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  • Blog Post: A Winter’s afternoon on Campfield - 13th December 2014

    A Winter’s afternoon on Campfield - 13 th December 2014 On a clear frosty afternoon much of the water on the Reserve was frozen. A walk round the ‘loop’ elicited a small flock of finches over the arable fields and a Buzzard flying beyond. Frozen pool by the 'broken'...
  • Blog Post: Christmas at Rye Meads

    Hey all! Just a quick reminder of the last few events we have running at Rye Meads this year. We're counting down to Father Christmas visiting the reserve on Saturday and Sunday, and all the other festivities that will be going on all weekend. Make sure you come down and take a break from Christmas...
  • Blog Post: A Collective of Christmas Sightings

    You’ll know about our charms of goldfinches and parliament of long-eared owls, but has anyone ever turned to you and said ‘oh just look at that mutation of thrushes ’? – no, me neither... What other weird and wonderful collectives can you see around the reserve? Pheasant...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 8th-13th December 2014

    Hi, After nearly a month’s absence, the return of 26 Greenland White-Fronted Geese to the reserve was a real highlight this week. The flock sighted on the saltings from Poggles bench (Wetland Trail, 13th) showed well in the winter sunshine. However, where they have been feeding over the past...
  • Blog Post: What birds are wintering on your farm?

    Winter is a tough time for wildlife, but especially so for those species which call farmland home. Many farmland bird species such as grey partridge, yellowhammer and corn bunting depend on seeds to survive. Other species such as thrushes and bullfinches depend on berries, fruit and grubs found along...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 1st-7th December 2014

    Hi, Finally catching a glimpse of an Ynys-hir otter has to my personal highlight on the reserve this week. The otter, viewed from both the Domen Las and Marian Mawr Hides, was busy foraging on the estuary and successfully caught atleast one big flat fish whilst I was watching, excellent stuff! ...
  • Blog Post: Red, gold and green, like my dreams: Recent sightings

    Remember back in October when I suggested we could have heard the last chiffchaff song of the year? Well not quite... December 1 st a chiffchaff was heard singing at the far end of the reserve near Hickson’s pool! If you hear any more this year, please do let us know. Chiffchaff, John Bridges...
  • Blog Post: All you need is love

    Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer with RSPB Scotland, tells you about the some of the things we love and want to protect with the FTLO campaign we're a part of. All you need is love As the Beatles timeless classic said – all you need is love. Still true? It’s no longer...
  • Blog Post: Burt's on the move.

    Autumn and early winter is a great time to look for hen harriers in England. With so few nesting attempts in the country and so few birds out there in summer despite the hundreds of square miles of suitable habitat, the autumn sees numbers swell as harriers begin to disperse from elsewhere. As well as...
  • Forum Thread: Falconry and Conservation

    Hello I am a year 13 student at the Arthur Terry School and am currently writing a report on "Falconry and conservation" for my extended project qualification. I have written a short questionnaire for this project and would be grateful if you could find the time to participate. Link to the...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 16th-30th November 2014

    Hi, If I were to use one word to describe the last fortnight on the reserve it would be settled. The reserve’s wildlife cast remained relatively similar however with mild and calm conditions dominating it made for some pleasant viewing on the reserve. The suns late autumn glow illuminating...
  • Blog Post: A couple of commoners...and a barn owl!

    The recent sightings book in the visitor centre is full of wonderful sightings, but alas, I have already written about many of the new and exciting arrivals! So, I thought it was probably about time we took a moment to appreciate some of the more common birds that are in the book on a regular basis....
  • Blog Post: For The Love Of Scottish Machair...

    Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer with RSPB Scotland, is back with another blog on the For The Love Of campaign we are involved with. For The Love Of Scottish Machair... Last week on this blog I wrote about the new climate campaign that we are involved in (FTLO for short). I also gave...
  • Blog Post: Fracking is a hot topic in Scotland – what is RSPB Scotland’s position?

    Alexa Morrison, Conservation Policy Officer at RSPB Scotland, takes a look at fracking and the different types of unconventional gas proposals coming forward in Scotland. Fracking is a hot topic in Scotland – what is RSPB Scotland’s position? Fracking and unconventional gas are coming...
  • Blog Post: Photo diary - Early November

    1st November. A fine late Autumn day: sunshine and intermittent showers with a brisk SSW wind. The Whooper Swans of previous days were here in force today. Numbers had risen to 41. Family group with Wigeon in attendance. 2nd November. Another very pleasant day. The Whoopers could...
  • Blog Post: For The Love Of.......

    Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer with RSPB Scotland, talks about a new climate change campaign we're working on alongside our partners in Stop Climate Chaos Scotlan d. For The Love Of....... We all know about climate change. We've all heard the arguments and warnings, but it’s...
  • Blog Post: Scottish hen harrier heads to France

    Thanks to a satellite tag and an eagle-eyed photographer, a young hen harrier from southwest Scotland has recently been tracked to our Wallasea Wetlands reserve in southern England. However, that wasn't far enough apparently, as the intrepid traveler has now migrated all the way to France! Read...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 9th-15th November 2014

    Hi, We’ve just had another fantastic week on the reserve with the key sightings being a fine drake Green-winged Teal (Ynys Feurig Hide, daily since its discovery on the 11 th ), two Otter (Domen Las Hide,10 th ) and a big bull Grey Seal (Domen Las Hide, 12 th ). This Green-winged Teal...
  • Blog Post: An evening of wildlife and photography: Serbia - Land of the Owls, by Tom Mason

    Join us on Thursday evening from 7 pm when Tom Mason shares with us his stories of a recent trip to Serbia, illustrated with some truly amazing pictures of Long-eared owls! All ages are welcome and there is tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Arrive 7 pm for a prompt 7.30 pm start. The talk is approximately...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Guided Walks

    Hi, We’re offering weekly guided walks every Wednesday morning at ten o’clock. Tom, one of our interns will be pointing out some of the wildlife and explaining about the management work done on the reserve. If you are interested please ring us on: 01654 700222, to book a place. Alternatively...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings: vibrant colours and aerial displays

    How beautiful are redwings!? It was weeks ago that I wrote about the first sightings in the book and since then there has been a huge influx. This week I got my first real opportunity to stand and stare at one up-close. They are so vibrant, though I don’t know why I was surprised; photos never...
  • Blog Post: Pump it Up! ...or down in our case!

    The autumn period on the South Essex Reserves has been unusually mild and dry compared to recent years. This as it happens, has been somewhat of a bonus to the South Essex Reserves team as we have been recovering from some of the effects of last years very wet winter. Visitors who enjoy the sights...
  • Blog Post: Activity on the saltmarsh at Campfield - 10th November 2014

    A walk along the marsh road overlooking the saltmarsh, was a sheer delight this afternoon. View along the marsh towards the viaduct. The tide was nearly full and consequently birds were very mobile: being pushed off the mudflats onto the saltmarsh. Starting at the small hamlet of West Common...
  • Blog Post: On the effects of climate change in Southern Ocean seabirds

    Guest blog from Deborah Pardo, Richard Phillips and Phil Trathan, British Antarctic Survey In Polar Regions, where species are already at the limit of their ranges, climate change is suspected to have particularly strong effects (Barbraud et al. 2012). Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey have...
  • Blog Post: Ynys-hir Recent Sightings 2nd-8th November 2014

    Hi, The spectacle of thousands of wetland birds feeding and roosting on the Breakwater field over high tide has to be one of the main highlights over the past week. With the high tides being over five metres most of the saltmarsh was inundated with seawater pushing the estuary birds over the railway...