Friday, 29 August 2014

Rye Meads - 29th July 14

Weather: Very hot, slight cloud, cool breeze.

Birds Total: 42
Plus: Brimstone, Common Blue, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small White butterflies. Cinnabar Moth caterpillar.
Plus: Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed, Common Blue damselflies; Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Southern Hawker dragonflies.
Plus: 7-spot Ladybird; Flesh Fly; Hoverfly; Scorpion Fly; Pond Skaters.
Plus: Konik Ponies; Water Vole.

There had been a few interesting sightings at RM in the last few days, Black-tailed Godwit; Greenshank; Garganey and Snipe to name a few. So I decided that it was time for another visit. Even if they weren't still around there were always the Black-necked Grebes and the Kingfishers to see. And I might even get to see a Water Vole.

It was still very hot and humid out, the run of very good weather still with us. On the way down to the Reserve I spotted a pair of Common Terns overhead. And while I was setting up I could see Greenfinch; Great Tit; Chaffinch and Pheasant.

But the bad news was that I was told the Draper Hide was closed for renovation. Fairly annoying as this was the Hide that the interesting sightings were seen from. Had I known I would probably have gone elsewhere.

Anyway, as I was here I continued on. By the first pond I spotted a few Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on the usual Ragwort. There were a couple of Blue-tailed damselflies and there was also a Scorpion Fly present.

I reached the wooden walkway and immediately spotted a male Banded Demoiselle damsel, the first of several seen today. There was nothing to be seen out over the meadow, other than the Ponies. I hung around the newly named 'Water Vole Corner' and finally got my first glimpse of Ratty, darting across the stream. I decided to hang around a little longer and was rewarded with a much better view as it swam into view and posed, eating a few strands of grass. My first sighting of one this year.

A Pied Wagtail could be heard flying overhead and there was a Brown Hawker patrolling the area. Moving further up the trail a Common Darter appeared and also posed for me. I reached the Draper and did indeed find it closed. Frustrating.

Butterflies started to appear, Common Blue; Green-veined White; Holly Blue; Small White and Speckled Wood. A male Blackcap appeared, chacking away. Then a Green Woodpecker sounded off.

I had a quick look from the Twin Hides. Apart from BHGs and Coots only Common Terns could be seen from the Tern Hide. The two juvenile Black-necked Grebes were on their own now, their parents had disappeared. They were at the far end of the lagoon, diving under every now and then. There was also a Little Grebe family in the area.

I spent an hour or so in the Kingfisher Hide. The Kingfishers didn't give as good a display as before, that was nearly impossible. But almost. There wasn't much else about though. Not even very many people, it seemed a bit quiet today, a little bit puzzling in this lovely weather.

On the trail down to the Warbler Hide I spotted a Gatekeeper butterfly then a pair of Chiffchaffs 'hueeting' to each other. Then a Red Admiral, a Brimstone, another Common Darter and a lovely Southern Hawker, who posed for me, all appeared.

There was nothing to report from the Warbler Hide. On the way back I spooked a Song Thrush, which flew angrily off.

I spent another hour or so in the Kingfisher Hide. It was the same as before but with the addition of hearing a Cetti's Warbler; a Water Rail and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A little Wren was darting about just in front of the Hide.

On the route back there was a Little Egret on the one of the lagoons - Egrets, I've seen a few! I found the Draper Hide had re-opened and while I was in there I spotted a pair of Mute Swans with 5 Cygnets; 2 Grey Herons, one of which was sporting a new line in footwear; a pair of Garganey; a Little Grebe family; 1 Lapwing; 4 Green Sandpipers and at least one Snipe. But there weren't too many other birds about, as to be expected.

It turned out to be a very good day out, despite the closure of the Draper Hide.

For more of my photos please visit my Flickr site.