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.

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

A catch was taken at Harty on the night of the 3rd/4th October. A team of eight ringers enjoyed the peace and quiet of a calm clear night with an almost full moon that was shrouded in mist. Not many birds flying over the ringing pools and no Brent Geese heard grunting, just a few calls form gulls, Mallard and waders.

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Sunday 17th September 2017

The wader ringing session at Harty over the night of the 17th/18th September was very successful with 87 birds caught. Seven ringers made the team and the weather conditions were good with almost no wind and no moon.

The catch included 82 new birds plus 4 retraps (2 of which were re-ringed given the age of the existing rings - see details of retraps below) and 1 control of a UK ringed Bar-tailed Godwit.

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Friday 8th September 2017

A catch of waders was made at Harty in the early hours of the 8th of September. On a night with a full moon, that was only partially covered by cloud, and a very light westerly, a catch of 15 birds was made by team of 8 ringers. It would have been more if there had been less light on the ringing pools.

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