Free as a Bird

Every year migrating birds from around the world make the hazardous journey across oceans to take advantage of the temperate Ramsgate climate. This is an invitation for you to do the same via a far less hazardous route! It doesn’t matter if you’re a practiced twitcher, professional ornithologist, keen amateur or a total fledgling birder. If you want to reconnect with nature and experience the sense of freedom that comes from spending time in a landscape as rich and diverse as the Ramsgate coast and wetlands, then wing your way over and either fly solo or join a guided bird walk.

Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve

Birdwatching Pegwell Bay

This wetland haven for birds is a must see. In this peaceful and tranquil reserve, you can find more habitats here than anywhere else in the South East. A birdwatcher’s paradise! Inter-tidal mudflats, saltmarsh, shingle beach, sand dunes, ancient dune pastures, coastal scrubland and chalk cliffs are home to dozens of rare species of plants and wetland birds. The reserve is of international importance for its waders and wildfowl, best seen over winter or during the spring and autumn migrations. Bird hides are available for your enjoyment, along with toilets, car park and a café. Birdwatching in style!

Ramsgate Harbour

Bidwatching at the Harbour

A walk around the Royal Harbour and Marina at Ramsgate is a great introduction to the area’s coastal birds. The cliffs around the Harbour are also home to nesting Fulmars and overwintering Kingfishers as filmed for the finale of the BBC’s Winterwatch 2018.

Monkton Nature Reserve

Boy with Telescope

16 acres of a reclaimed chalk quarry that contains important habitats for birds. There are over 350 species of flowering plants here and the reserve is home to the first artificial bat cave constructed in the UK. The Thanet Observatory is also a feature of this reserve.

Guided Bird Walks

Have you ever wanted to discover more about the local birdlife but don’t know where to start? Discover the varied birdlife of this dramatic coastline under the guidance of expert local birders Keith Ross and Tony Swandale.

Wildlife filmmaker and birdwatcher Keith runs guided Kingfisher walks in Ramsgate Harbour from September to March, after which these overwintering birds leave to return to the rivers to breed. Keith runs the walks on any date or time to suit. He also runs full-day wildlife/birding walks from Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay.

Visit Ramsgate Birds for details and to book.

Tony served as Kent Wildlife Trust’s warden at Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve and at Oare Marshes. These guided bird walks are open to all and are especially suitable for beginners to help identify birds and learn how to use binoculars, field guides and other birding equipment. Tony’s guided bird walks take place at both Sandwich & Pegwell Bay NNR and around Ramsgate Harbour. Pre-booking is essential.

To find out more about these walks, and to book, visit Swandale Birding.

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