• Thank you email.

    After a very successful first Nightingale Walk on Thursday last it was lovely to get this email. 

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to hear Nightingales at Northward Hill and fulfil a long-term ambition. On the way home, down to the main road, a badger family shuffled across the dark road in front of us and jammed for a frantic moment trying to enter the sett together. 
    Things do not get much better than those experiences…
    • 20 Apr 2019
  • The first Nightingale Walk of 2019.

    This evening as the title says was the first walk of the year to listen to the wonderful song of this amazing bird. Thirty of us met in the car-park at Bromhey Farm a little before 7 o'clock I gave a small talk about nightingales and their plight generally and specifically Lodge Hill in Chattenden,  Kent. This site, a disused army camp has the highest concentration of breeding pairs in the country.

    A recent survey…

    • 18 Apr 2019
  • Nightingale and Cuckoo return to RSPB Northward Hill and Cliffe Pools.

    Great news, even though a little late in the season, at least two Nightingales and a singleton are singing at Cliffe and Northward Hill respectively as of yesterday evening. A single Cuckoo was heard near the office a day or so ago. The first Nightingale Walk is this Thursday, meeting in Bromhey Farm car park at 7.00. I also saw my first Swallow of the year.

    • 16 Apr 2019
  • Love Northward Hill RSPB!

    Apex predators, elusive species and a stunning suite of birdlife, RSPB Northward Hill has it all!

    Walking down the track from the office in the beautiful sunshine was a delight, with Peacock, Tortoiseshell and Comma all chasing each other round, shooing rivals off their patch in the sun. Sometimes it was difficult to see who was chasing who, but all seemed to be on an equal footing, occasionally their aerial sparring would…

    • 31 Mar 2019
  • Welcome to RSPB Northward Hill.

    Now that the weather is finally improving, please come and enjoy the delights of the reserve. In a couple of weeks or so the iconic Cuckoo and Nightingale will be back and hopefully Turtle Dove.

    • 30 Mar 2019
  • A lovely ladybird on the Rowan.

    A sure sign of the warming weather, a beautiful Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) on a Mountain Ash twig appearing to be eating Common Yellow Lichen (Xanthoria).

    • 29 Mar 2019
  • Owl pellet analysis.

    I thought it would be interesting to look at what the local owl populaton is eating. So I gathered up a couple of the dryer ones and took them home to dissect, something I've never actually done before! 

    After soaking them in warm water for 24 hours I very gently puddled them around a bit to separate the bones and drained then tipped them out onto some kitchen towel spread out to dry on the radiator. Next day was the…

    • 26 Mar 2019
  • The1st proper day of Spring.

    I say that because a lot of people and mainly the popular press cite the first day of Spring as the 1st of March and sometimes it does feel like it and of course we all want it to be so after a long winter.

    Walking round RSPB Northward Hill today there was a definate Spring like feel to the reserve, even though the weather was not that warm, a chill breeze made it a cool 9 degree factor.

    So what was about today? The beauty…

    • 20 Mar 2019
  • White Storks and the North Kent Marshes?

    At a local birthday party I was looking at the photos on the High Halstow hall wall and was intrigued to see this one entitled Storks and Decoy Farm.

    For those who don't know this location, it is an old farm building on the North Kent Marsh. It was dated 1935, looking at my 1945 edition of The Birds of the North Kent Marshes there is mention of the attempted re-introduction to the UK of the White Stork, a bird that…

    • 8 Mar 2019
  • North Kent Marshes in February.

    With the unseasonal weather over the last week or so some surprises have been on the wing on the reserves. I saw a butterfly flit past me as I was at Cliffe last Wednesday as we removed the skip full of 1.56 tons of plastic from the River Thames foreshore. Even on a brief glimpse, I reckon it was a Wall Brown, which of course is a fairly regular sighting along the sea wall, but a little later in the year. The first one…

    • 26 Feb 2019
  • Final score on the door for last Saturdays' Cliffe Plastic Clean-up.

    I am pleased to announce the final tonnage for the clean-up is an amazing 1.56, in round figures one and a half tons. So add that to the (in round figures) three and a half tons of last year that's an impressive 5 tons! A big thank you again to all the lovely volunteers who made the effort to give up their Saturday morning and early afternoon. 

    • 21 Feb 2019
  • Latest Cliffe Thames Plastic Clean-up.

    Yesterday’s Thames Cliffe Marshes Plastic Clean up was the first of the year and importantly a year since we did the very first one… amazingly February 2018, when we removed from the tide-line as I recall 1.96 tons of plastic and I had an overwhelming 80 volunteers turn up.

     

     Over the year we collected an amazing 3.5 tons in total with two more in May and October and a couple of mini ones thrown in for good…

    • 17 Feb 2019
  • Paul Keenes funeral.

    Yesterday Will Tofts the RSPB Warden for the North Kent Marshes and I went to the Thames View Crematorium to say goodbye to our good friend and defender of the Marsh Paul. The tone was set from the outset to be an uplifting occasion, a celebration of a full and fulfilled life. His younger brother Roger read 'A Short Walk Through Paul's Life'. Towards the end of the proceedings, we were all invited to quietly reflect on…

    • 8 Feb 2019
  • Views of Northward Hill.

    This year I am going to take a picture of Northward Hill from the same vantage point i.e. a 'pull in' along the top road entrance track every week to keep a record of the changing seasons. Today is the fifth one, being the beginning of February. Yesterday I went up there to get a picture of the hill in the snow as all the surrounding villages had had a substantial fall overnight. Amazingly and confusingly none of the…

    • 4 Feb 2019
  • Some images of the week.

                              

                                                                                     

     

          Thanks to Daniel Lambe-Hyner for the images of Widgeon on the reserve plus Common Buzzard and Kestrel.

    • 3 Feb 2019
  • RSPB Gravesend Local Group February Events.

    Saturday 2 February     10am - 4pm
    Rainham marshes rspb (wc)
    Meet in the reserve car park RM19 1SX (TQ551790).  Waders & wildfowl with a view of the barn owl perhaps. In the reed beds: bearded tits, reed buntings & stonechats.  Bring binoculars if you have them and a packed lunch.  Outdoor meetings are free of charge.
    Thursday 14 February  7:30pm - 9:45pm          
    Northfleet School for Girls, Hall Road, Gravesend DA11 8AL
    “Shetland…
    • 26 Jan 2019
  • This weeks Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS count)

    The following birds were counted on the day here at Northward Hill RSPB Reserve:- A Bewick's Swan, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Buzzards, 125 Coot, 2 Cormorant, 7 Curlew, 15 Gadwall, 1 Green Sandpiper, 10 Grey Heron, 5 Greylag Geese, 2 Mallard, 20 Shoveller, 27 Snipe, 167 Teal, 537 Wigeon. 37 Mallard, 4 Marsh Harrier, 4 Mute Swans, 1 Pintail, 2 Pochard,

      

                                                                                                                                   

    • 24 Jan 2019
  • Paul Keene. RIP, Sadly missed.

    Many of you will be aware now that Paul died last Wednesday a few days after his 85th birthday, he was a member of the Gravesend Group and a great supporter for many years of the North Kent Marshes. Malcolm Jenning of the group has written about him and it says everything you need to know about this exceptional man. I will miss him greatly, Malcolm also sent a couple of photos of him.

    'Paul Keene loved the north Kent…

    • 21 Jan 2019
  • Fantastic North Kent Marshes RSPB Reserves.

    The North Kent Marshes in winter is a magical place, where you can see winter thrushes, Redwing and Fieldfare in huge numbers but, many other birds like Lapwing in good numbers.

    So onto this week what birds are about? So let’s start at the top and go for it and that has to be James McCormiskey’s sighting of a Bittern at Shorne Marsh yesterday. The Bittern a ‘bogey bird’ for quite a few birders, fairly frequent at Dungeness…

    • 17 Jan 2019
  • River Thames Plastic Clean-up.

    Today Belinda Lamb and I went out beyond the RSPB Reserve on to the River Thames Port of London Authority foreshore/tideline, so essentially further than Redham wall and Alpha pipe line aznd as far as Lower Hope point. This is pretty must where we have been been before for 3 plus 2 of last years Clean-ups.

    Slightly disappointingly a lot of what we had once cleared was still there, whether it had returned or had just been…

    • 10 Jan 2019
  • The first River Thames Plastic Clean-up of 2019.

    As a joint venture between various bodies I am organising the first of the year, Belinda Lamb of The Guardians of the Deep and I will be going out onto the North Kent Marsh next week to decide which section we will target. After seeing the images captured by David Burridge I'm guessing already it will be more or less in the same place, but of course it will depend on how many volunteers we have on the day.

    So now…

    • 4 Jan 2019
  • First week of a new year

    Today was a beautifully sunny, but cold morning on the reserve here at RSBP Northward Hill and the real start back this week for most. Christmas and New Year are over for another year and the kids are back at school.

    There are plenty of thing to see, including the stunning Fieldfares and the equally fantastic Redwing, two birds of a feather that nearly always flock together. Both can be fairly difficult to get close…

    • 4 Jan 2019
  • Great news re Lodge Hill.

    Homes England, who currently own and maintain the disused Army Depot in Chattenden, have recently announced they have scaled back their plans to build houses on the site. It was you will remember initially going to be 5,000 when it was owned by Land Securities, they then pulled out and H E took over and announced it was to be 2,000, some of which would be on the S.S.S.I. and hugely threaten the wildlife, not least of…

    • 18 Dec 2018