The wind has calmed down a bit now so we will open up for the last couple of hours of daylight.
Due to strong winds Rye Meads is currently closed. We will assess the weather conditions through out the day and let you know when we will re open
Sorry for any inconvenience
I went out on to the reserve this morning to check out the damage caused by the storm a few days ago, we had a few minor branches down but more importantly the fence leading up to the gadwall hide was blown over, another job to add to the list. So i headed out armed with some apples to feed the water voles and seed for the birds but only got 2 steps outside the visitor center and spotted a familiar looking blob up on the pylon. I headed back to get the telescope trained on the pylon and hey presto a peregrine sitting pretty. This provided a nice 5 min of entertainment for staff and visitors before it headed off over the reserve (probably after a mid morning snack). I headed back out on my wonder and flushed a sparrowhawk from its perch in the tree holding all the feeders as i headed out the door. Before i even got to the Draper hide I came across lots activity including redwing, female bullfinch, male blackcap, goldcrest (heard only, lucky enough we had 4 just outside the visitor center on Thursday) and some of the usual suspects including blackbird, chaffinch, blue tit, great tit, wren, robin, nice.
Along the trails i was able to add field fare, chiffchaff, a pair of bullfinch, more redwing, great spotted woodpecker and kingfisher as it flew past. It was also nice to see some active water vole sign in the ring ditch visible from the bridge leading to the Ashby hide. Sorry the pictures is not great it was a bit far away for my phone.
Arriving at the fallen fence, i have to say it looks pretty trashed, i spent 5 min rooting around and coming up with some ideas before heading in to the gadwall hide to see what was about. And it was pretty rewarding with good numbers of wildfowl and a nice size flock lapwing. However, before i could count the lapwing up they went with all the gulls, circling around. I looked out for a predator of some description but no sign and all the teal (77) and shoveler (81) were still down, so not sure what spooked them. Not long after they settled up they went again to be joined by a second flock of lapwing coming in from the east to join the swirling. The lapwing and gulls continued to be disrupted up and down 2 or 3 more times with the numbers dwindling each time as some pealed off. In the end i counted 107 lapwing (with 3 more returning 5 min later), 1 common and 4 black headed gulls. Also visible from hide was a water rail, 13 snipe, 5 little grebe and a single wigeon, to name a few (full sightings list is at the bottom of this post).
Total sightings (not including feeding station)
Gadwall 163, mallard 13, teal 96, shoveler 92, pochard 1, wigeon 1, tufted duck 33, little grebe 11, mute swan 9, grey heron 2, cormorant 15, coot 176, moorhen 48, kingfisher 1, water rail 1 seen 2 (h), lapwing 110, snipe 14, green sandpiper 1, grey wagtail 1, black headed gull 37, lesser black back gull 1, common gull 2, peregrine 1, sparrowhawk 1, blackbird 17, redwing 4, fieldfare 1, dunnock 1, robin 6, wren 5, chaffinch 2, bullfinch 3, goldfinch 1, greenfinch 1, blue tit 3, great tit 1, cettis warbler 4 (h), chiff chaff 1, blackcap 1m, gold crest (h), magpie 14, crow 2, jay 1, starling 6 , wood pigeon 14, stock dove 2, great spotted woodpecker 1, pheasant 1.