After their first lot of young fledged in June, we've been thrilled to see that our resident pair of kingfishers have successfully hatched their second brood for the year at the beginning of the month! They've been diligently taking food in and out of the nest, so hopefully we should have another large healthy group ready to fly in a couple of weeks time.
Most of the black headed gulls and their chicks have started to move on now, which means the common terns can raise their chicks in (relative) peace and quiet. There's at least 20 tern chicks at the moment on the raft at the tern hide, as well as a couple of older juveniles seen on the scrape at the draper hide too. There's also an abundance of tufted ducklings; we had a quick count for one of the mothers on the draper hide and she was looking after at least 15 ducklings!
There have been fleeting glimpses of a little ringed plover chick on the gadwall hide, although they're obviously pretty difficult to spot at the moment given how tiny they are! We've also had pochard and lapwing with young on the reserve as well, which is great news as both species are red listed by the RSPB nationally and considered vulnerable by the IUCN globally.
We've had a few fleeting visitors over the last month; a Mediterranean gull and a female ruff both stayed for a short while before moving on, while a pair of garganeys hung around for roughly a week before quietly making their exit. We also had a short stay from 7 black-tailed godwits on the 26th, which was made even more interesting after one of the birds was found to be ringed. After some investigation by the Rye Meads Ringing Group, it was established that the ringed individual had been tagged in Iceland as an adult as far back as 2012. More information about the godwits can be found at the Rye Meads Ringing Group blog entry.
All four kestrel chicks fledged successfully, and the ringing group managed to get them all ringed before they made their way. Occasionally we do still hear them making a fuss at the top of the pylon where they hatched, so keep an eye on the skies and you might catch a glimpse of one on your next visit.
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