I hope that you are all well.
I thought I would let you know all the different wildlife that we have seen over the past few days at Rye Meads.
Draper hide:Lapwing, green sandpiper, oystercatchers, little grebe (keep an eye out as there is a pair with the smallest chicks quite near the hide - so cute!), little egret, grey heron, mute swan (a pair and four cygnets - they are lovely), shelduck, gadwall, shoveler, mallard, tufted duck, pochard, coot, moorhen, magpie, crow, pigeon, swift, black headed gull, commmon tern, and barn owls.
We do not really know what the barn owls are up to... We think they are breeding, but we can't say for sure at the moment! Fingers crossed!
Ashby hide:Tufted duck, gadwall, mallard, mute swan, heron, crow, magpie, black headed gull, common tern, pigeon, coot, moorhen, sedge warbler, reed warbler, and cettis warbler (heard rather than seen!).
Lagoons (Tern and Gadwall hides):Common terns, black headed gulls, lesser black backed gulls, coot, moorhen, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, pochard, little grebe, great crested grebe, cormorant, mute swan, kingfisher, great tit.
Keep an eye out on the rafts that can be seen from the Gadwall hide - there are common terns and black headed gulls nesting. Look closely - you can even see the chicks! It's been quite entertaining to watch the common terns and gulls - they are getting on fine, but the black headed gulls will pinch the terns fish if given half the chance.
The kingfishers that are nesting in the bank that can be seen from the Gadwall hide have been seen quite a lot recently. If you go into the hide have a look at the bank - you'll see that there are lots of logs either end of the bank. There is a stick that pokes out from one of the log bundles (the end closest to the hide) and they have been perching on there.They have been quite active the last couple of days. We aren't sure what they are doing at the moment! We are not sure if they've fledged, or the adults are trying to pursuade the young to leave... we'll let you kow when we know more. They have been seen there regularly so it's worth a look!
Kingfisher hide:The kingfishers at the Kingfisher hide are feeding young. They hatched a couple of days ago so the parents have been busy taking in fish. The young are still quite little so the adults are in and out of the bank every half hour ish (when they get a little bigger they'll be wanting more fish so the adults can be in and out more frequently).
The kestrels have been putting on a show recently! The young have fledged, but are still hanging out around the hide. The young have been seen quite regualrly so it's worth looking for them. Over the last couple of days they have been accidentally worrying quite a lot of the other wildlife that is around! The young kestrels have been finding nice places to perch - but these places have been near other birds nests... the wrens, blackbirds, magpies and crows have been desperately trying to chase them away from their nests when ever they get a little bit too close!
From the hide we've also see gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, coot, moorhen, grey heron, swift, black headed gull, common tern, pigeon, and crow.
Trails:Sedge warbler, reed warbler, cettis warbler (you can hear lots of these lovely little birds around the site, we don't see them very often), reed bunting, chiffchaff, great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, robin, blackbird, song thrush (we heard it calling but didn't see it yesterday), chaffinch, green finch, blackcap, coot, moorhen, crow, magpie, pigeon, kestrel, swift, black headed gull, common tern, lapwing, and little egret.
And some of the non-bird creatures on the trails:Ladybirds and ladybird larvae, bees, snails, slugs, spiders, ants, aphids, flower bugs, cuckoo spit, thick-knee flower beetle, bush-cricket, earwigs, loads of different hoverflies, loads of different flys, some catterpillars, common blue damselflies, banded demoiselle, comma butterfly, painted lady butterfly, red admiral butterfly, peacock butterfly, common blue butterfly, and fox.
Ladybird larvae... Aren't they great! They look nothing like ladybirds! This is a 7-spot ladybird larvae.
You might not like spiders.. but there are some great webs out there! This is a web (and you can make out the spider) of a labyrinth spider - and they make these fabulous funnel shaped webs.
This fabulous thick-knee flower beetle Oedemera nobilis is a fabulous little beetle, keep an eye out as their metalic colours are stunning!
This picture was taken at the Draper hide, during last night's Twilight Tour
I hope that you had a nice time! I will pass on your thanks to Christine!
Thanks to you and Christine for an excellent Twilight Tour. Really enjoyed it.