Trip reports

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Adrian Olsen)

RSPB Northward Hill (Leader Adrian Olsen)
Lapwing [Chris Gomersall]

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.

On the way a pair of Mediterranean gulls were above giving their call like a 'comment of surprise'. I caught a quick glimpse of a wheatear. Ring ouzel do pass through here sometimes maybe they did the day before we arrived or maybe they will the day after. That's the luck of bird watching. The most common birds about were blackcap, whitethroat, goldfinch, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit and dunnock.

Looking out to the floods in front of the Gordon Allison's Hide from the view point we had various waders - avocets, black-tailed godwits, lapwings, shelducks, teals, and next to a redshank a greenshank dropped in for a rest and feed up before travelling onwards to its favoured breeding grounds in the northern pine forests of Scandinavia.

We then moved on towards the woodland upon Northward Hill passing the cherry orchard. A pair of mistle thrushes were feeding on the ground while a Cetti's warbler with its sudden bursting call of excitement scurried from cover beside us. A cuckoo was calling in the distance. Nightingales have just arrived as they were warming up with a grating churr and a click but not yet going into full virtuoso.

Bluebells carpeted the dappled shaded floor as we meandered through the woodland trails. A great spotted woodpecker was drilling away just above us to proclaim its territory. Coming out of the wood with the wide panoramic view of the marshes in front of us orange tip butterfly flittered by as speckled wood and peacock butterfly soaked up the warming sunshine.

46 species of birds were seen by most of our pleasant group of people.

Adrian Olsen.