It has been raining all day today, so I admit it, I have not been down to the reserve, but yesterday!? I counted 5,500 black-tailed godwit. They were using the islands especially cleared of scrub to create a high tide roost for the waders pushed off the high tide. The dunlin, 5 to 10,000 of them, were like a giant airborne amoeba, and when they met the godwits in flight the sky was just black with birds and, quite frankly, I love it!

I was down at Cliffe Pools with a BBC film crew filming for BBC TV London and an episode of 'Inside Out' that will be broadcast on February 24th at 7:30pm. The presenter was Mike Dilger, and he told me he had never seen so many godwits in one flock before. Last year we had 9,000 at Cliffe Pools, so it is worth keeping an eye on them should their numbers continue to swell. Mike was so impressed he tweeted about it, and immediately got a reply from our RSPB Chief Executive, Dr. Mike Clarke. Dr. Mike grew up on the North Kent Marshes, so our news always holds a special place in his heart, and he will be speaking at the Medway local group meeting next Tuesday evening, in Gillingham and you are invited to come along.

The Medway group are celebrating their 40th year, and Dr. Mike Clarke felt this was a fitting excuse to take a little time out from his busy schedule and visit his 'home patch', and share his thoughts with us on the RSPB at a critical time. If the marshes are not to become an airport hub under Lord Foster's plans and Boris Johnson's backing, the RSPB will have been a key player in the decision. You can meet Mike on Tuesday evening and all the details can be found on the Medway Local Group page, on this website under Things To Do. See you there!

 

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