Kent Ornithological Society – Annual General Meeting – April 11th 2019

The Society’s Annual General Meeting will take place on the evening of Thursday April 11th, at 7.45pm at Grove Green Community Centre, Penshurst Close, Maidstone Kent ME14 5BT.


  1. President’s introduction Chris Cox
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of the last meeting
  4. Matters arising
  5. Chairman’s report Martin Coath
  6. Report of the Editorial and Records Committee Barry Wright
  7. Report of the Conservation and Surveys Committee Murray Orchard
  8. Treasurers report Mike Henty
  9. Election of Officers Martin Coath

Please do come along to this important meeting. There are a number of issues facing KOS and we need to discuss our future development with our members. Tea and coffee is also available!

You can read the draft minutes from the 2018 AGM here:
Draft Minutes 67th AGM 5th April 2018

Members (and others) might be interested in the Bird Survey and ID courses being held by the BTO at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory in the coming summer.

The Bird Survey Course is on Friday, May 10, 2019 – 16:00 to Sunday, May 12, 2019 – 14:00 being led by Nick Moran. Details:

Bird Survey Course

The Observatory is also hosting a Bird ID course led by Steve Piotrowski on Sunday, September 29, 2019 – 16:00 to Thursday, October 3, 2019 – 14:00. Details:

Bird ID Course

These are both residential courses, but there are also non-residential options available for both. It is great to have such high quality courses offered by BTO staff available in Kent as they are always well-received and come highly recommended.

Grey Partridge

KOS March Outdoor Meeting

Ray O’Reilly writes:
“Once again it was a good turn for today’s KOS Outdoor meeting” (March 31st) “despite it being Mother’s Day. The brisk cold Nor’easterly breeze gave the day a wintery feel. We started the day at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory where we walked to the Restharrow Scrape after looking around the garden, we went up to the coastguards, where we had a brief seawatch and a stroll up the side of the golf links. We retraced our steps and cut through The Elms before returning to the Obs for a coffee break.

We then drove to the Chequers and birded that area. Highlights were numerous Greenfinches (a refreshing change), 44 Brent Geese, 2 Gannets, Red-throated Diver, 2 Sandwich Terns, 7 Goldcrest, several Chiffchaff, 5 Swallows, a pair of Grey Partridge and a very smart male Black Redstart.

We headed off to have lunch at the viewing ramp at Grove Ferry/Stodmarsh NNR. We visited the David Feast and Marsh Hides and walked up the River Stour finding a lovely Water Pipit, 15+ Snipe, Green Sandpiper, 50+ Sand Martins and 30+ Swallows and a House Martin was seen, we finished around 5pm.

Our next outing will be April 28th, followed by May 12th and June 2nd.
Contact me, closer to the time for venue details.”

Little Terns at South Swale LNR

South Swale is a large and dramatic coastal nature reserve home to a wide variety of wildlife. It is also one of the last places in Kent where Little Terns have successfully bred.

These charismatic beach nesting birds are very vulnerable to disturbance and in a bid to give them a helping hand, we are looking to recruit volunteer Little Tern Wardens. The role of the volunteer wardens will be to monitor the little terns and raise awareness with the public about the importance of giving them space to nest and rear their young.

We need volunteers throughout the breeding season from May until the end of July and there are bookable slots (usually 4 hours). Training and support from staff wardens will be provided. If you think this may be of interest to you, please contact of the Kent Wildlife Trust and Swale Area Warden.

AGM- 11th April – Nominations to the Executive Committee

As usual the AGM will be asked to elect officers to serve on the Executive Committee for the following year. There are currently three vacancies on the committee:

  • Indoor meeting organiser
  • Archivist & Database Manager
  • Ordinary member

We would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in joining the committee. The committee usually meets three times in central Kent and conducts other business by e-mail throughout the year. We are particularly interested in members with IT skills and experience.

If you would like to know more about what is involved please contact Chairman:

Nominations should be sent to the Honorary Secretary: by 4th April


Archivist/Data base Manager
Robin Mace has for a number of years done an excellent job looking after the ornithological data base on behalf of the KOS. This involves organising data from a number of sources (e.g.: BirdTrack and the KOS online database) to ensure that a lasting archive is kept and data is available to help write the annual Kent Bird Report. Robin has decided to step down from his role as archivist and data base manager and we need to find someone with the appropriate experience of managing databases to take on this important role. Robin has agreed to stay on to ensure that there is an effective handover and is prepared to train someone for the role. If you think that you could take on this role or know anyone with the appropriate experience, please contact our Chairman Martin Coath:

Houses planned for former Conyer Brickworks site

A planning application has been submitted to Swale Borough Council for the construction of 24 houses on the site of the old Conyer brickworks. The KOS has lodged an objection based on the presence of important populations of several red and amber listed species, and one Schedule 1 species, including Nightingale and Turtle Dove.
The deadline for objections has now passed.

18/506460/FULL | Erection of 24 dwellings together with associated infrastructure, open space, landscaping, access works and Bird Viewing Tower. | Former Conyer Brickworks Conyer Quay Conyer Kent ME9 9HJ

Comments may be made:
Online https://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/
By email
In writing:
Mid Kent Planning Support
Maidstone House
King Street
ME15 6JQ

With reference: 18/506460/FULL

Lodge Hill threat removed

The RSPB has welcomed the announcement by Homes England of its intention to avoid building housing on the Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest (Medway, Kent). This nationally protected site holds the UK’s most important population of the rare and declining nightingale.
A substantial issue remains to be resolved, which is that housing may still be proposed directly adjacent to the site. This has the potential to be very damaging to the nightingales.
However, Homes England has signalled it understands the issue, and is keen to work with the RSPB and other stakeholders.
Chris Corrigan, the RSPB’s Director for England, said:

“All the thousands of people who have campaigned over many years to save Lodge Hill and its nightingales can feel their voice has been heard. We commend Homes England for listening and making amendments to its plans.
“There is still some way to go, but today is an important step in the right direction, and we will continue to encourage Homes England to ensure that their final plans fully safeguard Lodge Hill and its wildlife for the nation.”

Lodge Hill: Photo: RSPB
Photo: RSPB
RSPB Campaign Page


KOS February outdoor meeting

Ray O’Reilly writes:
“A great turn out today for this month’s KOS Field Outing to Dungeness area. A hovering Barn Owl en route next to the road was a good omen. Four Cattle Egrets were feeding in a pasture near Cook’s Pool and we watched them going to roost early evening from the Hanson Hide. Part of the group came with me to Pett Levels and the others walked around the reserve with Lyn. At Pett we saw many freshwater birds including 4 Ruff, on the sea a flock of around 120 Common Scoter contained two Velvets, Fulmars were flying to and fro and were already on the cliffs, Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Guillemots were also present. A visit to Jury’s Gap, Scotney Gravel Pits, Horsebones’ and Cockles’ Bridge gave us Bewicks and Whooper Swans and no less than three perched Peregrines were admired this morning. Meanwhile on the reserve Tree Sparrows, a drake Smew, Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler (seen well) were all added. We had lunch at the Bird Observatory before visiting Lydd Gravel Pits, a seawatch by the fishing boats and early evening at the ARC Pit, Mediterranean Gull and Black-necked Grebe were the pick of the birds there. 88 Species recorded.
Our next outing will be March 31st, followed by April 28th, May 12th and June 2nd.
Contact me closer to the time for venue details.”

Major threat to habitats along the South Swale: New Application Submitted

Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd are proposing to develop a solar park on the north Kent coast, at a site located roughly one mile northeast of Faversham, three miles west of Whitstable and situated closest to the village of Graveney.

The Planning Inspectorate is required by law to make the information that you provide in any representation publicly available.
Planning Documents

The Cleve Hill Solar Park proposal is for a large array of solar panels, arranged on an east-west axis, projected to generate up to 350 megawatts of power. The developers claim it could provide enough electricity to power over 110,000 homes.

KOS is opposed to this huge and potentially very damaging development
and is working to support other conservation bodies who are also objecting
to the scheme.

The deadline for registering as an Interested Party is now passed. The
next stage will be a Preliminary Meeting and the Examination, during which
time Interested Parties will have the opportunity to provide more details
of their views in writing.

Cleve Hill Proposals Map

Cleve Hill Solar can be contacted at
Cleve Hill Solar Park Website

Data Protection

Kent Ornithological Society has reviewed the way it uses and stores personal data so that it can meet the requirements of the new data protection regulations (GDPR). As a result, it has agreed a privacy policy to make it clear what data the society holds and how it uses it.
Privacy Policy

Barn Owl, 11/02/16, Steve Ashton

Updated Member’s Blog

KOS member Steve Ashton has updated his photo blog at a new web address, with some stunning images.
See Steve’s Photographic Journal

New Kent List published

An updated and easier-to-use version of The Kent List has been published. Dating back to 1781, maintained by Keith Privett, the page lists all species reported in Kent.
Kent List

Honorary Life Vice Presidents

Congratulations to John Cantelo and John Hollyer on being elected Honorary Life Vice Presidents of the Society. This recognises the contribution that both these long-serving members have made to birding in Kent and to the Society over many years.

Tetrad Atlas

Kent Ornithological Society’s Tetrad Atlas

The KOS Tetrad Atlas has been restored and is now available on this website.
Features: distribution maps for the New Breeding and Winter Tetrad Atlas projects (2007-13), maps for the Second Breeding Atlas (1988-94) and First Breeding Atlas (1967-73).

Tetrad Atlas

Can you help to save Little Terns in Kent?

Little Terns, once abundant and regular around the Kent coast, are now struggling to survive as a breeding species in the county.

Many of the traditional breeding sites have now been abandoned through pressures from human disturbance, predation and possibly reduced feeding opportunities.

One of the few remaining sites on the North Kent coast at Castle Coote near Seasalter is under the management of Kent Wildlife Trust, but breeding success has not been recorded for over 10 years, although some pairs do attempt to breed most summers.  One pair was seen incubating in 2016, but the nest was subsequently abandoned, with human disturbance being the likely cause.Little Tern
Little Tern Photo: Steve Ashton

Protection measures such as electric fencing, trail cameras and clear signage, as well as attraction methods like decoys and audio devices, are known to be more effective when supported by the presence of seasonal wardens. Warden support is required during the breeding season between 1st May and 31st August, ideally providing rota presence seven days a week.

Kent Wildlife Trust is seeking volunteers to carry out this protection by deterring human disturbance around the breeding colony, educating visitors to the reserve and monitoring wildlife activity and sightings.  If you would be interested in helping with this project or require more details, please contact
Kevin Duvall
Kent Wildlife Trust Swale Area Warden

Phone: 07889 822408

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.