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.

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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Monday 21st August 2017

A team of nine ringers made a catch at Harty on the night of the 21/22nd August 2017. On a warm, very calm and dark night with no moon a total of 44 birds were handled.

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Sunday 6th August 2017

Not too many birds but a good session to start the season. Good conditions apart from the full moon and no cloud cover whatsoever!

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