Our second brood of kingfishers have fledged this morning, hurrah.
We had calculated fledging should be today but with the antics of the pair this year (all our other dates have been out) it was a case of wait and see. But we have received a report from the hide that 2 were seen fledging and behavior suggests that the burrow is now empty so it is likely the others fledged earlier this morning.
The pair have been mating for a while now so we are eagerly awaiting the start of incubation on the third brood.
Always things going on
With the summer holidays already upon us we thought we would tell you about all the fun activities and events we have going on over the 6 weeks of holidays.
Starting with WILD WEDNESDAYS! 9.30 am - 3.30pm. Join our summer club each week over the summer holiday to go wild and learn about nature. Have fun, get outdoors and make new friends! Activities will include exploring the reserve, pond dipping, minibeasting, nature-watching, making things, team games and much more. Ages 6-12 only. These sessions are not drop in and must be booked and paid for in advance as places are limited. Children will be looked after by our qualified Learning Officer and her team and for the whole day. Remember to bring a packed lunch. Members £25, non members £30.
Themes and dates are 29 July - Dragons and Damsels and other winged things. Time to look into the exciting world of strange mini creatures down in and around the pond and hiding in the reeds and grasses. We will be emptying the moth trap first thing to see who’ve we’ve found, discovering dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies and looking at life cycles. 5 August - Science in nature.The themes of today are colours in nature, making plant cocktails, rain and weather, and the water cycle at Rye Meads and how it feeds a wetland.12 August - Dangerous deadly predators! Today is the day to learn about all the deadly creatures that hunt and other animals! We will be peering into the pond to find who hunts who, and the weird ways they have of eating each other. We will also focus on birds of prey and how they are adapted to be fast and hunt their prey, and we will be looking at owl pellets to discover who was on the menu there. 19 August - Giving nature a home! Nature in our community is threatened by people. We need to make sure that all creatures are given a safe home to live in where they can feed, sleep, have babies and bring up their young. Come and learn how we are giving a home to all the different nature at Rye Meads in all the different habitats from ponds and lagoons to bushes and even in the ground! We challenge you all to build something with us that will do the same for all the creatures you have in your own garden or park. 26 August - All about birds. Birdwatching is the order of the day! Grab your binoculars and come out with us! Which species will you find and do you know how to identify them? We will talk about what birds feed on, play the hungry birds game and have another chance to chop up some owl pellets.
MINIBEASTING MONDAYS 10 am - 12 pm and 2 - 4 pm, 3 August, 10 August, 17 August, 24 August, 31 August.. Come with us and explore the tiny world of animals that live in Bug City! Find and learn about colourful ladybirds, speedy centipedes, beautiful butterflies and buzzing bees! Families and all ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Drop in sessions, no need to book, grab your ticket and take to the team to await your turn! Members £3, non members £5. (Accompanying adults will not be charged)
STORIES IN THE WILLOW TUNNEL 3 - 3.20 pm. Gather in the shade of our fantastic willow tunnel to listen to our afternoon story. Every Thursday throughout the holidays (30 July, 6 August, 13 August, 20 August, 27 August). Drop in, no need to book. Suggested donation of £1.
POND DIPPING DAYS 11 am - 3 pm, Saturday 1 August and Sunday 30 August. Time to explore the underwater world at Rye Meads! Join our Education team out dipping and have a look under the microscopes to get a closer look at the weird and wonderful life of pond creatures! Book a slot on arrival and take ticket to your session. Numbers are restricted. Families and all ages welcome. Members £5, non members £8 (Accompanying adults will not be charged)
FEED THE BIRDS, every weekday from 27 July - 28 August, 10 am. Help us fill up the bird feeders and learn about which foods garden birds like best. Drop in. All welcome. Free of charge.
MESSY WELLY NATURE SAFARI & PICNIC, Friday 21 August, 11 am - 1 pm. Bring your favourite animal and a picnic lunch with you and join us on a wild safari round the reserve! We will be showing our animals their wild friends and enjoying an outdoor lunch together before making souvenirs to take away! Booking required. For under 5’s accompanied by an adult. Older siblings welcome to come along. Members £3.50, non members £4.50, under 12 months free.
AUTUMN WARBLERS, Saturday 15 August, 8 - 10 am. A very interesting and informative session with a rare opportunity to get face to beak with birds! Join the Rye Meads Ringing Group as they look for Autumn warblers to ring. Get a look at birds up close in the hand! Booking required. Suitable for all ages. Members £6, non members £8
ART AND CRAFTS Sunday 30 August 12 - 3.30 pm. Tina’s art and craft sessions continue once a month throughout the summer, with a different theme each time. Feel free to drop in and have a go! All ages welcome, including adults! Members £2, non members £3
BEGINNER’S WILDLIFE WITH SIMON, Third Saturday of every month, 2 - 4 pm,15 August. New to bird watching? Join our informal monthly session with friendly reserve guide Simon who will take you round the reserve and give you all kinds of useful tips on spotting wildlife, identification, using binoculars and telescopes and nature facts! An enjoyable afternoon for all the family. Drop in. All welcome. Members £1, non members £2
RAMBLE ON.. RYE MEADS, Fourth Sunday of every month, 10 am - 12 pm, 23 August. Join reserve guide Andy for a leisurely Sunday morning walk. Plenty to see and hear with help from experienced eyes and ears, plus the use of a telescope. Suitable for all ages. Drop in. Free of charge
WILDLIFE WATCHES, Join our pros in the hides for help spotting and identifying birds and other wildlife. Free and no need to book, just turn up.
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 July
Saturday 25 July
10 am-12 pm
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 August
Saturday 29 August
We have arranged a couple of SPECIAL OPENING TIMES, Sunday 9 August - EARLY OPENING - from 6.30 am and Saturday 22 August - LATE OPENING - until 9 pm. Join us for sunrise/ sunset over the reserve this summer. Normal entry fees apply. All welcome.
We also have a selection of FREE daily activities with Bingo and Wildlife challenge sheets, Adventure trail or for just £3 each you can hire binoculars or an explorer backpack to add to your visit. We will also be running self-led pond dipping £2 per person, for those who have always wanted to have a go.
So there is plenty going on over the next 6 weeks and we look forward to meeting you when you come and visit us.
We have a couple of notices for you re road closures in the area which may affect your access to the reserve.
Firstly due to road works Rye Road will be closed in the vicinity of the bridges over the River Lee and train line on Sunday 19 June for the day. This means there will be no access from the Hoddesdon end of Rye Road. However access from the Roydon/Stanstead Abbotts end of Rye Road is still clear, although it does mean using the toll gate (50p) at Thames Water sewage works.
Secondly the bridge at Dobbs Weir (between Hoddesdon and Nazeing) will be closed from today for 21 weeks.
We hope you still come and visit us during these works as there is plenty going on with kingfishers feeding young and mating, garganey showing on and off at Draper hide, plenty of common tern and black headed gull activity, tufted duck broods emerging and lots of butterfly and dragonflies on the wing.