Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Rye Meads - 4th June 13

Weather: Warm, sunny, blue skies. Slight breeze.

Birds seen:
Little Grebe; Cormorant; Mute Swan; Canada Goose; Mallard; Shoveler; Gadwall; Teal; Tufted Duck; Pochard; Kestrel; Hobby; Pheasant; Moorhen; Coot; Little Ringed Plover; Lapwing; Black-headed Gull; Common Tern; Woodpigeon; Stock Dove; Collared Dove; Swift; Kingfisher; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Pied Wagtail; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Blackbird; Cetti's Warbler (H); Reed Warbler; Sedge Warbler; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Long-tailed Tit; Magpie; Jay; Carrion Crow; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Greenfinch; Reed Bunting.
Total: 45

Plus: Brimstone; Holly Blue; Orange Tip; Peacock Butterflies and a Brown Tail caterpillar.
Plus: Azure Blue, Common Blue Damselflies; Broad-bodied Chaser, Hairy Dragonflies.
Plus: Muntjac; Konic Ponies; Water Buffalo; Bombardier and Soldier Beetles; Scorpion Fly.

Phew, wot a scorcher!

It seemed like the warmest day so far, albeit with a slight breeze. So it was time for this month's visit to RSPB Rye Meads. As usual I was restricted by time at the Reserve, opening at 10 and closing at 5.

The Kingfishers were due to fledge this week and I was hoping that it may be today. Unfortunately not, maybe tomorrow. But the parents did come and go on a regular basis, at times perching quite close to the Hide. Predictably, the Hide was quite packed, at times standing room only.

Earlier, I had wandered down via the trails, insect hunting, and the Draper, Tern and Gadwall Hides. There wasn't too much to be seen on the way. The trails yielded little other than a few interesting insects, mainly the blood red Bombardier Beetles. Only one Azure damselfly was seen all day whilst 3 pairs of Common Blue Damselflies were seen right at the end of the visit. A few butterflies were around, mainly Peacocks.

Brown Tail caterpillar
At the Draper there were quite a few birds on show, mainly Gadwalls. In fact I counted over a hundred of them. You might say it was Gadwall-to-wall. Sorry. As well as the Gadwall there were a dozen or so Pochards and lots of Tufties and Coots. The only things of note here were a lone Lapwing and a couple of photogenic Little Grebes. I bypassed the Ashby and when I got to the Tern and Gadwall Hides I found some volunteers busy repainting the woodwork. Another volunteer was further down the trail with a noisy grass strimmer. There wasn't much about from these Hides either, just a pair of Common Terns amongst dozens of BHGs, which had lots of chicks on the rafts.

So I eventually ended up in the KF Hide where I met up with the volunteer I arrived at the Reserve with. All the seats were taken up bar one and so I settled in. After only a few minutes both Kingfishers flew in with fish, entered the nest, flew out, had a quick wash, flew up on one of the posts or nearby bushes and flew off. Every now and then they sat on a branch in the trees calling the youngsters out. But nothing came out and they continued to be fed. It wasn't looking too good for a fledging today.

Whilst in the Hide I spotted a male Blackcap; a male GSW, which had a quick look in the upper Kestrel box; a Jay which flashed past and a pair of Stock Doves. Later on a pair of Kestrels appeared and settled on the lower nest box. Then a Muntjac appeared on top of the sand bank where the KFs were nesting and began feeding. People came and went and I eventually decided to move on as it was beginning to become apparent that the fledging was not going to happen today.

On the trail down to the Warbler Hide there were plenty of Warblers singing, mainly Chiffchaffs. From the Hide I saw another lone Lapwing; a Hobby high in the sky and plenty of Swifts. I had lunch and moved back to the KF Hide. Much of the same thing happened here again with the addition of a pair of Collared Doves.

On the return journey there was nothing of note, again, other than a Sedge Warbler showing well on the trail. Back at the Draper there was a Little Ringed Plover showing at the back of the island. Unfortunately it didn't get any closer. A pair of Pied Wagtails were flying around the island, landing, feeding and wagging their tails, as they do.

A very nice day out, sunny, warm weather and not too many people about. Other than the KF hide. Not much of note about and I fear that Rye Meads may be becoming a one-bird Reserve. Let's see what happens tomorrow.