Donate a Nest Box through our wish list by clicking HERE. We are especially looking for Wood Stone boxes to protect baby birds from Woodpeckers

Ringing course-aimed at all licence grades. Thursday August 9th pm-Sunday 12th August midday. Details from

February 28th

Armchair ringing.

With the current cold spell it is not suitable to ring birds So sit back inside and scan the feeders. A check of the corvids by the obs feeders revealed a Rook ringed as an adult 18/4/14 and not recorded since. There are others there with rings plus of course plenty of colour ringed House Sparrows. It is a chance for everyone to contribute to science.

February 24th

Dorothy Appleton RIP

I have just received the sad news that Dorothy has passed away. Dorothy was a long time supporter of the observatory and particularly the ringers. Hopefully we will publish an apprecaition in one of our newsletters. Our condolences to Dorothy’s family.

February 23rd

The Herring Gull in Sandwich moved from the toilet roof to the toll bridge and one of the ringers was able to read it. It is orangePW4T. Interestingly its partner is also ringed but only with a metal ring. I will let you know when I get the details.

February 21st

There was enough cloud to prevent any frost. The breeze was stronger than expected and showed the first signs of the approaching cold snap. The breeze limited ringing and 14 birds were processed including seven new ones. Five of these were Starlings reflecting the several hundred that were out in the fields feeding. It can be a regular feature at this time of year as they feed up in preparation for the return to Northern Europe and Russia.

February 19th

Well no-one has taken up the orange colour ring challenge yet but we do have a report of Green colour ringed Herring Gull from Ramsgate Harbour last August. We are following up what is probably a Dutch bird.

February 18th

The good news was that more birds were ringed than retrapped. The bad news is that it was only 5 v 2. Two of the new birds were Greenfinches.

February 13th

Colour ring challenge!

One of our members photographed a Shag in Ramsgate Harbour in early January. On checking the photo later he realised it had a colour ring and details have just come back. Green LCJ was ringed as a chick on the Isle of May on 12/6/17. It was seen until October 21st but not since until appearing here. Apparently it is not unknown for first winter birds to show up well to the south.

In Sandwich there is at least one Orange ringed Herring Gull. I saw it as I drove past the public loos on the Quayside and could not stop to check. It might not be the place to hang around with a camera but surely someone can get the details! Another (or the same?) bird was seen at Sandwich station so please keep a look out. The orange rings have been put on by the North Thames Gull study group but it will still be interesting to get their full story.

February 12th

Although there are plenty of birds using the feeders they are wise to the nets and the last two attempts have only yielded two and four new birds. Still the food should help them cope with the current cold snap.

February 7th

A cold, frosty, start but there was little breeze and we did some ringing. Twenty eight birds were processed. Ten of these were new including three House Sparrows to add to the colour ringing project. Still no-one has reported any away from the observatory and Sandown Road.

February 5th

No ringing due to the breeze being too strong and so we got on with putting up some of the nest boxes which have been donated- Thank you to all donors.

A couple of ringing recoveries to look at include a Mute Swan, ringed the year after hatching, on 29/5/15 at Kearsney (near Dover) and read in the field at the same place this January. The others involve Goldfinches. The first was ringed at the Bay as a juvenile on 7/10/15 and found dead at Auberve,France,on the 8th January 2018 (315Km SE). The other is an old record, but a lot are coming to light now the BTO is getting its online database going. It was ringed at the Bay on 4/9/73 and found at Valladoid, Spain on 28/10/73 (1173Km SSW). Before their adoption of garden feeders we used to think of the majority of our Goldfinches heading that way for the winter.

February 4th

Apparently the Great White Egret whose colour ring was read in the field here can be seen actually being ringed on television. It is part of episode 5 of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls series called Wild West.