September at Rye Meads: expect the unexpected

As the mornings become cooler and the days shorten, wildlife is leaning towards the Autumn months as the few remaining swallows, swifts and house martins begin their long journey to their wintering grounds in Africa. Wigeon, Teal and Shoveller can be seen dabbling on the lagoons and their numbers will grow as we head towards the winter months.

Starlings are clustered on wires and Green Sandpipers, Snipe and Lapwing are busy feeding on the Draper scrape. With passage migration nearing an end and bringing with it Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Greenshank to the reserve this is a time to expect the unexpected before Redwings and Fieldfares flock to the UK.

September has arrived with a host of highlights including an Osprey flyover, 26 Yellow Wagtails on the meadow with the cattle, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Weasel, Wigeon, Bullfinch, Meadow Pipit with Chiffchaff and Cetti’s still singing.

Photo Credit: Kingfisher - Stuart Fox. Marsh Harrier and Yellow Wagtail - RSPB Images.

Kingfishers can still be seen darting around the reserve along with Migrant, Common and Southern Hawker Dragonflies.

Come and visit Rye Meads this Autumn. The air is fresh, and the sky is blue and there is a peregrine on the pylon.

August Sightings


Passage migration saw a nice array of waders drop in including Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Green and Common Sandpipers, Snipe and Lapwing. Little Egrets were seen frequently throughout the month along with a whole host of raptors including Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Red Kite and some nice appearances of Hobby, Peregrine and juvenile Marsh Harrier as well as an Osprey flyover. Warblers have been singing across the reserve with sightings of Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler, Black Cap and Cetti’s. Swifts, Swallows and Cuckoos have been amongst some of summer visitors along with House Martins.

We have been very lucky to have two pairs of breeding Kingfishers on the reserve this summer. The chicks at the Kingfisher Hide fledged around the 27 August with visitors getting good views or 3 fledglings perched by the pool. There were possible glimpses of a fourth chick. The pair located in the bank at the Draper Hide are assumed to be a young pair who attempted breeding but did not seem to successful. We hope that we will have a repeat next year of two breeding pairs on the reserve.


Photo Credit: Kingfisher Fledgling - Stuart Fox

Cormorants, Reed Bunting, Stock Dove and Green Woodpecker were also seen in August along with good views of ducks from the Draper and Gadwall Hides including Shoveller, Teal, Garganey, Pochard, Wigeon and Gadwall.


A Water Vole was seen at the Ashby Hide and Muntjac and Fox were seen along the trails.


Lepidoptera sightings included Jersey Tiger-moth, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Gate Keeper, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Willow Emerald Damselfly and Red Underwing. Brown Hawker Dragonflies and a Common Blue Damselfly were also seen.

Please send your images to and we may feature them in next months sightings blog.