• 11 February 2017

    Hi All

    A light dusting of snow today but all the trails and hides are open.  Hats, gloves and scarves are needed.

    Gadwall hide over 400 lapwing this morning along with ca 12 snipe, 2 shelduck, gadwall, tufted duck, shovler, and ring necked parakeet over

    • 11 Feb 2017
  • Management work update February 2017

    Hi All

    Just a quick update to notify you of some habitat management we will be undertaking in February which will mean some access restrictions.

    Contractors will be on site from Wednesday 8 February until 16 February carrying out scrub clearance works on the lagoon banks to create a more diverse sward and enhance wildfowl nesting opportunities. This will mean there will be no access beyond the Ashby hide on Wednesday…

    • 6 Feb 2017
  • Update 19 January 2017

    Hello there!


    We have had a lovely couple days here at Rye Meads with frosty mornings and sunshine the perfect weather to carry out some habitat management.


    We are undertaking lots of fun work on our habitats ensuring we give nature an excellent home! The work party have been busy completing work on the island in front of the Gadwall hide ready for breeding common terns and black headed gull, fingers crossed we may even…

    • 19 Jan 2017
  • 29 December 2016

    It's a beautiful day here at Rye Meads. The fog that covered the site yesterday has cleared to let through some blue sky and sunshine making the frost sparkle.

    Despite the fog, yesterday's sightings were still rolling in with multiple bittern sightings (mainly from the Kingfisher hide), water rail, bullfinch, water vole and sparrowhawk reported to name a few. But today has far exceeded sightings with the bittern…

    • 29 Dec 2016
  • Wintery sightings....

    It's been an icy week here at Rye Meads - lots of pictures of birds walking on the ice, like the beautiful teal and water rail below. We still have a water pipit on site as well as our friendly Robin, Alan, just to keep the Christmassy theme.
    A water vole also made an appearance, warming up his bottom in the sunshine, whilst sitting on the ice!
    Other sightings include: fieldfare, redwing, red kite…
    • 11 Dec 2016
  • New bittern on site

    Yesterday we had sightings of a brand new bittern. You may remember a few months ago, we had a female (we think) bittern released on site by a local wildlife rescue organisation, which was rung before its release.  This lovely photo below  shows that this bittern has no ring, so hopefully we are now accommodating 2 on site.   Another popular bird on site at the moment is the water pipit - the photo below was originally thought…

    • 6 Nov 2016
  • Truxor in the Lee Marsh !

    Hi All

    The Truxor, an amphibious machine, is currently on site helping out with some reed bed management work. This great piece of kit, operated by Aquaclear, is able to cut the phragmites (reed) under water from a floating position, preventing the need to drain down the area of work, which is much better ecologically. Work has had to finish early today due to a dodgy sprocket! But will hopefully pick up again on Monday…

    • 28 Oct 2016
  • Recent sightings 4 October 2016

    Hi All

    With another lovely October day and the work parties first bonfire of the season today we are all feeling quite autumnal. The reserve and it inhabitants are also feeling the change with cooler nights and a few misty mornings followed by bright blue sky and sun. The hawthorn berries are putting on a good show and fungi are appearing.
    Bittern flying copyright TheBeardedTit@GrahamC57
    Our recent sightings…
    • 4 Oct 2016
  • Bittern release

    Took an unexpected call from Caroline at Wildlife Welfare in the week asking if they could release a bittern on site, after it had been hit by a car in Letchworth! The team at Wildlife Welfare based in Stevenage had been in touch with RSPB HQ at the Lodge after the bird was bought in for a bit of advice and recommended us as a local reserve for release. The bittern was in good condition and after x-rays no brakes could…

    • 20 Sep 2016
  • Sunday 4 September

    Hi All

    On Sunday 4 September local artist Steve Kershaw will be spending the day with us at Rye Meads to draw the winning ticket for the raffle of the lovely kingfisher water color he donated.
    Steve will also be sketching and painting in the visitor center 11 am - 3 pm and he will have paintings and gift cards on display and for sale.
    To celebrate the we will also be running some events…
    • 24 Aug 2016
  • Family fun in the summer sun

    It’s been a busy few weeks here at Rye Meads with lots of family events going on to keep the little ones entertained!

    Throughout the rest of the school break, you can take part in one of the special activities designed to get kids closer to nature and get a certificate and sticker for taking part! Our ‘spring into summer’ nature trail is aimed at children under 8 and is running every day of the holidays. There…

    • 18 Aug 2016
  • Update

    Hi All

    The third brood of kingfishers have hatched, which means increased activity at the nest bank! So you still have time to pop down for a visit. We are looking for fledging around 5 or 6 September and have arranged another early morning kingfisher event for 10 lucky peoplewww.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynatu…/…/events/details.aspx…(kingfisher image by Keith Bedford)

    The Rye Meads Ringing Group…

    • 17 Aug 2016
  • Wonderful warblers 6 August 2016

    Hi All
    Summer is drawing to a close, the swifts are gone! I had 2 circling over the visitor center Thursday as i locked up, will they be the last of the year?
    However there are still plenty of warblers about, as we saw this morning from our wonderful warblers event in-conjunction with the (RMRG) Rye Meads Ringing Group. We had great views of lesser whitethroat, willow warbler, sedge warbler whitethroat…
    • 6 Aug 2016
  • Update 20 July 2016

    Hello All

    To start with we have kingfisher news! The kingfishers have fledged their second brood yesterday! Five young were seen leaving the bank and hanging around the pool, while the adults were kept busy bringing fish in, excellent. Over the past few weeks the adults have also been mating and clearing out another hole ready for a third brood so we are just waiting for them to start incubating (fingers crossed).

    • 20 Jul 2016
  • Kestrel fledging

    Hi All

    Arriving this morning to an empty kestrel nest box, was quite sad (although we were expecting the 2 chicks to fledge any day) until this little fella peered in the office window. 
    He then proceeded to explore the wildlife garden and compound, where he found lots of bits to climb up. Unfortunately his balance is not great so he kept tumbling to the ground (lucky he had not got too high) so we decided to…
    • 4 Jul 2016
  • Floods and hatchings

    Hi All

    A couple of updates for you today.

    Firstly the kingfishers have hatched their second brood, hurrah! The adults have been seen taking fish in to the nest bank today a sure sign that the eggs have hatched.  Currently the fish being taken in are very small, but it will not be long before the parents are coming and going frequently with large fish.  Fledging occurs when the young are 24-25 days old (but can take longer…

    • 24 Jun 2016
  • National Insect Week 2016

    Hello All

    Its National Insect Week this week.  To celebrate the vast array of insects that live at Rye Meads and #littlethingsthatruntheworld i thought i would share a few insect pictures with you taken here at Rye Meads.

    For more information on national insect week please visit nationalinsectweek.co.uk 

    We hope you can visit Rye Meads this week ands find some of the marvelous insects that call Rye Meads home…

    • 20 Jun 2016
  • National Moth Night at Rye Meads 10, 11 and 12 June 2016

    Hello All

    Hope you all had a great National moth night.  Despite the deterioration of the weather we ran the moth trap over 3 nights and 15 visitors joined Erin and i to empty the trap at 9 am. We recorded a total of 77 species over the 3 days and hawk moths put on a good show with 3 poplars on the first day, a poplar and an elephant on day 2 and a poplar and 2 elephant on day 3, sadly no privet or eyed were caught but…

    • 14 Jun 2016
  • Sightings update 3 June 2016

    Hello All

    Since fledging their first brood on 24 May the kingfishers have been busy courting and mating in preparation for the second brood. They have settled on a new hole for this clutch (middle row of sand right hand end) and fingers crossed incubation will start soon.

    A number of broods of canada geese are on site with rapidly growing goslings, mute swans have cygnets, a few pochard have young along with broods…

    • 3 Jun 2016
  • Update 12 May 2016

    Hi All

    The last few days have seen a flurry of migrant activity here at Rye Meads. With the Draper scrape being the most popular spot with 3 common sandpipers (still 2 yesterday) 2 dunlin, little ringed plover, oystercatcher and greenshank. We also had a report of a nightingale singing intermittently near the hide on the 10th. A lesser whitethroat has also been staking his territory and signing well to the left of the…

    • 12 May 2016
  • Goodbye from me!

    Hi all, Debs here.

    Just a little post for those of you that don't already know, to say that I am leaving Rye Meads and that tomorrow will be my last day as Visitor Experience Officer here on the reserve.

    I wanted to thank you all for making my time here so enjoyable, for always stopping by the office for a chat, for sending me photos of animals out on the reserve (that I've been trying to spot for days!) and for…

    • 7 May 2016
  • Events update

    Rye Meads Ringing Group - Nestbox watch

    An update on our ringing event on Saturday 14 May.. this has now been moved to the new date of Saturday 21 May to accommodate for the majority of birds being old enough to ring on the day. Many apologies for any inconvenience and we hope to see many of you there. The time remains the same, 1 - 3 pm.

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/events/details.aspx?id…

    • 24 Apr 2016
  • What's been about?

    Hello all

    Thought you might appreciate a small update on unusual and less unusual sightings we've had lately on the reserve.

    First and arguably foremost.. Kingfishers! Our pair settled down to incubate their first clutch on the 8th April, and have been spotted changing over at roughly 2 hourly intervals. So hold out until the start of May for those more frequent sightings!

    Kestrels likewise, we think we've got…

    • 21 Apr 2016
  • Tern and gull preperation

    Hi All

    With the return of our first common tern on 13 April, i thought i would give you some information about the common tern nesting rafts we provide for them (and the black headed gulls) to use.

    During March the management volunteers had a few busy weeks getting the rafts ready for the breeding season, 100's of black headed gull were already on site waiting expectantly for the rafts and we were not expecting a tern…

    • 16 Apr 2016