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.
Apologies for not keeping you up to date with all the latest goings-on recently, but we have been really busy with all sorts of things including management work, new signage, plans for the summer holidays and entertaining several school groups a day! Unfortunately blogging tends to slip down the list of priorities so I intend to give you a brief and concise rundown of all the interesting things that have gone on here over the past month! As I always say, if you want to be kept more immediately in the loop of events, I would strongly recommend following us on twitter @RSPBRyeMeads. You don't even need to sign up to it as our tweets are public, and I know of many people who simply google our name (as above) and then read through the news! It was @30dayswild for the Wildlife Trusts this month, and I think we did pretty well at ours!
6 June - Our 2 Tawny owl chicks emerged from the nest box and fledged successfully, having been ringed by the Rye Meads Ringing Group previously, on the 16th May. [Photo: Brian Gleeson]
8 June - The first Common tern chick hatched, with many to follow. See them growing up on the rafts as we speak! In all this heat they have been swimming in the lagoons just off their nesting area, using the ramp to get in and out! The best views have actually been from our CCTV spy camera rather than from the hide!
9 June - After much uncertainty, our kingfisher pair successfully fledged 3-4 chicks over several days - giving visitors great views! [Photo: Katy Smith]
15 June - Simon Hummerstone, our reserve guide, found 2 large Grass snake sheds out on the reserve! There have also been a fair few sightings of both adults and offspring around, either basking or swimming in the lagoons. [Photo: Debs Allbrook]
17 June - #TeamSkyLark dropped in to see us on their epic cycle ride from Edinburgh to London to raise awareness for climate change and the actions we all need to be taking. They then finished up at the Speak Up Climate Lobby in Westminster. Read more on https://teamskylark.wordpress.com/ about what they (and we!) are lobbying for; find out how they did; and follow news on the http://fortheloveof.org.uk/ campaign. [Photo: Debs Allbrook]
17 June - We had visitors from BirdLife Malta who wanted to learn all about our brand new Schools on Reserves programme, and take ideas away with them for their own environmental education schemes. This month has also seen the real kick off of the revised Education programme, with new staff member Emma Hudgell (pictured) at the helm! It has been a daily occurrence to have over 60 school children during the mornings and afternoons doing minibeasting, pond dipping, plant walks, birdwatching and more! If you are interested in bringing a class along, please use the following link for more information: http://www.rspb.org.uk/forprofessionals/teachers/schoolvisits/rye_meads.aspx. [Photo: Debs Allbrook]
27 June - Another successful fledging from our box full of kestrels up on the pylon at the Kingfisher hide! They have stuck around all week feeding and honing their flying skills! [Photo: Brian Gleeson]
27 June - 4 Ruffs! (No picture I'm afraid!)
Throughout June - June is a great month for moths and we have been setting the moth traps overnight on a regular basis, leading to a fantastic haul! Vicky has been happily trawling through books and guides to try to identify all the different species and to name just a few, we've had: Poplar, Eyed, Elephant and Privet Hawk-moths, Spectacle, Lilac beauty, Barred yellow, Common emerald, Buff ermine, Hook-tip, Buff-tip, Clouded border, Cream-bordered green pea and Phoenix. Phew! Here's the snazzy, ever-popular Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor) [Photo: Debs Allbrook]
And today, I know it’s not June anymore but we had to include this incredible find – netted by the Rye Meads Ringing group and shown here being held by Toby Spall – a Lesser spotted woodpecker! Extremely rare to see in this part of the country, listed with a red status in the UK, and a priority on the biodiversity action plan. This was a nearly mature, juvenile male, much excitement! [Photo: Debs Allbrook]
Have you added your name to Defend the Directives yet? European leaders are considering revising the laws that protect all our wildlife and nature in the idea that weaker protection is better for business. We know this would be a disaster for wildlife! This really is an important campaign which should make those in charge take notice, therefore please spend 2 minutes if you haven't already, adding your support -http://www.rspb.org.uk/joinandhelp/campaignwithus/defendnature/.
Coming up: We have a busy summer programme with plenty for all to do! Leaflets are ready and sitting on reception, so pop in and pick up a copy, or check out the events on our website by clicking here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/r/ryemeads/events.aspx. Come along and join in!
That's it from me! See you all soon :)
Our first brood of kingfishers have fledged, hurrah!
As has been the story with this pair in 2015 things did not go as you would expect! The first chick fledged on Tuesday 11 June, followed by another on Wednesday with a third seen at the entrance to the burrow. However at the end of the day the adults were still taking fish in to the burrow and this continued until the end of the day Thursday. Today, Friday, chick number 3 fledged and since then we have not seen any fish going in to the bank. So we can confirm 3 chicks but it is likely some more fledged in the evenings or early morning.
Normally a whole brood will fledge in a morning with the possibility of activity for a day. But for a fledging to continue over 4 days, i have never heard of.
The adults continue to be active around the nest bank and mating started around the 5 June on the second brood, so we are again waiting for incubation to start, hopefully following more of the usual course.
Thanks, see you soon