• A lovely late afternoon at Northward Hill, RSPB.

    3 Woodcock at the Marsh Viewpoint (Northward Hill) as well as a female Tawny Owl showing well (to make a change). Up to 30 Bramblings flying into the brambles nearby to roost. This was at about 4:15 and it was still pretty light

    • 18 Jan 2022
  • Song Thrush, RSPB Northward Hill.

    It was lovely to hear a Song Thrush singing its' heart out in the scrub near the office.

    The song consists of a series of vigorous, simple phrases, less rich than that of the Blackbird, but with a penetrating quality. The fluting notes are often interspersed with harsh, impure tones and some mimicry of other species. Each phrase is repeated between two or four times, most often three as an average.

    Song thrushes establish…

    • 12 Jan 2022
  • News from the North Kent Marshes by Dr Hoo (8th of January 2022)

    A wet and cold morning out on the The North Kent Marshes with Finn and his Dad litter-picking' it's his 4th consecutive Saturday, this time they collected 4 bags of rubbish, so well done to them.
    It also gave me a chance to speak with the contractors out there repairing the Cliffe Creek seawall breach which happened during Wednesdays exceptional tide. This allowed several feet of salt water to flood onto the reserve…
    • 8 Jan 2022
  • Group Trip to Cliffe Pools – Saturday 11th December 2021

    Group Trip to Cliffe Pools – Saturday 11th December 2021

    Posted: 15 Dec 2021 08:14 AM PST

     On a warmer than expected Saturday morning sixteen members met in the car park for what was the last group walk of the year. Some of the group talked about a beautiful sunrise seen earlier that day. We set off along the track towards the pinnacle. The track was very short on birds with a few goldfinches and blackbirds flying…

    • 23 Dec 2021
  • Litter pick today 22/12/21 at Cliffe Pools RSPB.

    It was a good litter-pick by Finn Gregory and his Father Colm this morning. The weather was slightly better than last Saturday, at least there was no wind to bring the chill factor down. They managed to clear a goodly amount of plastic from the top end of Cliffe Creek along to the Thames pipeline. No mean task when a lot of it is semi-buried in the soil and semi--broken down. This means it desintegrates when you try and…

    • 22 Dec 2021
  • Cliffe and Northward Hill 18th of December 2021,

    A great weekend at RSPB Northward Hill. Saturday morning I was with Finn again and his Father this time, back out at Cliffe Pools for collecting plastic off the Creek shore-line
    This time because of the nature of the large amount of small plastic items in amongst the washed up seaweed it was decided to rake up the whole lot and bag it.
    In an hour and a half, ten full bags were filled and subsequently deposited in a skip…
    • 21 Dec 2021
  • A good weekend at Northward Hill and Cliffe Pools.

    A great weekend at RSPB Northward Hill. Saturday morning I was with Finn again and his Father this time, back out at Cliffe Pools for collecting plastic off the Creek shore-line
    This time because of the nature of the large amount of small plastic items in amongst the washed up seaweed it was decided to rake up the whole lot and bag it.
    In an hour and a half, ten full bags were filled and subsequently deposited in a skip…
    • 20 Dec 2021
  • Dr Hoo blog Cliffe Pools 11/12/2021.

    A very pleasant couple of hours spent at Cliffe Pools this morning with Jackie and her son Finn, litter-picking.
    He is a school-boy doing volunteering for the D of E Award. In all we collected 5 black bags of rubbish from the top end of Flamingo.
    It was low water and there was a lot of bird-life around.
    Hundreds of Coot, Lapwing and Shoveller, all descernible with the naked eye and many more in the distance, too…
    • 13 Dec 2021
  • Northward Hill, this evening: 28/11/2021.

    It was brilliant this evening to renew my acquaintance with Dougie and Sarah Wright in the car-park. I was just about to lock the maingate, when we got into conversation about my blog a few days earlier about the Woodcock seen every evening over Sweeney Viewopoint as dusk descends.

    I agreed to leave the gate shutting until later to allow them to see the Woodcock flying out onto the marsh.

    In the meantime Frank Cackett…

    • 28 Nov 2021
  • Northward Hill RSPB today (21/11/21.

    With the late Autumn chill starting to really bite ahead of the predicted freeze it is still a pleasant walk from the Bromhey Farm Car-Park up to the Sweeney Veiwpoint.

    This evening my subject of attention was not the famed Covid roost, but the showing of a good number of Woodcock as they flew over the Veiwpoint out onto the distant marsh.

    I have to say it was a bit nippy exposed as it was overlooking Gordons' Hide and…

    • 21 Nov 2021
  • Group Trip to Grain and Northward Hill RSPB Reserve, 31/10/2021

     

    Wind Gusts of 40mph and heavy rain did not deter the 8 dedicated members of the group who braved the conditions and met at Grain Country Park on Sunday morning. We set off along the coastal path and although high tide had past, the waters edge was still fairly close to shore and we had good views of the many waders feeding on the freshly exposed mud flats.  Curlew, black-headed gull, oystercatcher, brent geese, grey…

    • 6 Nov 2021
  • Northward Hill RSPB today, 24th of October 2021

    As ever, a lovely afternoon on the reserve, a lot of cars in the car-park. I love that when I arrive as it means a goodly amount of visitors I can interact with, be they seasoned visitors or first timers. The sun was out and clouds only ocassionaly blotted it out. 

    This meant a few Hoverflies still gathered nectar on the remaining Hawksbit. They were joined by a very obliging, and surprisingly fresh Peacock Butterfly.

    • 24 Oct 2021
  • Northward Hill RSPB, this evening 14th of October 2021.

    I go to Northward Hill almost every day, usually in the late afternoon when the reserve is closed to give my two nightmare Border Terrorists a free run.
    This evening I sat there with Chris Gibbard in the fading light at Sweeney VP seeing Grey Plover, Marsh Harrier, Grery Heron, Corvids vocalising aplenty, Lapwing etc. Mallard quack/laughing, Little Grebe (Dabchicks) trilling. Green Woodpeckers yaffling. I could…
    • 14 Oct 2021
  • Bank Holiday Weekend at Northward Hill.

    On an afternoon that quite honestly felt, weather-wise more like late October, it was pleasant to see quite a few species around still.

    Butterflies, there were Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Meadow Browns and Small Heath, but not much else.

    A very battered and tatty Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) gave me my first photo opportunity, followed by a Green Sheildbug (Palomena prasina).

    Up onto Sweeney Viewpoint…

    • 29 Aug 2021
  • A rare Sandpiper at RSPB Cliffe Pools.

    I'm reliably informed there is a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at RSPB Cliffe Pools on the corner of Radar Pool, today.

    • 26 Aug 2021
  • Beetles and Bats.

    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.

    Last night I went up there at quarter to eight with my 6 years old Grandaughter to sit up on them as she's always wanted to see one.

    At eight thirty the first one appeared…

    • 18 Aug 2021
  • Karen Snow and others at RSPB Cliffe Pools. Sunday the 1st of August 2021.

    Karen Snow is with Warren Mann and Robin and Jan Cansfield at Cliffe Pools RSPB Nature Reserve & SSSI Site.

    Yesterday at 17:44  · Rochester  ·
    A lovely day at Cliffe Pools today, managed to see the Spoonbill, also several Greenshank, Redshank and Lapwing. Lots of Little Egrets. Swallows, Linnets, Greenfinch, Goldfinch. Mallard, Coot, GC Grebe, BH Gull, GBB Gull, Little Grebe, Pochard, Oystercatcher…
    • 2 Aug 2021
  • Well I never!

    Yesterday I reported on the Cattle Egrets teaching Little Egrets to follow the cattle to feed amongst them are they kicked up insects. Talking to Frank Cackett it seems the black billed 'Little Egrets' are in fact juvenile Cattle Egrets, their bills turn yellow as they mature. So today there were 5 juveniles amongst the adults proving they are breeding on the reserve, most likely with their cousins in the sanctuary.…

    • 31 Jul 2021
  • Cattle Egret etc

    When we had an RSPB Walk some days ago, I said we would see the Egrets as long as the Cattle were close up and not miles out on the marsh, in the end we did see them, but only distantly as that was where the cattle were.

    Today they were right close up to the Marsh Gate and I could see six Egrets flitting amongst the cows legs after insects. Closer inspection revealed three were the now resident Cattle Egrets and the other…

    • 30 Jul 2021
  • I can't believe it's the 1st of July.

    I have to say I never tire of the sight of Goldfinches and their tinkling song, they are singing from the Silver Birch in my postage stamp garden as I write.

    Today my daily sojourn to RSPB Northward Hill had to wait until after 6pm. As usual there was always a pleasant surprise on the drive in. A Buzzard sitting atop a telegraph pole hoping for an easy meal of an unwary young rabbit or roadkill at the behest of a visiting…

    • 1 Jul 2021
  • This weekend at RSPB Northward Hill.

    Butterflies were re-emerging in the sunlight at Northward Hill, a Small Skipper by the farmhouse, a Ringlet in the car-park and a Small Heath a little further on.

    A few Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells bathed in the sunshine. The highlight of the weekend would be White letter Hairstreaks seen by Joanne Fegan who has kindly allowed me to publish her image, usually they are confined to specific Elm trees in the sanctuary…

    • 27 Jun 2021
  • A sad day at RSPB Northward Hill.

    I feel I have lost an old friend, the huge Walnut Tree that has dominated the overflow car-park finally gave up the ghost last night and crashed to the ground. It was the first thing I looked to as driving down into the reserve. So many memories, my last sighting of a Turtle Dove within its' lofty boughs three years ago, the squirells raising their kits in a hole. The fabulous Tawny Owls in the Owl box and Jackdaws in…

    • 26 Jun 2021
  • Another beautiful fly from yesterday at Northward Hill.

    This one is Poecilobothrus nobilitatus or Semaphore Fly, one of the most studied flies mainly because of its' size and easily identifiable sexing.

    By the way for those of you who are wondering where I've suddenly acquired this expertise from, I get a good photo and upload it onto UK Diptera Facebook and a 'proper expert' with tell me almost instantly what it is and from there I can google it to find out a few snippets…

    • 20 Jun 2021
  • Bird wise at Northward Hill, 19/06/21.

    This on a pretty dull and grey morning at RSPB Northward Hill, The Cuckoos x 2 were extremely vocal and the lone Nightingale singing up to a few days ago (on the way to Ernie Hemsley Viewpoint) has finally stopped singing. Plenty of Whitethroats were vocalising in the scrub and the highlight of the day was seeing a pair of Nightingales in the appropriately named Nightingale Tree, so-called because you could almost guarantee…

    • 20 Jun 2021
  • Snipe Fly from yesterday.

    This is Rhagio tringarius.

    • 20 Jun 2021