Took an unexpected call from Caroline at Wildlife Welfare in the week asking if they could release a bittern on site, after it had been hit by a car in Letchworth! The team at Wildlife Welfare based in Stevenage had been in touch with RSPB HQ at the Lodge after the bird was bought in for a bit of advice and recommended us as a local reserve for release. The bittern was in good condition and after x-rays no brakes could be seen, so after a couple of days of checks, TLC and a good feedup the team came over to Rye Meads for the release. Members of the Rye Meads Ringing Group were on hand to ring and measure the bird before it release. The bird looks to be a female from its size and had put on 150g in its few days with the team at Wildlife Welfare. It was a real treat to see such great views of this skulking and well camouflaged bird.
After a bit of posturing she was off in to the reedbed, so we will be keeping a special eye out for sightings of her and monitor her progress, if you do see her on site please do let us know.The team also had a couple of swallows which they raised from young and a swift that had been downed by the recent storm which were also released. It was great to see the swift flying so strongly and hear the happy call of the swallows as they were released. As we released them there were already swallows feeding over the scrape so hopefully they will flock together for migration back to Africa.
Wildlife Welfare facebook link www.facebook.com/Wildlife-Welfare-152765298219732/?hc_location=ufi
It’s been a busy few weeks here at Rye Meads with lots of family events going on to keep the little ones entertained!
Throughout the rest of the school break, you can take part in one of the special activities designed to get kids closer to nature and get a certificate and sticker for taking part! Our ‘spring into summer’ nature trail is aimed at children under 8 and is running every day of the holidays. There’s no need to book; simply pay a pound, pick up your trail sheet from the visitor centre and set off looking for interactive activities along the way such as ‘willow tunnel wiggle’ and ‘create a creature’.
Self led pond dipping is also available every day – just turn up, hire your equipment from reception and off you go to discover what watery wildlife is living in our pond. £1 members, £2 non members. If your kids are keen on the natural world, why not book onto one of the special events.
On Monday 22nd, come along and discover what mini beasts are lurking under logs and hiding in the trees and bushes. Our expert leaders will be on hand to help you identify what you find and tell you some fantastic facts! Drop in any time between 10am and 12 noon or 2 – 4pm. £3 members, £5 non members
On Tuesday 23rd, book onto our family bird safari and learn all about our feathery friends.Use binoculars to spot and identify hedgerow and wetland birds on the reserve and discover how to recognise their song and calls. Finish off by making your very own nest box or bird feeder to take home!
On Thursday 25th come and enjoy a nature themed story under our willow tunnel with a walk to our Secret Garden for a second story. After each book, get involved in a nature activity or make a craft related to the story we’ve just read. Nature story explorers is aimed at children 7 and under and costs £3.50 for members and £4.50 for non members.
So if you’re wondering what to do with the children for the remainder of the school holidays, why not get your family out and about at Rye Meads? Bring your kids and have a great time surrounded by wonderful wildlife. You may even spot a kingfisher, dragonflies or numerous butterflies whilst you’re here!
Find out more about events and activities for families at Rye Meads nature reserve, including pricing, at www.rspb.org.uk/ryemeads Alternatively you can call 01992 708384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org