Great news! The third brood of kingfishers have fledged. Unfortunately they were a bit sneaky and fledged early Monday morning or Sunday evening. Fish were seen going in the bank Sunday morning but for the rest of the day the adults were taking no fish in. Monday no fish went in to the bank at all and 2 juvenile kingfishers were seen at the back of the gadwall hide lagoon.
There is still activity at the bank as we wait the first change over so we know that the pair are incubating their fourth brood!
Friday saw the presentation of the original black-necked grebe painting by the artist himself Steve Kershaw to the lucky winners husband Mr Sears (sadly Mrs sears was unavailable). We hope Mr and Mrs Sears enjoy their lovely painting. And great big thanks goes out to Steve for donating the painting and allowing us to raffle it off to help raise money for black-necked grebes. For more information on Steve and his art visit www.stevekershawwildlifeart.co.uk
Steve Kershaw (right) and Mr Sears (left)
The ringing group continue to net and ring the passage birds on the Draper scrape and reed bed with 1 snipe, 2 green sandpipers (colour ringed), 28 swallow, 8 sand martin, 16 reed warbler, 7 sedge warbler and 1 reed bunting rung on two sessions over 14th and 15th August.
The Wonderful warblers event on Saturday in conjunction with the Rye Meads Ringing Group (RMRG) was well attended by 22 people who were able to get great in the hand views of robin, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, cettis warbler, reed warbler, sedge warbler and garden warbler. The ringers showed attendees how the birds feathers can provide an age as well as provide a diagnostic features, explained the differences between the species and showed the fat laid on by the warblers ready for migration. We have another event in conjunction with the RMRG on Migration on 7 September 8 am - 10 am.
The black-tailed godwit continued to show from the Draper scrape until around 11.25 Friday morning when it flew off high heading north and we thought its stay was over, luckily it returned an hour or so later and was showing well over the weekend, but sadly there has been no sign today. However there were 7 green sandpiper, 22 gadwall, 1 teal, 1 lapwing, 2 shoveler and little grebe with 2 very small young and 2 Egyptian geese were here on Friday.
We have started to lower the water level in the lagoon visible from the Gadwall hide to attract in passage waders. With October last year giving us regular counts of 100-200 snipe on the exposed islands in this lagoon we are once again hoping for good stuff to stop off on migration. This morning there was green sandpiper, over 100 gadwall, 20+ shoveler, 3 common gull, kingfisher, little grebe, tufted duck and loads of coot.
We are expecting the third brood of kingfishers to fledged around Wednesday this week, so the hide is getting busy in expectation and it looks like the kingfishers have started laying the fourth clutch despite a visit from an intruder male last week!
If you are interested in nature you will have noticed that some things, such as birds, are easier to see than others such as water scorpion. Nature reserves such as Rye Meads are home to a whole host of wildlife that is not always seen! Often this wildlife is a key food source for the birds that make a home at Rye Meads. We are giving you the opportunity to explore some of the hidden depths of Rye Meads with our Delving in to Rye Meads events on 19 or 25 August 10 am - 12.30 pm. You will join one of our specialist Field Teachers for 2 and half hours as they take you on a journey of discovery through the less obvious, sometimes a bit wee or harder to find creatures of Rye Meads. £7 members and £14 non members.
Water boatman Genevieve Leaper (rspb-images.com)
In the pond dipping session you will identify the creatures you find such as dragonfly nymphs, water boatman and leeches using keys, find out how they are adapted to live in the water, and look at who eats who with food chains and food webs. You will also spend time looking under logs, or among vegetation for minibeasts. With 4,075 species of beetle (coleoptera), 7,064 species of flies (diptera) and 1,830 species of bugs (hemiptera) in Britain and Ireland (to count a few!) you will not be short of creatures to identify so an ID book might be a good idea (we will have a couple on hand if you do not have one).
After attending this event we hope you will have a greater appreciation for all the nature that lives at Rye Meads no matter how small and we will have provided you with an introduction to a host of new things in nature to look out for.
We hope to see you on the 19 or 25 August.