coucil's Riverside Country Park

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

A beautiful but cold day at Riverside Country Park. More...

Hampton Pier, Herne Bay

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Today I decided to take a walk at Hampton Pier, Herne Bay. More...

Medway Council's Riverside and Capstone Country Park

Monday, 30 November 2020

After a brief pop into work to sort a couple of bits, I took a quick walk along Riverside Country Park to try and get red-breasted merganser. More...

My garden Wildlife Watch week 36

Sunday, 29 November 2020

This week has been a night-time watch, thanks to Emma and Ami sending me an Amazon voucher for my birthday, I put it towards an infrared camera. More...

Around North Kent

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Decided that Crag Martin was too far to travel in current circumstances so stayed local to boost my Kent Year List up to 190 (My UK Year List itself has stalled somewhat on 220). More...