Ray O' Reilly, trip leader writes:- "The July 2022 Kent Ornithological Society Field Outing took place on Sunday 24th. We spent the morning visiting Cliffe Pools RSPB and drove to Oare Marshes NR for the afternoon.

 We seem to have reached a default pattern of weather for these outings nowadays that is dry (hot), sunny and very very windy! We managed 70 species but it was difficult recording many passerines (small song birds). Our participants were a diverse group that included a very keen 8 year old called Daniel Hale whose grandfather was a famous ornithologist who worked with Eric Hosking! 

Ray O' Reilly, leader of KOS Field trips lists the following dates:-

Following our meeting early this year we were encouraged by KWT’s plans for Oare Marshes particularly in terms of re-establishing control of water levels.

Now that the sluice is once again operational and shallow water with muddy areas is reappearing the promise of an exciting autumn beckons. Both wader numbers and their variety have responded well.  There is too, a chance of seeing  the Night Heron making its dusk flight into the East Flood.

We are sure that KOS members are aware that Avian Influenza, or 'Bird Flu', is currently a major problem, with high levels of sickness and mortality seen in many areas, including Kent.

 Defra advice is clear.  If you find a dead or dying bird, avoid touching it directly if possible. If you have to move a dead bird please use protective gloves or a plastic bag and dispose of the bird by wrapping it and putting it in your general household waste, making sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Any dead waterfowl, seabirds, or birds of prey, as well as other wild birds if five or more are found, should be reported to Defra. You can contact them on 03459 33 55 77, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have visited any of the reserves or birding sites in Kent,  it is recommended that you wash or use anti-bacteria lotion on your hands before leaving. 

With regard to bird feeders in our gardens, it is always advisable to keep your feeders clean using a mild (1:20) disinfectant/water solution. Don't leave old food on the feeders, always change water daily, and wash your hands thoroughly when finished. 

Hopefully by following these guidelines we can help in some way to prevent this terrible disease from spreading. 

 

Ray O'Reilly, KOS Outdoor Meetings Organiser, writes 

Last year’s national Turtle Dove survey confirms the fears that numbers are precariously low with an estimate of only 2,100 pairs in England. The sobering reality is that in the 1970s the population was estimated at 125,000.  A 98% decline in such an iconic species during the lifetime of many active bird watchers means that it’s slipping from the consciousness of the wider public.  Will turtle doves only linger as a Christmas card image?

But there is hope.......

Murray Orchard, Chairman of the KOS Surveys and Conservation Committee,  writes:-

Ray O' Reilly, KOS Outdoor Meetings organiser, writes:

We carried out our Annual Nightjar walk on the evening of Friday 27th May, meeting in the carpark ar Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve.  A Song Thrush serenaded our arrival, and numerous Willow Warblers sang and, at times, showed themselves in the  Birch trees.  We recorded at least double figures of the species.  Stonechats and obliging Cuckoos were also seen, but the highlight was the group seeing up to six Nightjars well, with a pair calling and wing-clapping above our heads.  The sight of these lovely enigmatic birds added their usual magic to a clear still dusk in early Summer woodland, and a very happy group of members made their way back to the carpark!

 

Ray O'Reilly reports on the latest KOS field meeting which this month visited Stodmarsh.

An article from Kent Wildlife Trust

KWT writes: “There has been much comment on water level management at Oare Marshes, especially over the last two years, during which we’ve experienced different climatic conditions. KWT hopes this article will give KOS members an insight into the water management that is currently possible at Oare, and Kent Wildlife Trust’s future plans for the reserve.The whole article can be read here.

Join KOS

KOS logo 72 Help support the work of KOS to record and monitor bird life in Kent by becoming a member

Membership costs £12 a year. Member benefits include:

  • A free copy of the annual Kent Bird Report
  • Regular newsletters throughout the year
  • Special access to the bird sighting database
  • On line meetings and talks
  • Free guided field trips
  • Discount on the Kent Breeding Atlas

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The Kent Ornithological Society was founded in 1952

Our aims are to record and monitor the county’s bird life providing both an accurate historical record of Kent’s birds but equally importantly providing data that can be used to help protect valuable habitats from development and other threats.

In doing this, we seek increase knowledge and understanding of birds and their habitats in the county and encourage and support people seeking to take up birdwatching as a hobby.

Membership of the society is open to all and costs £12 a year. Members receive a free copy of the annual Kent Bird Report and regular electronic newsletters. See details

The Society runs regular indoor talks at a central location in Maidstone and an outdoor programme of field meetings. They are opportunities for both beginners and experienced birdwatchers to meet others in the county and to develop their knowledge and skills.

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