Just a quick update on the kingfishers, to say currently we don't know whats going on!!
Last week we were sure that incubation had started although the female did seem very reluctant to leave the nest chamber when the male came to do a change over. And we had calculated hatching to be around 12-14 April. However yesterday at 3.30 and again this morning we have seen the pair mating. Once a clutch is laid and incubation has started the pair no longer mate, they both spend time incubating while the other feeds for the 19-21 day incubation. Therefore either we miss read the signs (the pair were changing over for some other reason) and they had not finished laying the clutch or something has happened to the clutch.
We will keep an eye on activity over the next few days and let you know once we are sure whats going on.
Thanks very much
We are opening a seasonal trail tomorrow, the first of April 2015!
This will allow you access to an area of site not usually open to the public. The trail follows access usually used in the winter by heavy machinery such as a digger clearing out ditches or the Truxor cutting reedbed and for management work. Therefore it undulates and does not have a laid surface and may not be accessible to all, so please watch your footing to ensure you do not trip. The trail takes you through and around the reedbed of the Lee Marsh so you can immerse yourself in the song of the returning warblers, view up hidden channels in the reedbed and catch a glimpse of the River Lee.
For those of you who know the site well, the trail starts at the culvert (before the Tern and Gadwall hides) on the left, heads towards the river lea before taking a sharp right along the river with the reedbed on your right. The trail finishes and joins back up with the main path at the end of the kingfisher boardwalk. Please ensure you stick to the marked route when using this trail and we hope you enjoy it.
Sorry we have not updated the community blog for a while but you can always keep up to date with us on other social media channels such as twitter @RSPBRyeMeads or Facebook RSPB three counties.
A few waders on the Draper this month including oystercatcher 2 on and off between 15/3 and 21/3, redshank 1-3 between 13 and 30 March also 2-4 lapwing, little egret 9 March. Snipe in varying numbers (up to 6 on Draper) and locations including meadow, Draper and Ashby. Shelduck have increased to 2 pairs on site and i am looking forward to some cute shelduck ducklings. An unusual sighting for us was a great crested grebe 15/3. Warbler wise cettis and chiff chaff regularly calling but we are still waiting for the return of some other migrants. Stonechat have been passing through in ones or twos over the month mostly on the meadow. We have had a variety of gulls on site with a pair of herring gull returning to Draper on 22/3 and moving around site sine then. Lesser black back and common gull along with plenty of black headed gulls are also present on site. The nesting rafts for the gulls were put out on the lagoon at Tern Hide 17 march and the black headed gulls have taken up residence quickly. We have kept the new style raft at shore and will position it in April when the common terns return. The kestrels have taken up residence in their usual box at the Kingfisher hide, sparrowhawks are on site, buzzards regularly over and occasional red kite.
Kingfishers have been very active courting since 1st march and incubation of the first brood has started so we have a quieter period of activity until 12-14 April when we expect the eggs to hatch which will be followed by fleding 24-26 days.
Stoat have been showing regualrly in march around lapwing hide, visitor center and water vole corner. Muntjac continue to be a regular on site with fox an occasional sighting.
Small tortoiseshell and comma through month and first speckled wood on 28/3
Just a quick one to remind you all that our annual family fun day is happening again on Sunday 19th April (the last day of the Easter holidays) from 10 am - 4 pm!
Plenty to do for all the family, pop along and find out more about nature and what lives on the reserve and in the wider area. Check out the flyer and please share with friends, family and anyone else you think might like to come along!
Hope to see you all there!