Rye Meads nature reserve is opening early for 10 lucky people on Sunday 6 May from 7-10 am, this opportunity for RSPB members only (or join on the day) will give you exclusive use of the reserve, including all the hides.
The kingfishers at the Kingfisher Hide have hatched their first brood so you should get fabulous views of these stunning birds as they go in and out of the nesting bank feeding those hungry babies.
Ideal for early morning bird watchers, photographers and families!
RSPB members we love you! You make sure that the RSPB's work continues, so this opportunity is just for you, to say thank you!
Book early as there are only 10 spaces! This fabulous deal, which includes free tea and coffee, is only £30 per person! Book and pay in advance. We are sorry but we are unable to return your money in the event of cancellation or bad weather.
We think that the kingfisher chicks have hatched at the Kingfisher Hide as visitors have seen fish being taken into the bank!
Adults start taking fish into the bank once that eggs have hatched. Each chick can eat 12-18 fish a day, and are fed in rotation - once a chick is fed, it moves to the back of the nest to digest it's meal, causing the others to move forward.
The best time to see the kingfishers is when they are feeding young as they can be in and out every ten minutes or so bringing in fish for the hungry young. At the moment the chicks will be very small so can't eat too many fish, but they'll grow quickly and soon be eating lots!
Kingfisher picture by Peter Hewitt
There are lots of lovely events and activities planned, so I thought I would give you a quick head-up!
On Sunday 6 May we have a Dawn Chorus walk, from 4.45-6.45 am! We are going to be exploring the reserve, and hoping to hear the dawn chorus. It's a guided walk so we will be pointing out different bird songs and helping you to identify some for yourself! It's a great walk, I always look forward to them! There is a small charge of £2 for RSPB members, and £4.50 for non-members. We will warm up afterwards with tea and coffee too.
I took this picture of sunrise on the last Dawn Chorus walk!
If you are new to bird watching then we have the perfect events for you! We have a Beginners Birdwatching Course over two weekends, Sunday 6 and Sunday 13 May from 10 am-12 noon. On Sunday 6 May we’ll look at identifying birds by looking at size, shape, colour, and using binoculars. On Sunday 13 May we'll be focusing on bird songs and calls. Bird song is a great way to identify birds, we'll try and help you learn some of the calls!
Have you every wanted to see baby birds up close? Well on Saturday 19 May (1-3pm) there is a Nestbox Watch - the Rye Meads Ringing Group will be showing us round the nestboxes on site, and we'll get to see bird ringing by qualified ringers in action. The Ringers put small rings on the birds' legs (it doesn't hurt them, it's just like us wearing a watch), each ring has an individual number so if we see those birds again we can tell where they've come from, how old they are and more important information!
Blue tit by Mike Langman (rspb-images.com)
Over the weekend of Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June we will have our Springwatch with the RSPB event!
There will be trails for families, pond dipping, minibeasting and more! It will be a great events for the whole family!
Local artist Steve Kershaw will be holding an exhibition of his work in the visitor centre. The title is "Wonderful Wetlands, an Artists Perspecive" and will run from Saturday 2-Sunday 10 June. You can even meet the artist and see how he creates his work. Paintings, prints and gift cards will be on sale as well as a specially printed book. Steve has kindly offered to give Rye Meads a donation from any sales towards the work of the RSPB, so please come along!Steve has a fabulous blog - click here to check it out.
This stunning picture is one of Steve's, isn't it amazing!
Enjoy a Twilight Tour round the reserve on Saturday 30 June, from 7-9 pm. We'll see what happen after our usual closing time, and see evening birds and watch their behaviour.
Over Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July we are going to have a Big Wild Stocktake! As the Olympics will be close, we will be exploring and discovering the nature around us - to try and break the wildlife record for the reserve and find all the different species on site! There will be experts all over the reserve showing you different plants, insects, moths, pond creatures, birds and more! We'll have a booklets showing you what to look for experts will be showing you wildlife, and you can take part in different activities like pond dipping and minibeasting!
Keep your eyes pealed for a very special VIP event - for 10 lucky people the whole reserve will be just theirs from 7am until our usual opening time of 10am... Keep your eyes pealed, I'll let you know! (It will be when the kingfishers are feeding young!)
There is a lot more events planned, but these are some of the highlights.If you are interested, and would like more information or to book please ring us on 01992 708383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you there!Lou