New sightings database coming soon
Good progress has been made in developing a replacement database for observers to post sightings and enter their bird records. The new system is being trialled and a few remining issues are being sorted out. We anticipate that the system will be available just after Christmas
Kent listers page updated
After several additions to the Kent list in the last year, Geoff Burton has updated the Kent listers page
A short article on the history of Kent listing has been added to the Articles page
Save Swanscombe Marshes
KOS Chairman sets out the case for saving Swanscombe Marshes
Save Swanscombe Marshes
Another important wildlife habitat in Kent is under threat. Please join the protest to let decision makers and investors know what they want to destroy.
October field meeting -report
A report from the latest KOS field meeting to the Isle of Sheppey led by Ray and Lyn is on the events page
Sightings database – update
The sightings database not only provided an easy way for observers to submit their records but also gave people and opportunity to see a summary of what had been seen around the county. For technical reasons we had to take the old site down earlier this year. A new database has been developed and is currently being piloted and tested. Although we had optimistically hoped that the database would be up and running by end of September, it is now looking more like Christmas before it will be fully functional. However the new facility is a significant improvement of the old database and it will be worth the wait.
The Kent list moves on.
The British Birds Rarities Committee has accepted the sightings of Common Nighthawk, Masked Shrike and Eye-browed Thrush in Kent. These are all new species for the county and the Kent List has now moved on to 426. Records of White-throated Sparrow and Eastern Yellow Wagtail which would also be new for the county remain to be assessed by the BBRC.
Kent Bird Report 2019
The latest Kent Bird Report should now be with members. As well as providing an account of birds recorded during the year, the report also includes articles on breeding bird surveys and roof nesting gulls and recent occurrences of Pine Bunting/Yellowhammer hybrids in Kent. The report is free to KOS members. Membership costs only £12 a year. Click here to join
KOS Member Outdoor Meetings
Latest Cliffe Pools and Northward Hill outdoor meeting write-up from Ray O’Reilly Events Programme page.
The latest KOS newsletter is now available for members. Articles in this month’s newsletter include, the status of rare breeding birds in Kent, Stints and peeps in Kent, swift nest boxes, the changing arrival dates of spring migrants and a summary of recent sightings in the county. The newsletter is sent electronically free to all KOS members. It only costs £12 pa to be a member of KOS. Join here
KOS Conference 2021
The continuing uncertainty about mass gatherings and reluctance among members to attend a face to face event has meant that we have reluctantly cancelled the conference planned for November. However, we do intend to use our booked speakers for a series of Winter talks online which will be free, and which we hope will go some way towards compensating for the cancellation of the conference.
KOS Member Outdoor Meetings
Dates are now available for future member field trips on the Events Programme page.
Turtle Dove Survey
Many thanks to those involved in this year’s Turtle Dove survey. The survey is entering its last phase with the second site visit required before 31st July. This is particularly important as many migrants were known to have arrived late this year. Information about the survey has been updated on the survey page.
Martin Casemore’s blog, Plodding Birder has been added to the members’ blog page.
Glossy Ibis removed from list of species requiring descriptions
Glossy Ibis is now considered to be a regular visitor to the county with many individuals staying for several months. As a result records after 1st January 2021 will no longer have to be supported by a description.
Additions to the Kent List
The British Ornithological Union, the guardian of the official British list has recently accepted the record of a Brown Booby at Swalecliffe on 19th August 2019 as the first national record. The bird was seen and photographed by local Swalecliffe birders, Geoff Burton, Andy Taylor and Ted Lee. A number of other potential county firsts have been recorded during the last year including, Common Nighthawk, Masked Shrike, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Crag Martin, White-throated Sparrow, and Eye-browed Thrush. These records are subject to the scrutiny of the national and Kent records committees.
Draft minutes of 2021 AGM
KOS May Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly has provided a report on the latest outdoor meeting. https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
We are having our next Field Trip on June 20th 2021
Sorry, but due to covid restrictions KOS members only for the time being.
KOS April Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly reports on April’s field meeting. https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
The KOS Annual Report and Accounts 2020
70th Annual General Meeting of the Kent Ornithological Society
Wednesday 7th April 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom
The Agenda and nominations for officers can be found via this link
The KOS Turtle Dove Survey 2021
The KOS Turtle Dove Survey 2021 needs your help!
We’ve now allocated 64% of squares!
However, the majority are in East Kent and we need a greater uptake of squares in the Weald area, from Tonbridge to Tenterden.
Many thanks to those who’ve volunteered so far. With almost 80% of squares taken up, another set have been added and are available to survey. Please take a look and see if there’s one near you!
Please see the link below for details of how to take part and to select a square for survey:
Additional Turtle Dove Records
If people know of sites where they regularly record Turtle Doves, which are not included in the selected survey squares, please go ahead and survey if you are able and wish to do so. However, it’s important that you note the 1km square reference and that you survey the whole square using the instructions and recording form provided on the survey website. These squares will not be displayed on the survey map but the results will be used in the survey. Please submit results to the survey organiser as directed on the website.
Please submit all other records of Turtle Doves, outside the survey, to BirdTrack. Please give full details including date, accurate location (preferably 6-figure OS reference), number of birds, whether singing bird or pair etc plus any other relevant comments such as brief description of habitat. These casual records will be considered when the population estimate is calculated from the full survey results, and will be important for the Society records and contribution to RBBP.
KOS Outdoor Meetings 2021
Ray O’Reilly writes: We are pleased to announce the return of our Outdoor Meetings and plan to run two field trips in April. On each date will take ten members and split them into two groups one will be led by Lyn and the other myself. We will be in contact by mobile phone.
Bookings are open to members on a first come basis. Location is in Kent and will as always to be decided on during that week. I will inform all those that are booked on the trip:
All participants are advised to download the phone App RingGo and register their vehicle there as several Reserve car parks have installed this system of parking during lockdown.
KOS Outdoor Meeting
Follow this link to read Ray O’Reilly’s acount of October’s field meeting https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
Our November Field Trips are cancelled due to new regulations but I have every hope of running two trips in December on the 18th and to work off that Christmas Pud on the 27th, please message me if you would like to attend as it is on a first contact basis. I will take bookings from now on.
KOS Outdoor Meeting
A report on the latest field meeting can be found here. Thanks to Ray O’Reilly as usual. https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
Our recent field trips were fully booked within two days of us publishing them. If you are interested in joining us on Sunday 25th October all day and Friday 30th October pm only, book early. We will take bookings from 1st October on a first come basis.
KOS Outdoor Meetings Announcement
We have made some changes to the way we are running outdoor meetings in response to the pandemic. https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
KOS August Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly has provided a report on August’s field meeting.
KOS Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
“I am pleased to announce that as from Sunday 30th August I will be running Social Distance Outdoor Field Meetings.
This will involve keeping the safe recommended distances (at present 2 Metres), not sharing Scopes, only travelling in vehicles with designated bubble buddy/ies, not using Visitor Centres, Bird Observatories, hides etc., until it is proclaimed safe to do so, bringing hand sanitizing gel, water, soap and a towel.
Despite these measures to keep us safe we will still see an exciting array of Kent’s avian delights, have fresh air and exercise and catch up with old friends or meet new ones.
Farmland Wildlife Surveys – volunteers needed
If interested, please view the attached for further information:
Farmland Wildlife Surveys
Have your say on changes to the Lower Thames Crossing
Views are currently being solicited by Highways England.
To have your say and/or view further information:
There are also to be a number of consultation events:
KOS February 2020 Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly reports on the latest KOS field meeting on Sheppey. https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
KOS January Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly reports on the KOS field trip to Dungeness in December in which 75 species were recorded: https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
Our next outing is Sunday February 9th.
Field Trips meet at 8am and the venues are announced near the time dependent on up-to-date bird news, with weather, wind and tide taken into consideration. Advised to always bring wellies, drinks and sandwiches.
KOS December Outdoor Meeting
KOS Outdoor Meeting, 28th December. Ray O’Reilly writes:
We had our final outdoor meeting of the decade starting at dawn and finishing at dusk at the car park of Stodmarsh NNR where a Tawny Owl showed; it was my first ever at this site. We had a predictably low turn out of members although those of us that did attend were glad to get out, have some exercise and fresh air, after several days of captivity and excess.
We were met with a mild dry windless day and this enabled good views of birds such as Hen Harrier, Water Rail, Bearded Tit, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Great White Egret, Cetti’s Warbler and Kingfisher. We recorded 57 species including at least 6 Chiffchaff and 300+ Fieldfare. The water levels were very high and the paths very squidgy. We also had a frustrating time with pipits seeing many but never getting clear views of anything other than Meadow Pipit.
Thanks to Liz Ackroyd for the photo of the Bearded Tit.
KOS November Outdoor Meeting
KOS Outdoor Meeting, 17th November. Ray O’Reilly writes:
We had a topsy-turvy penultimate Outdoor Meeting of the year in the Dungeness area today. We met at the Fishing Boats where a few Brent Geese, Kittiwake and a single Scoter were seen, a fishing boat sailed past gutting fish attracting many gulls and a small male Peregrine in pursuit.
Moving on we looked at the reinstated patch and watched eight Red-throated Divers move past in flight. We walked across the shingle and arrived spaced out at the moat when I picked out a bright juvenile Pallas’ Warbler, fairly low to the ground, loosely associated with some Goldcrests and Firecrests and at one point it hovered showing its lemon-yellow rump. Alas only three members saw the bird and apart from one other birder it wasn’t seen again for the rest of the day.
A phone call alerted us to a Stone Curlew on the beach near Greatstone and we were all soon enjoying scope views of this very special bird. Sandwich Terns were feeding close inshore and a selection of other waders were scoped. A very late lunch was had at the ARC Pit where Goldeneye, Cetti’s Warbler and another Firecrest were seen. We stayed out until dusk watching three Short-eared Owls, Golden Plovers and Red-legged Partridges on Lydd Ranges before calling it a day. Thanks to Martin Casemore for his photo and his help today and thanks to DBO for accommodating us with refreshments etc.
KOS October Outdoor Meeting
KOS Outdoor Meeting, 27th October. Ray O’Reilly writes:
Today’s outdoor meeting was greeted with some welcome October sunshine that lasted throughout the day and as a result a total of 90 Species were seen between us.
We commenced at the Raptor Watch Point, Capel Fleet watching Green Sandpipers, Corn Buntings and Stonechats and some large flocks of Linnets were studied. We moved from there to Shellness where we met the County Recorder Barry Wright and Young Birder of the Year, James King who told us of a drake Eider resting on the point. A large perched female Peregrine and a ringtail Hen Harrier were also enjoyed along with 8 Gannets and 3 Common Scoter. A walk to Harty Church over the very dry Swale Reserve gave us Cattle Egret and a Grey Wagtail.
After a quick lunch we headed off to Cliffe Pools and here we met Linturn Hopkins and Bernie Weight. The pits had benefited from the recent rain and the light was superb. The last few warblers, dragonflies and Butterflies were relishing the afternoon sun. 2 Greenshank, several Pintail, a redhead Goosander and a superb 1st Winter Grey Phalarope rounded the day off beautifully, a new bird for at least a couple of our members.
Thanks to Lyn for keeping order and to David Fenton-Scott for the photos.
KOS September Outdoor Meeting
The weather looked ideal for migrant birds for our KOS Outdoor Meeting at Dungeness on the 22nd September, Ray O’Reilly writes:
Sixteen of us met outside the Bird Observatory and ventured out into the Trapping Area around 8am we then walked up The Pilot Path before swinging round close to the Power Station perimeter fence and finally via the moat returning to the Obs. The going was slow, plenty of Swallows and Sand Martins passing through with Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Robins and Dunnocks in the bushes. A small group of Wheatear were seen here and later on in the morning also.
It started to rain fairly heavily so we visited the shelter of the Hanson and Screen Hides and worked the area close by. Great White and Cattle Egrets sat on a close by island, a few Pintail upended in the shallows, one or two juvenile Common Terns were hawking over the ARC Pit. We had our first Goldeneye of the autumn and a flock of 38 Golden Plover on the shingle gave us a couple of birds in mostly breeding plumage. Goldcrest and Yellow Wagtail was added to the day list.
We went to the reserve visitors centre for lunch, en route Brian had a pair of Whinchats. The reserve itself was quiet with very few migrants a ruby-eyed Black-necked Grebe was the pick of the bunch found by Ted.
Dave Perrin, John Thompson and Brian Crawford decided to go to the Fishing Boats for a seawatch adding Gannet, Arctic Skua, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern and Common Scoter. Taking our daily total to 76 Species seen. This was the first ever field trip that we did not record Blackbird!
Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) Open Day at Ham Fen on 28th September
The KWT are looking for helpers for their open day at Ham Fen on 28th September
You might recall this event was scheduled for July. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented the event from going ahead. They are now keeping their fingers crossed for clear skies this time!
The purpose of the day is to show people who made a donation to the Ham Fen appeal around the reserve. They will be taking them on guided tours throughout the day as they expect a large number of people to attend.
The KWT need volunteers to help them by greeting people, showing them where to park and perhaps assisting with the guided walks.
A message from Dr Mark Avery in reference to the Wild Justice e-petition calling for a ban of driven grouse shooting.
I have given talks to all of your groups in the past few years, including talking about the ecological damage and wildlife crime which emanates from intensive grouse shooting.
There is a new, just over a week old, petition calling for a ban of driven grouse shooting and I am asking for your help in promoting it.
The petition was set up by Chris Packham and has already gathered over 72,000 signatures in just over a week. That’s good going. But time is short because we need to get past 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in the Westminster Parliament to raise the profile of this issue. Although in theory we have until 13 February to get to 100,000 signatures it isn’t that simple as, if a general election is called (as seems likely some time this autumn) then all petitions are closed and we’d have to start again!
So I am asking for your help, please, whether you agree with the petition or not, to spread the word to your group and friends and colleagues.
There are four ways that you can help, please:
- sign the petition yourself
- forward this email to friends, family etc.
- include the link to the petition in any newsletter to your group: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/266770
- provide copies of a postcard we have produced to your group at its next meeting.
The first three of those things are pretty straightforward, I hope. I’d be very grateful, and so would Chris, for any support. The fourth would require you to send me the following information please: an address to which to send the postcards (and a name), a number of postcards requested, and the date of your meeting so that I can make a just-in-time decision to send them and plan postcard production accordingly, please.
Any help that you can give me would be very gratefully received – thank you.
Dr Mark Avery
Please sign the Wild Justice e-petition calling for a ban of driven grouse shooting
Wild Justice – Ban Driven Grouse Shooting
KOS August Outdoor Meeting
The August KOS Field Trip took place at Dungeness on the on the 18th August, Ray O’Reilly writes:
We had a particularly high turn out for today’s field trip to Dungeness including three debutantes, clocking up a staggering 94 Species all seen with a couple of other species just heard. We had seen 80 species by lunchtime (a record for us!).
We started and finished the day with a seawatch firstly from the hide and lastly from the fishing boats, many Gannets, Common and Sandwich Terns were present, 4 Common Scoter, Fulmar, 3 Kittiwakes and a dark morph Arctic Skua chasing terns. A flock of Turnstone were on the beach including a pristine bird in full breeding livery, Harbour Porpoise kept leaping out of the English Channel glistening in the sunshine.
We moved onto the Power Station, the area around the bird observatory including The Moat where we watched Wheatears, Black Redstarts, Stonechats, Whitethroats and Peregrines including the latter dive bombing a Common Buzzard. Many butterflies were recorded including Small Copper and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth was examined in the hand.
We made our way mid morning to the ARC Pit and went to the Hanson and Blind Hides and wandered up to the pines. An Osprey gave great views as it sailed over us, several Hobby, 4 Wood Sandpiper, Common and Little Gulls, Common Swift, Great White Egret, at least 8 Willow Warblers, 3 Garganey, 3 Little Ringed Plovers and a few Ruff were all additions for the day.
Lunch was had outside for most and inside Dennis’ Hide for some, before visiting Firth and Makepeace Hides adding Yellow Wagtails, Black Terns, Golden Plovers, Lesser Whitethroats and another view of the Osprey.
We then drove down Denge Marsh Road to Springfield Bridge getting great views of a Bittern and 2 Cattle Egrets.
Thanks to Lys Muirhead for some excellent field work, Lyn Griffiths for running the list and David Fenton-Scott for his image of the Black Redstart.
KOS July Outdoor Meeting
Following the July KOS Field Trip to Oare Marshes on the 14th July, Ray O’Reilly writes:
Despite three major sporting events we had a good turn out for today’s outdoor meeting to Oare Marshes and environs. The morning started for us with some light rain but became steadily brighter and warmer as the day progressed before turning into a hot, sunny July day.
We were on site to see the tide ebb and flow over the high tide and we finished early around 2pm. The American brace were still present and we had prolonged views of the Lesser Yellowlegs and watched the Bonaparte’s Gull on the Swale feeding on small lug worms and roosting on the flood, both birds were adults in breeding plumage.
We totaled 70 Species including Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Peregrine, 2 male Ruff, male Sparrowhawk, Spotted Redshank an adult in transitional plumage, adult Common Gull, Raven, Knot in breeding plumage, 2 distant Little Terns and a Greenshank.
KOS June Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
Once again our outdoor meeting was well attended even though it was slightly out of the county in East Sussex at Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve. We met at 6pm and had a leisurely stroll around most of the reserve. We were unlucky with the weather as our few hours there were the coldest and windiest of the weekend being permanently overcast and we even experienced a little light rain. But this didn’t thwart our quest and at the end of the day we were rewarded with 4 Nightjars including one particularly well marked male another separate bird was heard churring nearby.
The reserve was quiet bird song wise due to the weather but our support cast was equally impressive nevertheless with 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Woodlark, 1 Hobby, 2 Treecreeper and 3 Yellowhammer. (Thanks to David Fenton-Scott for the photo of the Woodlark).
Turtle Dove Records and KOS Sightings Database
The Rare Breeding Birds Panel has recently announced that Turtle Dove is now included on the list of species that it annually monitors. Thus Turtle Dove is now an RBBP species.
For many RBBP species it is the policy of the KOS to use sensitivity filters so that records of these species during the breeding season are not publicly viewable on the sightings database. All records submitted are, however, recorded on the society’s central database.
Immediately following the RBBP announcement a filter was put in place for Turtle Dove. However, after discussion with the Operation Turtle Dove team, it has been agreed that no filter will be imposed on records. It is considered that the risk of disturbance is low and that it is important for records of Turtle Doves across the county to be viewable. Hopefully this will encourage people to report sightings of this highly threatened species. The sightings database is very useful for the project team, to help them plan where action plans might best be instigated, as well as providing a means of monitoring how the species is faring during the season and from year to year.
The KOS urges all observers to report their sightings of Turtle Doves to the sightings database or BirdTrack. All records are useful, whether of single non-singing birds, singing males or pairs. Please try and record the location as accurately as possible and mention any breeding activity such as song or display.
KOS May Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly writes:
We had pleasant sunny weather for our May 12th Outdoor Meeting and a good turn out. We met at 8am at Stodmarsh NNR Car Park and were soon watching a Garden Warbler one of four this morning. The Reed Bed Hide gave us views of a Bittern and the chance to hear another bird booming. Swifts, Swallows and Sand Martins were passing overhead for much of the day and we all enjoyed pleasing views of Cetti’s Warbler.
As the morning warmed up then out came the Hobby’s with a least twenty of these enchanting falcons on view, often flying close by catching insects. Several Cuckoos were seen and heard today as were three Bullfinches. The star turn along the River Stour was a pair of Turtle Doves that we all studied through the scope. A pair of Treecreepers were watched collecting food for young and we had a late lunch back at the car park.
As the tide was rising we decided to make a visit to Pegwell Bay and we were not out of the car two minutes, before we were watching an adult Spoonbill that had obviously been part of a breeding programme in continental Europe. Five Common Sandpipers were among a selection of waders, terns and gulls seen here along with Common and Grey Seals. We had some lovely critters today including a swimming Mole! Broad-bodied Chaser, Variable and Lilac form of Common Damselflies, Banded Demoiselle, Orange-tip Butterfly and two or three species of Shield Bug. We saw 79 Species of birds throughout the day. (Thanks to David Fenton-Scott for the photo of the Spoonbill).
KOS Outdoor Meeting, Dungeness
Ray O’Reilly reports on the latest KOS Outdoor meeting at Dungeness, when a total of 89 species were seen.
Natural England revoke General Licences
Following a legal challenge by Wild Justice, NE have revoked general Licences which formerly were used to justify the lethal control of 16 wild bird species. As of April 23rd 2019, gamekeepers, farmers and others must apply for a licence to kill birds of any of the 16 species, specifying the reasons why non-lethal methods cannot be employed, and it will be unlawful to kill wild birds without such a licence. The species concerned are listed on the NE website and include carrion crow, rook, jackdaw, jay, magpie, collared dove, woodpigeon, feral pigeon, lesser black-backed gull, Canada and Egyptian goose, ring-necked parakeet and monk parakeet. Mammals such as stoat and fox are not affected.
NE is ‘working at pace’ to bring forward new regulations, but as things stand it is now illegal to kill the species listed, which is likely to have a major impact on the activities of gamekeepers and others.
Watch this space!
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.
- President’s introduction Chris Cox
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of the last meeting
- Matters arising
- Chairman’s report Martin Coath
- Report of the Editorial and Records Committee Barry Wright
- Report of the Conservation and Surveys Committee Murray Orchard
- Treasurers report Mike Henty
- 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:
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:
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:
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.
KOS March Outdoor Meeting
Ray O’Reilly reports on the latest Outdoor meeting https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
Little Tern, Steve Ashton
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 Laura Steuart 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: Martin Coath
Nominations should be sent to the Honorary Secretary: Brendan Ryan 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:
Mid Kent Planning Support
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.”
RSPB Campaign Page
KOS February outdoor meeting
Ray O’Reilly reports on the latest outdoor meeting https://kentos.org.uk/events-programme/
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.
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 Solar can be contacted at
Cleve Hill Solar Park Website
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.
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).
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.