- 19th June - 8:00pm : ‘Curator of Leeds Castle’ - By Annie Kemkaran-Smith.
- 23rd June - 5:00pm : W.I. Mid Summer Picnic in the Meadows.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

UK's largest Heronry

On 28th April we joined High Halstow WI for a walk to their local RSPB Nature reserve - Northward Hill Nature Reserve (ME3 8DS).  As you can see the skies were grey on the April Day - however we did not get too wet.  We were taken around the site by the Warden and volunteer warden. 

The warden  explained the geography, and then identified birds by their songs as we went around- Nightingales, Blackcaps and sedge warblers.
This Heronry has over 100 breeding pairs  and is the biggest in the UK
We were taken into the woods -full of bluebells at this time of the year -an area forbidden unless with a warden.  There are also 100 pairs of little egrets  -white with an upstanding tuft on their head and saw saw a dozen or so in the low trees.
The rooks were making a lot of noise - in the evenings enormous flocks return from their scavenging across Kent in their thousands making a great display. The vast number of Rooks  have however moved the Herons  to trees further away from the view point though we could still see them with binoculars.
Finally we repaired to the local hostelry, The Horseshoe and Castle at Cooling for an arranged lunch.  Some then visited the Parish Church were we had heard the bell ringers at practice earlier.  We have met High Halstow members before, when competing in a Darts competition in the Sugar loaves in Hollingbourne, and they have also visited out Safari Market - their WI is a similar size to ours and we all get on well together. 

This reserve is very peaceful and full of birdsong.  You take the Exit No1 from the M2, in the direction of Grain, then High Halstow,   and if you want to visit click on this  website