• VIP Kingfisher mornings 13 & 14 July

    Great News the second brood of kingfishers hatched on Saturday, so we now have 24-26 days of increasing activity before fledging around 15-17 July.

    Therefore we have been able to set 2 more dates for our VIP Kingfisher mornings, these are Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 July 2019, 6.30am-9am, only 8 places available each day, members only, please call 01992 708383 to book your space. £17 per person

    • 26 Jun 2019
  • May Half Term Activities 25 May - 2 June 2019

    Come and join us for some family fun during half term.

    We have an exciting migration trail where you can take part in the epic migration with Sunny the swallow and friends all the way from South Africa back to the UK to breed, face all the challenges and see how well you do, then help us build a nest ready to rear some young. 

    We also have the ever popular pond dipping kits for hire, who knows what you may find in the…

    • 25 May 2019
  • Sightings Update 25 May 2019

    Cuckoos have been showing really well, with at least 2 males and a female on site.  There have been a couple of fights between 2 males, favourite perch seen from the Draper hide large tree to left but  also spotted around site at Ashby, Kingfisher and Warbler hides as well, fingers crossed we may get views of a youngster.

    The kestrels are incubating in the box on the pylon outside the visitor centre, so we are looking forward…

    • 25 May 2019
  • Kingfisher Saga 2019

    Well it has been a bit of a topsy turvy week for our kingfishers.  

    Fledging was expected 14-16 May after 24-26 days of being fed increasing larger fish and putting great demands on both parents.  Well so far there has been no sign of fledging! 

    Last Saturday 11 May we ran our first VIP kingfisher morning of the season and both adults were seen, however very soon after that the male seemed to disappear! We time our VIP mornings…

    • 17 May 2019
  • Join us for Nestbox Watch Saturday 18 May 2019

    Nestbox watch

    Would you like to see some baby birds in the hand? Join members of the Rye Meads Ringing Group as they monitor and ring the birds breeding in the nest boxes around the reserve.

    We have a variety of boxes around site offering nesting sites for little, tawny and barn owls, kestrels, blue and great tits, house sparrow and stock doves, however these species don’t always take up residence, so you may find other…

    • 14 May 2019
  • Update 20 April 2019

    The kingfishers have hatched their first brood of 2019.

    Today, we received 2 reports of small fish going in to the bank and 1 of something white being dropped just outside the bank (probably egg shell). The pair were very active yesterday with change overs occurring every couple of hours so the signs were looking good and smack in the middle of our estimated time frame of 19-21 April.

    The kingfishers now have 24-26 days…

    • 20 Apr 2019
  • Incubation begins and other sightings

    Great News, 2 changeovers have been sen today at the kingfisher bank! The first was at roughly 11.50 and the next almost exactly 2 hours later at 1.50.  Incubation lasts 19-21 days so we would expect hatching around 19-21 April.  An early start to the season but looks good for another successful year.

    The last week or so has provided some nice surprises as spring migration kicks in, a common crane fly over on the 23 March…

    • 31 Mar 2019
  • The muddy side of Science: over 300 children experience outdoor learning during British Science week at RSPB reserve Rye Meads.

    Last week was British Science Week: a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. Here at RSPB Rye Meads in Hertfordshire, we were keen to show that science happens everywhere and doesn’t just happen in laboratories by people in white coats. Students from Wormley Primary School in Hertfordshire found that science can be done in a pond, on a path and even from a bird hide! The school, who had chosen the…

    • 22 Mar 2019
  • Introducing the Kingfisher Viewing Hub

    Update

    In early 2018 we asked you to fill out questionnaires, vote for your favourite feature and share your ideas with us on what the new structure should look like – thanks!

     The project team analysed the feedback you gave us and used it to create a design brief to help us select a contractor. The team have since been working closely with Gilleards (the successful contractor) and we are excited to share with you…

    • 19 Mar 2019
  • Science Week at Rye Meads 11 - 15 March 2019

    Science week is a celebration of science, engineering and maths and we are very much looking forward to inspiring over 300 pupils next week. (https://www.britishscienceweek.org/)

    As part of these celebrations a local school will be bringing all their year 1 to year 6 classes to the reserve on Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 March.  They will be learning all about birds; using binoculars to help identify and observe…

    • 9 Mar 2019
  • Road Closure 1/10/18

      A section of Rye Road is closed, there is no access to the reserve from Hoddesdon end of Rye Road, please use the Stanstead Abbotts end of Rye Road to visit today. We are currently looking for more information and we will let you know. Thankyou

    Update.

    These roadworks are due to continue until 20 October. During this period of closure we will still be open and  the reserve can be accessed from the other end of Rye…

    • 1 Oct 2018
  • 1 September 2018

    It is a beautiful autumn day today, with clear blue skies, sunshine and a heavy dew early on.  The event this morning with the Rye Meads Ringing Group  was well attended and everyone was rewarded with lovely sightings in the hand of a variety of warblers including sedge, reed, blackcap, lesser whitethroat, and chiffchaff, plus coot with its fabulous feet, robin, dunnock and great tit. 

    Chiffchaff

    The final brood of kingfishers…

    • 1 Sep 2018
  • Ringed Bittern seen from Warbler Hide

    Great news!
    A ringed Bittern was seen today from the Warbler Hide at Rye Meads!
    Could this be the Bittern released on to the reserve in 2016 and recently sighted at Lakenheath Fen in July this year (https://bit.ly/2MivTVC)?
    The challenge now is to get a clear photo of the ring so we can make an accurate identification.
    Photos taken by Colin Tanner.

    • 14 Aug 2018
  • Wonderful warblers 4 August 2018

    Fantastic Wonderful Warblers event this morning, run in conjunction with the Rye Meads Ringing Group and led by the very knowledgeable Alan Harris.

    We were treated to 8 species of warbler and bonus of juvenile green woodpecker and gadwall.

    Feel like you missed out after seeing these wonderful close up views of birds in the hand?

    Then don' worry, call the reserve now on 01992 708383, to book on to the next event…

    • 4 Aug 2018
  • Spiders and damsels

    We had some excellent finds at Rye Meads yesterday including a Wasp Spider which is a first record for the reserve

    The distinctive black and yellow stripes are used as a defence mechanism by mimicking wasp appearance in order to deter predators.

    We also had great views of stunning Willow Emeralds in tandem! These jewel like damselflies are rare and recent colonists.

    It's a great time of year for insects and…

    • 2 Aug 2018
  • Kingfisher update 20 July 2018

    Unexpected reports coming in this morning, the second brood of kingfishers have fledged! Adults seen passing fish to another bird in the bushes and coming out of the burrow still with fish, at least 2 seen exiting burrow one after the other. Seems our calculations were a bit out.

    • 20 Jul 2018
  • Kingfisher update 19 July 2018

    Great news, the Kingfishers are incubating the 3rd brood! A change over has been seen today, so by my calculations hatching should be 7-9 August. The second brood is not due to fledged until 23-25 July so our pair are going to be kept busy for the next few days.

    • 19 Jul 2018
  • Update July 2018

    Hello all

    News you will all be interested  in! The Kingfishers are very active feeding young of the second brood. A few days ago they were joined by another pair which did not go down well, after a bit of a ruckus, our pair saw off the competition. Yesterday all was back to normal with the adults active despite the heat,bringing fish back very regularly and they even found time to think about the third brood and were…

    • 6 Jul 2018
  • A Bittern's Unusual Tale

    David White from RSPB Lakenheath Fen tells us all about a Bittern's unusual tale!

     

    The following blog post is based on a media release that was sent out this morning. 

    RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) staff are celebrating the fact that a bittern that was taken into care and released at RSPB Rye Meads in Hertfordshire has been seen alive and well at RSPB Lakenheath Fen!

    Bitterns are scarce and secretive…

    • 13 Jun 2018
  • Reptilian Rumours

    Every naturalist has a species on their wildlife bucket list that is ‘the one that got away’. Time and time again you make it your mission to finally seek out this elusive creature, and time and time again you fail and are instead faced with “It was here a minute ago” or “Oh, you’ve just missed it”. You begin to feel that you are hunting a mythical beast and everyone else has seen the unicorn critter except you!…

    • 10 Jun 2018
  • Rye Meads Viewing Hub - What's happening now?

    During the months of February, March and April 2018 we embarked on a rather full consultation period to collect feedback and data about our visitors’ requirements for the new viewing hub. We used lots of different methods in order to collect as much data as possible, including surveys, focus groups, Q&A sessions, voting boards, comment boards and comment cards. A few dedicated volunteers even went off site, to Gunpowder…

    • 7 Jun 2018
  • Wader Movement

    Today we are having a nice treat with a lovely summer plumage grey plover and a ringed plover joining our regular little ringed pair, red shank and lapwing on the scrape.  A snipe put in  a brief appearance bringing the wader total to 6 for the day. Yesterdays brief appearance by an avocet sadly only seen by a few, was a lovely bonus too.

    Grey plover

    Ringed plover

    A Cuckoo has been showing nicely this morning on…

    • 25 May 2018
  • 13 April 2018 - is it spring yet?

    A quick update of recent sightings

    A feeling of spring is in the air today! A mad dash down to the Gadwall hide to catch up with a freshly arrived pair of garganey was accompanied by singing willow warbler, chiffchaff, blackcap, reed and sedge warbler. After managing to miss a lot of the recent spring passage namely spotted redshank, curlew, little gull another curlew, yellow wagtail, to name a few, I was pleased to…

    • 13 Apr 2018