Trip reports

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...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

A perfect evening for nightingale singing. More...

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Steve and I were invited to represent Medway RSPB Local Group on a walk for International Dawn Chorus Day around the village of Borden near Sittingbourne. Hopefully we would identify birds which could be affected by plans to build houses on green belt land there. More...

Nightingale Walk at RSPB Northward Hill (Leader David Saunders)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The above walk was a great success, a fantastic opportunity to showcase the bird and indeed the reserve. It has to be said the weather could have been a little kinder, it being overcast and quite chilly. That said fortunately it didn't put off the stars of the show performing. More...

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

11 of us ventured out onto the North Kent marshes of Northward Hill Reserve on a chilly but sunny morning. We set off to the Ernie Hemsley view point hoping to see passage migrants. More...

Sevenoaks KWT (Leader Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter Sunday dawned bright and dry with a northerly edge to the wind. We were pleased to see Terry back out with us and to welcome Anne from Sevenoaks RSPB Group. In all a dozen made our way hotfoot to the Slingsby Hide as a grasshopper warbler had been reported as reeling in the reed bed there. More...

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 9 April 2017

A huge group of us turned up for this walk, 18 in total with one new member, always nice to see new faces and the usual suspects. More...

Dungeness Sea & Shore (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Mothers' Day dawned bright and sunny but with a vicious north-easterly wind. Eleven of us met for a change by the old Dungeness lighthouse and proceeded past the perimeter wall of the power station to the "Patch" where we stood for a time watching the various gulls and the cormorants feeding avidly in the warm water outflow. A number of great-crested grebes were on the sea, along with some more distant gannets. More...

Bossenden Woods (Leader Trevor Hatton)

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Seven of us turned up to accompany Trevor on our expedition to find the lesser spotted woodpecker (lswp). Around the entrance to Bossenden woods there was plenty of avian activity as numerous little brown job's (lbj's) flitted around - they seemed to be mainly blue tits, great tits and robins, together with the odd chaffinch. However, we also found a treecreeper. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader Warren Mann)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

It had started drizzling about 8.00am and as we approached our starting time of 9.00 am the rain was coming down with a purpose. The forecast was for this to continue throughout the day. I was only there as a late substitute for David Saunders, who had to attend a course on raptor monitoring. So, considering the weather, I was somewhat surprised to see that no less than five of our members turned up for the walk. They all took the attitude of "we are here now, so we might as well give it a go", so the six of us started out under grey skies and in steady rain. However, I couldn't but wonder where David gets his weather forecasts from. More...

Sissinghurst (Leader Robin Smith)

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The forecast was for a dry but overcast day but it turned out to be damp for most of the morning with a bit of 'scotch mist' that made it difficult to keep the optics clear. However ten set out from the car park hoping for a bullfinch fest to compare with last year's visit. More...

Riverside Country Park (Leader Marie Tilley)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Although the weather was a little overcast it was much milder than it had been of late. Nine members met at the Riverside CP car park. It was decided to have a quick look at Horrid Hill to see if anything was showing on the mud flats. Unfortunately, the tide was way out and although there seemed to be lots of waders they were a little way off. Fortunately, we did have a couple of telescopes with us so we could make sure everyone could see the birds. After spending some time there we then proceeded to the dock just before Motney Hill. On the way, we managed to get a sighting of a couple of redwings in a horse paddock. By then the sun had come out and we had some lovely views of pintails. Sadly, we had no avocets as they were obviously feeding further along right at the edge of the tide line. More...

Oare Marshes KWT Reserve (Leader Sue Carter)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Undaunted by the dismal weather forecast twelve "regulars" met up with and welcomed newcomers Hugh and Ellie in the reserve car park at 8.30 am. More...

New Hythe Lakes (Adrian Olsen)

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

It was on the day the earth stood still, or rather the Medway Towns as the A2/M2 was closed in the morning due to over-running road works! More...

RSPB Dungeness (Leader Warren Mann)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

It was cold, rainy, windy and the morning after the night before, but no less than 13 of our Group turned up, because this was Dungeness and the first birding day of the New Year. But as we shall see, as the weather worsened not all the 13 stayed the course. Most of the group stopped off on the way down the track to the car park to find the long staying ring-necked duck, along with coots, gadwalls, shovelers, tufted and shelducks. A few of us also checked the feeders at Boulderwall farm; not the ones by the road but the pair beyond the gate furthest from the road. Here we found chaffinches, greenfinches, blue tits, great tits and, best of all, tree sparrows. More...

New Hythe Lakes (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

As the seven of us made our way around Brooklands lake on a still, bright and unseasonably warm December day, one of our more experienced members reminisced about birds' past; that corner was where two weeks ago, he had seen the goosanders, that piece of reed bed was where two years ago he had seen the bittern preening and the scrub over there was where 22 years ago the long-eared owl roost had been. Alas, these birds remained but a memory and we had to be content with rather more mundane fare. More...

Bedgebury Pinetum (Leader Robin Smith)

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A very cold glorious winter's day with a cerulean blue sky provided the perfect backdrop for a walk around the Pinetum. A select band of eight group members (an octornimed?) assembled at noon but soon chaotically split into three groups (toilet group, café group and the 'keen to get on' group). Eventually the diverse groups merged into an amorphous blob again when Warren detected a pair of crossbills in a conifer only a few metres off the path. More...

RSPB Cliffe Pools (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

As the group, which was eventually 11 in number, slowly assembled in the car park the early arrivals were rewarded by two flocks of geese flying overhead: one comprised of brent geese and the other greylags. We also saw a kestrel, herring and lesser blacked-gulls and in the Crystal pool there were tufted ducks, a pochard, mallard and gadwall, plus coot, redshank and little grebe. More...

Conyer Creek (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Sunday, 6 November 2016

If you have waders and wintering thrushes on your mind, Conyer Creek is indeed an excellent destination. This perhaps little-known site has been in the Group programme for a while and I really hope that this will be the case for many years to come. More...

Elmley NNR (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

It was a mild and misty morning on the eve of Halloween, and at 7.30am most of the Isle of Sheppey was cloaked in a faint veil of fog. More...

Mote Park Maidstone (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

After struggling through the Maidstone traffic my two passengers and I arrived at the car park only five minutes before our starting time of 9.30, and were surprised to find no other bird watchers present. We got ready and on the dot of 9.30 our numbers were increased by the arrival of a fourth member of our group. More...

Sandwich Bay (Leader Robin Smith)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The day started as usual in the ringing hut with 19 of our members eagerly waiting to see whether a rarity would emerge from one of the twitching bags hanging on the hooks behind the ringers bench. Yellow browed warblers had been ringed the week before and anything could turn up at this time of year. Alas, we were doomed for disappointment as apart from a single blue tit all the rest were either chiffchaffs or blackcaps. More...

Dungeness RSPB Reserve (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 25 September 2016

There were twelve of us for this visit to Dungeness and it was nice to be joined by a member of the Maidstone group. We managed to see a wheatear before we got into the visitor centre. The lady at the visitor centre informed us that there were a couple of pintails and the cattle egret was still down by the cows. More...

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The day before had seen nearby Gravesend experience a temperature of 34.4o C, the highest September temperature in the UK for more than 100 years. Luckily for the 10 of us assembled in the car park, temperatures did not approach that mark, but it was still a bright, sunny, very hot and somewhat humid day. More...

RSPB Minsmere (Coach Trip)

Sunday, 11 September 2016

RSPB Medway's annual coach trip to the flagship reserve at Minsmere in Suffolk is always filled with high expectations due to the variety of habitats which affords an unrivalled opportunity for a big day list. This trip was no exception with 84 bird species recorded. More...

Bough Beech Reservoir (Leader Karen Snow)

Sunday, 4 September 2016

This walk should have been led by Sue and Steve, however they hightailed it to the Highlands! So, having agreed to take the walk in their absence, and taking note of the M20 closure, I left plenty of time to get there. This proved unnecessary as it took just over half an hour from Rochester via the M25 - the trip back however is another story! Some members chose alternative routes and were slightly late, but no worry we hadn't moved from our start point at the causeway. More...

Botolph's Bridge (Leader Robin Smith)

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

This was the third time that I have led this walk for the group and as on the previous occasions it has not produced huge amounts of birds but is always interesting and continues to throw up a few highlights. More...

Oare Marsh (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

13 regulars from RSPB Medway met at Oare at 9am in perfect birdwatching weather. With Autumn migration under way we had high expectations and weren't disappointed. On arrival at Oare the East Flood was full of water and that meant it was full of birds ... thousands of birds. More...

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

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Twelve members met on a pleasantly warm and sunny morning and set off on the 2.5 miles long circuit of the nature trail. This fairly new reserve comprises heath land, coniferous and broadleaved woodlands and a wet wooded valley. More...

Rye Harbour (Leader Robin Smith )

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A trip to Rye Harbour during a brief English heat wave made me wonder whether there would be a good turn out from the Group when the official advice was to try to stay out of the strong sun, particularly between 11 and 3. Well, you know how it is, "mad dogs and Englishmen" comes to mind and 11 of us gathered for the walk. More...

Samphire Hoe (Leaders Sue Carter & Richard Hanman)

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Samphire Hoe is a pleasing place to visit and today we received a warm welcome from warden Paul Trodd who advised us that ravens had bred on Shakespeare cliffs this year for the first time in one hundred years. Great news! These cliffs are becoming increasingly green with vegetation, no longer the white cliffs of legend. More...

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fathers' Day was celebrated by Medway Group with a quiet stroll around this normally busy reserve. The day was mostly dry, warm and sunny, but with a chilly off-shore wind. Water levels on the pits were still too high, but on Burrowes we saw lapwing, ringer plover, pochard, great-crested grebe, tufted duck, gadwall, shoveler, numerous mute swans and the ever-present collection of various gulls. More...

Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve (Leader Warren Mann)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Five of us braved the crossing to the dark side and were rewarded by relatively light traffic and a warm sunny morning. The good weather, contrary to the forecasts of potential downpours, persisted throughout our walk. More...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

After the awful weather we had experienced over the previous week it was with great relief that the weather had significantly improved for the scheduled walk at Hothfield. The sun shone and it was a comfortable warm day, ideal for walking! Eleven of us set out for an anticipated eventful walk. More...

RSPB Northward Hill Family Fun Day

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

After all the preparation by members of the Medway RSPB Group, Northward Hill staff/interns plus volunteers, the day finally arrived. Having spruced up the barn the day before, we all arrived early to lay out the event and get ready for the parents with their children. The day before had been very wet and we hoped today wasn't going to be more of the same, but looking at the sky it definitely didn't bode particularly well. Then, yes, it rained about half an hour before we were due to welcome our first guests. After a while it stopped and provided some great puddles for the kids to splash around in in their wellies. As a picture paints a thousand words here are some photos of the activities. More...

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Meeting a dubious looking bunch of shooters on their way home didn't bode well, but we were heartened by the weather which was better than had been forecast and by the five other participants who had chosen to join us. More...

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

It was an unseasonably cold and overcast evening, so it was not too surprising that I was joined by only two other members of our Group. Trevor and Yuek are regular visitors to the RCP, and I had done a recce two days before, so we knew what might be about. We all agreed that we should concentrate on finding turtle doves and nightingales. Just before our walk I had checked Bloors Wharf but could find nothing of interest there, so it was decided that we should concentrate our efforts on the Sharps Green area of the RCP. More...

Rutland Water Nature Reserve (Coach Trip)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Recently I joined the long-awaited coach trip to Rutland Water Nature Reserve managed by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Anglian Water providing one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 20,000 waterfowl. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a European Special Protection Area and is internationally recognised as a globally important wetland site (Ramsar). More...

Stodmarsh NNR (Leader Giuseppe Raffa)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Beautiful. This is how I would describe Stodmash NNR and I am strongly convinced that the 12 members who decided to join me for our traditional outing to this reserve could not agree more! More...