Last Tuesday a large group of members and non-members met outside the Pier Hotel at Greenhithe for a walk along the Thames shore to Broadness Point. This was our first group trip to Swanscombe Marshes – an area under threat from development. The large reed bed and pools at the end of the new housing were our first stop. (Actually we had already made numerous stops – one of which was to watch two porpoise swimming in the Thames). The reed bed is home to lots of birds and we managed to see (or hear) marsh harriers, nesting grey herons, reed warblers, sedge warblers and cettis warblers, bearded tits, cuckoo, reed bunting and more.
Some of the group really enjoyed the flowers along the Thames seawall while others were chasing and trying to get pictures of the butterflies and moths. Green hairstreak butterfly and the Latticed Heath moth were nice to see but some of the group managed to find a Wall butterfly.
This is a declining species elsewhere but is still a north Kent coast speciality. We had seen so many interesting things, and walked so slowly, that we only just managed to get to Broadness Point! Fortunately from here, we were just able to see one of our target species that had otherwise eluded us all morning – 4 ravens sitting atop a pylon. Can you see them?
After a trip I always like to think of a highlight. Usually at this time of year it would be a bird singing but as I had lost my hearing aids most of the song passed by me. So, the views of marsh harrier get my vote.
Thanks to everyone for coming. Thanks to Sally for the photographs.