Swale Wader Group


The Swale Wader Group is an informal group of amateur birdwatchers and ringers (banders) who study the waders and other birdlife of the Swale in North Kent, UK.

The Group has operated ringing sites at a number of locations around the Swale since 1960 and has ringed over 26,000 birds in this time - mainly waders. Regular Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) surveys are carried out in the area to monitor populations of visiting estuarine birds the breeding populations of the local waders and birds of prey are assessed, too.

All the members of the Group are volunteers and the ringing is carried out as part of the national bird ringing scheme organised by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

The scientific aims and results of our efforts are explained on this website, together with some of the highlights of our work from the last 50 years.

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Opportunities exist for ringers with all permit classes to take part in wader ringing throughout the autumn. Our season normally begins in mid-July and runs through to the end of the year. Anyone interested should contact us by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the contact form.

Monday 23rd November 2015

On an evening with a nice early tide when conditions for ringing were not ideal - there was a steady westerly of about 8-10 mph blowing and a big moon that was only partly obscured by cloud - a successful catch was made. We managed to catch 51 birds of just 4 species, whilst the total catch was nice the variety was disappointing.


Sunday 25th October 2015

A team of 12 ringers and guests assembled at Harty on Sunday evening. Under a very large an bright moon 9 nets were erected and a catch was made. Although only 26 birds were caught this was  an enjoyable evenings ringing, helped by an early tide which meant that we got off the marsh before midnight.


Sunday 11th October 2015

A team of seven set eight nets at Harty Pools for a 00:50 high tide. With perfectly still, moonless, conditions and with a thin covering of cloud it was a mild and busy night. There was a steady stream of birds from two hours before high tide for around an hour and a half. A good variety of waders were caught, including 13 Black-tailed Godwit and two Ruff, along with 3 Teal, 9 Shelduck and a Starling.