October, 2010

Rye Meads

Rye Meads
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Rye Meads

  • Kestrels and the latest Rye Meads newsletter!

    Good afternoon,

    I hope that you are all well. Been enjoying the sunshine? Enjoy the weather and come and visit us!

    So I thought I would do a quick (ish) blog. This is the second time I'll be writing all of this, so hopefully this time I won't  press the wrong button and accidentally delete it all!


    Do you all remember the Kestrel Saga? I'm sure you do, if you want to remind youself check out the blog: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/groups/ryemeads/blog/archive/2010/08/24/august-update-kingfishers-kestrels-stuff-for-families-and-more.aspx

     Over the last couple of weeks a kestrel has been using the box on the pylon, in the car park, to roost and  to avoid the rainy weather. I nipped out on Thursday and took this photo of the kestrel in the box for you:
    On Friday 1 October I even saw two kestrels sitting in the box getting out of the rain!  Looks good for a pair next year!

    Now, I was thinking... this started after the injured male was released. No kestrel has used it to roost before that... I wonder if its the same bird!
    The injured male (I think we should name him, it gets very confusing saying the injured male!) was ringed. The Rye Meads Ringing Group are the ones that caught the male when he was injured and took him to the Raptor Foundation to be looked after. The Ringing Group are highly trained and licenced so they can safely and legally handle birds. They can fit small rings onto birds legs (it's just like us wearing a wrist watch), they can weigh, sex and age the birds and then will release them. Each ring has a unique number so if a bird is caught again ringing groups around the world can tell when and where that birds was first ringed. Ringing provides alot of information about birds, their migration and population sizes - so in other words its really important as it tells us alot about birds and their behaviour.

    Anyhoo, the injured male was ringed - check out this photo of Paul from the Rye Meads Ringing Group holding the bird just before he was released back in August after his three month stay at the Raptor Foundation:
     (Photo Keith Bedford, 14 August 2010)
    Can you see the silver ring on the kestrels leg?

    Well we wondered if it was the same bird... Does the roosting kestrel have a ring:
    Its a bit hard to tell the picture is a bit fuzzy (hey, I was holding the camera to the telescope).

    Here is a close up:
      There's a ring - on the same leg as the injured male. Is it the same bird? Well we can't say for sure but it could be, I'm choosing to believe it is!


    Hot Off The Press - the Rye Meads' Newsletter!
    The brand new Autumn newsletter is out now. This issue of the 'Eye on Rye' contains autumn at the reserve, star species, an interview with Sir Graham Wynne former Chief Executive of the RSPB, 60 second interview with two of Rye Meads' key volunteers.... and more!

    Download it now! If you click on the blue headline of this blog (so you're opening the blog post) there will be a downlaod link at the bottom of the page. Have a look under where it says "posted by Louise Moss at 15.20 on 11 October 2010, and then underneath that there will be a thin grey line and then you'll see "Attachments: Eye on Rye Autumn 2010" and you want to click on the words Eye on Rye Autumn 2010 and ta-da! There it will be!

    I hope you enjoy it!

  • October Sightings (so far!)

    Happy October everyone!

    I hope that you all keeping well.

    It's only the beginning of October, but I thought I would let you know what we've seen so far!

    Draper hide - gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, shoveler, teal, wigeon, coot, moorhen, little grebe, sparrowhawk, water rail and snipe.

    Ashby hide - kingfisher, gadwall, mallard, shoveler, and mute swan.

    Lagoon hide - shoveler (we had over 100 the other day, a record for Rye Meads!), tufted duck, mallard, gadwall, teal, mute swan, Canada geese, coot moorhen, cormorant, little grebe, green sandpiper, water rail, grey wagtail and lapwing.

    Visitor centre (feeders and the grounds) - robin, blackbird, greenfinch, chaffinch, dunnock, blue tit, great tit, and pheasant. Do you remember the box on the pylon that the kestrels bred in this year? Well last week on rainy afternoons a kestrel has been using it to roost, and last Friday two kestrels were using the box to avoid the rain. I wonder if one of them is our newly released male?


    Goldfinch eating seeds from feederDon't forget its Feed the Birds Day at the end of the month! Feed the Birds day reminds us that the time that birds need a little more help is fast approaching.
    Autumn and winter is when birds really need a little more help. They need the high energy (high fat) foods to keep up their fat levels over the cold periods. On frosty days your feeders might even need filling up twice a day! If you can get into a feeding routine - the birds will get used to it! There is lots of foods that you can provide, including lots of household scraps - have a look at the website for more information: http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/whatfood/


    We're running a couple of events to celebrate Feed the Birds Day so pop along and say hi! There is something for the family on Monday25-Sunday 31 October, and a walk to find out all about birds and how and what they eat on Saturday 30 October. Check out the events page for more information: www.rspb.org.uk/ryemeads