Northward Hill

Northward Hill
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  • Blog Post: Swifts, swiftly gone

    A few blogs ago I was writing about how short a period some of our summer migrants are with us on the reserve. Now as I haven't seen a Swift overhead at Northward Hill or Cliffe Pools for about 2/3 weeks I can safely say most have left to begin their long journey south. Seemingly one minute they’re...
  • Blog Post: Gravesend Local Group visit to Cliffe Pools.

    Group Visit to Cliffe Pools Posted: 23 Aug 2016 02:13 PM PDT We knew that the black-winged stilts and the mediterranean gulls would have already left their breedings sites at Cliffe but Sally counted about 30 little egrets loafing around the edges of the pools. With the temperature just a fraction...
  • Blog Post: RSPB Medway Local Group

    I am pleased to announce the RSPB Medway Local Group held a Bootfair at Greenfields site in St Anthonys' Way in Strood and raised £124.00, so we thank all the MLG members who kindly donated the goods to sell. We will not be holding another Bootfair until next Spring next year, we will provide...
  • Blog Post: Big Wild Sleep Out

    I can't believe it's nearly a week since the B.W.S.O.! And what another success it was, this annual event at Northward Hill RSPB Reserve just goes from strength to strength, making it not only one of the best in the South-East, but possibly the Country. This is down to the sheer hard work of...
  • Blog Post: Entomology and Etymology

    The first one is the study of insects and the second the study of words, both similar words and so I decided to bring the two together and look at the origin of some common nature names, like caterpillar, butterfly, hoverfly and Crane flies, Some are fairly obvious, Hover Flies are flies that hover,...
  • Blog Post: Dragons and Damsels of Northward Hill

    By Julian McManus, RSPB North Kent Marshes Residential Volunteer The weather was brightening up after weeks of storms. And although the songs of spring had subsided, the countryside was far from calm. The frantic din of summer insects filled the meadows & verges with a cacophonous buzzing and...
  • Blog Post: Giving Nature a home.

    Yesterday afternoon for the third year in a row I was lucky enough have a Hummingbird Hawkmoth visit our front garden gathering nectar from the lavender, a truly amazing moth aptly named as it flitted from frond to frond, then zoomed off. Amazing enough in itself. We have also had a Privet Hawkmoth....
  • Blog Post: Bye-bye to old friends already.

    Its really hard to imagine that on the 11th of April I reported the first Cuckoos arriving at Northward Hill RSPB reserve and here now on the 9th of July I am reporting the last one heard was on the 26th of June and the last one I saw was a female on the 3rd of July. Which in essence, taking an average...
  • Blog Post: Red-backed Shrike and red-trousered Hobby's.

    This weekend has been quite nice weather-wise well apart from a downpour yesterday afternoon, so all in all it has been perfect for a walk onto the North Kent Marshes to see what is around. Really the best bird of the weekend has been the relatively long-stay Red-backed Shrike at Allhallows. It was...
  • Blog Post: 'What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours.......

    brought the sun and the flowers where there used to be rain'. If only that were the case. Where the leave vote leaves the future of our nature is anyones' guess, only time will tell. On the positive side the sun did shine today and so the insects and butterflies took advantage. I saw in...
  • Blog Post: ....and still it rains!

    Last night (Wednesday) it was torrential and that doesn't really bode well for the nesting parents especially the ground nesting waders etc. As I sat in Gordons' Hide I contemplated how difficult it must be for birds to raise a brood. Not only are there myriad corvids everywhere, any number of...
  • Blog Post: RSPB and the E.U

    The RSPB has been carefully considering the opportunities and challenges that the forthcoming referendum on continued UK membership of the EU poses for delivery of our charitable objects: to promote the conservation of biodiversity and inspire a world richer in nature for public benefit. We recognise...
  • Blog Post: Rubbish and rubbish weather.

    Yesterday at Cliffe pools I bumped into two very nice gentlemen, who informed me they were doing a bug survey for Bio-scan. I have heard of Bio-scan and their own blurb states:- Bioscan is one of the UK’s longest established environmental consultancies specialising in applied ecology; they said...
  • Blog Post: Flies, flies and damned fly-tippers!!!.

    This week I thought I'd have a look at flies again, not everyones favourites I'll grant you but as the more popular and interesting insects are taking their time to emerge this week I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to illustrate that actually they can be colourful if not downright beautiful...
  • Blog Post: Family fun day, yesterday (01/06/16)

    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...
  • Blog Post: Family Fun Day at Northward Hill

    Family Fun Day Hosted by RSPB Medway Local Group Wednesday 1st June 11am – 3pm at RSPB Northward Hill Nature Reserve, Bromhey Farm, Cooling, ME3 8DS A great opportunity for the whole family to explore and learn. Pond dipping, bug sweeping, arts & crafts, bug hotels,...
  • Blog Post: Mini beasts

    Hoverflies. Although these brightly-coloured insects look like bees or wasps, they are in fact true flies and do not sting. Hoverflies are excellent examples of one insect looking like another insect. They generally mimic bees and wasps – insects that sting and also taste unpleasant, so are...
  • Blog Post: Kelly Tolhursts' visit to Northward Hill RSPB

    The nightingale has be gun another breeding season in Kent – but for how long? After having spent winter in Africa, one of our most beloved songbirds, the iconic nightingale, has returned to spend the summer in Kent. They were welcomed home by Nightingale Species Champion Kelly Tolhurst MP at...
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  • Blog Post: Walking at Northward Hill

    This weeks' blog is a little delayed as I was going to wait for an RSPB press release jointly with Kelly Tolhursts office. For those of you who aren't aware Kelly is the MP for Rochester and Strood. She has recently agreed to be Species Champion for Nightingales which is fantastic news for the...
  • Blog Post: Snakes, lizards and turtles (doves that is!)

    Grass snakes are reasonably common round the reserve and can be seen near any body of water beaking around for its favourite food especially abundant at this time, small fish, newts. tadpoles and frogs. It is the countries largest snake growing up to 1.5 metres, but more usually 90cms or 3 foot as we...
  • Blog Post: Turtle Doves, then and now (or where are they now?)

    Why firstly the name, where do Turtles fit into this? Well the wing pattern is reminiscent of a Turtle shell and bear in mind some of these birds go back hundreds of years to a time when some of our species were far more plentiful and just seen as an endless commodity for man's usage as he/she saw...
  • Blog Post: Northward Hills' hill and a shady past.

    The hill of Northward Hill RSPB Reserve dominates the marsh and affords fantastic views over to the River Thames and beyond to Essex. In the distance towards the river can be seen the old disused pub, Shade House seemingly in the middle of nowhere and not the sort of place you would take the family...
  • Blog Post: Lodge Hill and the Nightingales, update.

    What’s happening at Lodge Hill? Written by Stephanie Landymore, Parliamenary Caampaigns Officer. Last year, nightingales were added to the UK red list of endangered birds for the first time; after the last census revealed there are now fewer than 6,000 singing males in our country, a shocking...
  • Blog Post: New arrivals and old friends.

    Well what a week its been here at Northward Hill RSPB reserve. You wait weeks for a migrant to turn then a whole bunch turn up together. As reported earlier in the week, the Cuckoo and the Nightingale are arrriving and there are quite a few Whitethroats here now claiming territories and singing already...