2018 Annual KOS Conference
Saturday November 3rd 2018, Chaucer College, Canterbury
Our conference this year explores many ways in which watching and counting birds can help improve their lives. We are delighted to welcome, among others, Mark Avery, the well known wildlife campaigner, and the Director of the BTO, Andy Clements, who will address KOS members in Kent for the first time.
Places are limited – please book early!
Andy Clements Director of the BTO
Mark Avery Wildlife Campaigner
Nicole Khan RSPB: Turtle Doves Project
Will Tofts Warden, Northward Hill RSPB Reserve Carol Donaldson Country side Consultations
Dr Sara Zonnenfeld University of Exeter
Steffan Walton Sandwich Bay BO
Kent bird artists, Norman McCanch and Ian Rendall will be exhibiting work.
£25.00 for current KOS members,
£30.00 Guests & non-KOS members
, £10.00 Under-25s
Includes: refreshments on arrival, morning coffee, lunch
Ray O’Reilly writes:
The day started well with views of a juvenile Spoonbill near the ARC Pit, from the Hanson Hide we had nice views of a Wood Sandpiper, a few Golden Plovers, Swifts, Black Terns, Yellow Wagtails and a Greenshank. The nearby viewing blind gave us a Garganey that was found by Lys Muirhead.
We then made a detour to the Bird Observatory who kindly showed us a Red-backed Shrike in the hand.
We moved onto the main part of the RSPB Reserve before lunch and viewed several areas along Burrows’ Pit where we soon found the juvenile American Black Tern that had been present since Tuesday 21 along with a superb adult Roseate Tern in breeding plumge. Ruff, Little Ringed Plovers and Common Sandpipers were enjoyed.
After lunch we carried out a seawatch of around 1.25 hours from the beach hide in heavy rain 2 Arctic Skuas, 4 Black Terns and a juvenile Arctic Tern were the highlights. We finished the afternoon at Galloways on the Lydd Ranges seeing Wheatears and Stonechats before calling it a day. 81 species recorded but not Robin or Dunnock that’s birding for you!
Next outing 16 Sept. Contact me for details nearer the time.
Ray O’Reilly 07831-362502”
Cleve Hill Solar Park at Graveney
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 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.
Phase Two Consultations have now ended.
The scale of the development has not significantly reduced since the Phase One Consultation, but there have been some changes:
The development will be set back 60 metres from the Saxon Shore Way
The developers are working with Kent County Council to enhance the public rights of way with a possibility of including permissive pathways, cycleways or bridleways across the site.
The number of panels has been reduced. None will be placed at Cleve Hill Lane, and there are proposed screening mitigation near to neighbouring properties at Nagden, Warm House and Cleve Hill, including a community orchard at Graveney Hill.
A habitat management steering group has been set up with Natural England, RSPB and Kent Wildlife Trust.
Cleve Hill Solar can be contacted at
Cleve Hill Solar Park Website
Lodge Hill once more under threat
In September 2014, Medway Council approved a planning application for 5,000 houses that would directly destroy 144ha of Lodge Hill SSSI (and an estimated 80% of the territories of the Nightingale population,) and have a severe impact on the rest of the 351ha SSSI. In 2012, a full survey estimated there were 85 singing males. In 2017, thanks to a public campaign, the decision was ‘called in’ by Government (in other words, it was deemed to be a decision of such national importance that it ought to be determined by the Secretary of State) and was subsequently withdrawn.
Now, in 2018, Medway Council have submitted a new Draft Plan which again includes Lodge Hil. There will be a new campaign and request for responses.
RSPB Campaign Page
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.
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.
Bird Surveys at Chartwell- can you help?
The National Trust are looking for local bird watchers to help with bird surveys at Chartwell as part of an initiative to improve the habitat management on the estate and in surrounding woodlands.
If you are interested please contact Fraser Williamson (Countryside Ranger) National Trust, Chartwell.
Kent Ornithological Society’s Tetrad Atlas has been restored and is now available on this website.
The primary aim of this project is to document the distribution of breeding bird species in the county and to highlight changes that have occurred since the previous two atlases. This information is vital to identify declining species, as well as those that are doing well, to assist in formulating plans to ensure the continued health of our natural environment.
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 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
Kent Wildlife Trust Swale Area Warden
Phone: 07889 822408
The Kent List
An updated version of The Kent List is now available.
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.