Due to a few technical hitches at Rye Meads HQ, you may not be aware of all the events that are coming up at the reserve over the next few months. All will be corrected and amended on the website asap but in the meantime I thought I'd give you a quick rundown for your diaries!
This Saturday (aka tomorrow!) 13th September : 6.30 - 9 pm Eavesdropping on bats
Come along for an evening of learning about bats, before heading out with our detectors to see which ones are about at Rye Meads. Members £4, non members £8. PLACES STILL AVAILABLE.
Sunday 14th September: 12 - 4 pm Tina's Nature Arts and Crafts
Join us in the classroom and get arty! Painting, drawing, cutting, sticking, building and creating! Just £2 donation for materials.
Saturday 20th September: 11 am - 1 pm Wildlife Explorer's Club - Rye Meads Rangers!
This month's wildlife explorer's club is for budding explorers! We are going to map the reserve. Become an intrepid explorer, mapping and recording your findings! Members £3, non members £5.
Saturday 20th September: 2 - 3 pm Simon's wildlife walk!
Join our ‘famous’ reserve guide Simon for an informal and friendly tour round the reserve, taking in birds, insects, plants and more! Just turn up and meet in the visitor centre. Free of charge.
Saturday 27th September: 9 am - 12 pm Mammal Trapping
Join us and our mammal expert from the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group as we check the traps for small mammals at Rye Meads. Learn about identification and surveying of creatures like voles, mice and stoats, and hopefully get to meet some up close! Booking essential. Members £4, non members £8.
Sunday 12th October: 10 am - 4 pm Awesome Autumn Art Day!
Join us on a walk round the reserve in all its’ autumn glory. Then back in the classroom we will be turning our natural findings into art. A whole afternoon of getting creative! Suitable for all ages. Members £2, non members £6.
Saturday 18th October: 11 am - 1 pm Wildlife Explorer's Club - Creatures of the night!
Are you afraid of the dark? As it’s Halloween we will be looking at ‘scary’ creatures in wildlife explorer’s club, and learning why they are not so scary after all. Then make hanging spiders and flying bats! Members £3, non members £5.
Saturday 18th October: 2 - 3 pm Simon's wildlife walk!
Saturday 25th October: 10 - 2 pm Owl Discovery Day!
Aimed at our young wildlife explorer’s but open to all, join us for a day of owl fun! We will be learning all about these nocturnal birds, dissecting pellets, and making owl themed crafts to take away. Price includes a drink and snack. Wildlife explorers £3, non-members £7.
Monday 27th October : 11 - 3 pm Homes for winter
How do animals survive the cold in winter? Today we are talking about migration, hibernation and fattening up for winter. We will then be making homes and feeders to take away and put in your garden to help your local wildlife! Members £3, non members £6.
Wednesday 29th October: 10 - 4 pm Introduction to wildlife photography
Wildlife photographer Tom Mason is running two special wildlife photography workshop sessions aimed at budding young photographers from ages 10 – 17. The sessions are based out on the reserve exploring the wildlife and scenery on offer and focusing on improving photography techniques and learning new skills, under the guidance of a professional. Sessions run for 2 hours from 10 – 12 pm or 2 – 4 pm. Members £8, non members £12.
Friday 31st October: 11 - 4 pm Halloween Fun!
As today is Halloween we are having all sorts of scary-themed activities going on at the reserve to come and take part in. Drop in between 11 and 4 to try your hand at pumpkin carving, toadstool hunting, swamp dipping and scary face painting. Tricks and treats provided! Members £3, non members £5.
And finally, hide watches for the next two months are:
Saturday 13th September 10 - 12 pm
Sunday 14th September 10 - 12 pm
Saturday 27th September 2 - 4 pm
Saturday 11th October 10 - 12 pm
Sunday 12th October 10 - 12 pm
Saturday 25th October 2 - 4 pm
Hope you can come along and join us for some of these events, remember you can join up on the day if you haven't already to get the discount on your entrance fee!
See you there!
Unless you've been going round with your eyes closed recently, you've probably noticed a certain red squirrel popping up all over the place lately, going by the name of Bob! So who is Bob?
Well, Bob is a representative of nature. He is standing for all nature and natural places, and he wants to preserve and protect it for future generations. He doesn't feel that politicians care enough about our environment and he wants to join us all together in preparation for next year's general election and let the government know we won't accept no for an answer. Nature needs protection!
People from all over the country have gone onto Bob's website to register their support for nature and pledge to back him in getting nature on the political agenda. At last look 76,553 people have signed! If you want to add your name, just follow this link, it just takes 2 minutes - https://www.voteforbob.co.uk/.
Here at the RSPB we strongly support Bob's campaign and we would like it if all of you could do your bit in voting too! Go to the Vote For Bob website or alternatively pop into the office on your next visit to Rye Meads and vote with us there.
Here's how we've been spreading the word here and at The Lodge reserve lately! If you think you can do better, create your own scene and then reply to this blog with a picture of it or share it with us on facebook and twitter. Tell your friends and let's all get behind this little squirrel!
Sorry it has been over a week since my last update.
With the islands now exposed from the gadwll hide, and the scrape looking good from the Draper hide we are all ready for the continued autumn migration. On a quick walk this afternoon i picked up 90 lapwing, 2 egyptian geese, 2 wigeon, 45 shoveler, 94 gadwall, water rail, 29 teal, and 4 garganey. Hirundine (house and sand martin and swallow) flocks are continually moving through site and we are still getting the odd swift in amongst them, just the 1 today but 2 earlier in the week. We are also getting great views of mixed tit and warbler flocks as they move through the scrub next to the paths (especially from water vole corner to Ashby hide) with long tailed tit and chiff chaff dominant but also blue tit, great tit, sedge warbler, garden warbler, willow warbler and blackcap.
A wheatear stopped off for the morning on the Draper 21 August.
Cettis warbler continue to call today, 3 stock dove showing well at draper and bullfinch along the trail. With not too much sunshine today I still caught up with red admiral, comma (lovely bright fresh specimen) and common darter, all sitting close at hand. The water voles continue to show well on the platform, but can be found all round the site. So nice to have them doing so well.
Last weekend 2 young kingfishers from the third brood were again showing from tern and gadwall hides, while the pair continue with the job of incubating the fourth brood at the kingfisher hide. We are hoping for hatching around 7-10 September, and then another 24-25 days before fledging, so fingers crossed.
On Thursday we bought the rafts into shore. My were they a mess, smelly and full of vegetation so they need a good clean ready for next year! We have also moved the CCTV camera that looks over lagoon 1 (gadwall hide) you may have seen it off to the right of the hide. This now offers better views of the islands currently exposed, but also of the island where the black-necked grebes nested in preparation for their return (everything crossed) next year, to help us protect the nest from disturbance and egg collectors as well as monitor the birds.
I think that is the highlights from the last week or so.