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.

Ringing sessions

Sunday 10 November 2019

We were pleased to have Gareth Fulton of the Elmley Conservation Trust (ECT) and author Charlie Pye-Smith as visitors to our ringing session at Harty on 10th November. We work closely with ECT who own or manage many of our ringing sites on Sheppey and we help in monitoring bird numbers. Fortunately conditions were favourable with cloud dimming the moon and little wind.

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Sunday 27 October 2019

A team of six were pleased to be able to catch some waders at Harty on Sunday 27 October after the weather had prevented any ringing during the three previous tidal cycles. The weather on Sunday was perfect for catching waders with cloud, no moon and light wind, although a high tide and storm surge meant that water levels on the marsh would be high.

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Friday 2nd August 2019

High tide on Saturday morning was at 0245 so the team of ringers knew they would be in for a long night. A moonless sky and little wind were near perfect conditions and we caught 90 birds of ten species: Redshank 48, Black-tailed Godwit 15, Bar-tailed Godwit 4, Whimbrel 5, Dunlin 12 and singles of Avocet, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Common Sandpiper.

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Other news

January 2019 WeBS counts

Over 40,000 birds were counted on the Swale on the midwinter WeBS count on January 21st by our team of 15 observers. Wigeon were by far the most numerous species with more than 15,000 birds.

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