2022 at the Kingfisher Hub

Hi everyone,

We hope you're all enjoying the warmer weather this Easter! With kingfishers potentially nesting once again, we just wanted to remind everyone of the requirements for the usage of the Kingfisher Hub. Many thanks to everyone who has visited us over the last few weeks and has followed these requirements - your support is appreciated in ensuring a positive experience for all our visitors at RSPB Rye Meads.

Last year we were delighted to see two active pairs, and despite the drama of losing a male from the hub pair we still successfully fledged 4 broods. So, we are keen to see what the 2022 breeding season will bring! These measures are designed to allow as many people as possible to see and learn about our kingfishers while ensuring minimal disturbance and considering the safety of our visitors. A member of the team will be on hand as much as possible to facilitate your viewing experience.  

From 1st March 2022, the following will apply until further notice:

  • Max of 25 visitors allowed in the Hub at any one time, including 15 in the birdwatchers/photographers section and 10 in the family area.
  • Time restrictions will be in place and will be communicated through signage at the Hub, visitor centre and on social media; 2 hours standard time per visitor and 30-60 mins at busy times to manage flow of people.
  • At the end of your time in the Hub, you are asked to vacate your space for another visitor and may re-join the queue outside the Hub, if you wish.
  • The Rye Meads team will be available at the Hub as much as possible. Please follow their guidance or these requirements to help everyone enjoy the experience.
  • Be polite and courteous to other users and those staffing the hub.
  • With a second pair nesting at the Draper hide in 2021, we will put in additional measures around the Draper hide if the need arises.
  • Rye Meads staff reserve the right to adjust maximum times at the Hub to ensure a fair viewing experience for all. Any changes will be communicated to you at the visitor centre and displayed at the Hub.

We also ask that you:

  • Follow the one-way system around the kingfisher loop
  • Queue outside the Hub to gain entry
  • Familiarise yourself with the code of conduct displayed in the visitor centre and Hub
  • Put your mobile phones and other electronic devices on silent
  • Please keep noise levels low
  • Remember that the toilet facilities are located a short walk away at the visitor centre
  • Remember to take your rubbish and your belongings with you when you leave
  • Use hide clamps or monopod if you have your telescope at the benches
  • Ensure you are respectful and courteous to staff and visitors at all times
  • Engage with staff at the Hub
  • Do not play recordings of birdsong or calls
  • Do not use tripods at the benches in the photographers/birdwatchers section - they may be used in the family area.

 

All visitors must abide by these requirements and the code of conduct displayed or they may be asked to vacate the hub, or in extreme cases will be asked to leave the reserve

We will be running a series of VIP kingfisher events through the breeding season offering exclusive out of hours access, room for use of tripods, and use of the low-level photography slots. We time these events to coincide with peak activity from the kingfishers and therefore can’t predict dates in advance, so keep any eye on our social media and website for dates and booking information.

We look forward to seeing you!

Matt Bartlett

Visitor Experience Manager - RSPB Rye Meads

  • I enjoyed a couple of hours in the kingfisher hide on Wednesday (13th April) Whilst waiting for the kingfishers, I was delighted to see the teal and gadwall pairs as well.

    Kingfisher pair

  • Lovely photos David! Many thanks for visiting us, and glad you enjoyed your time here! Looking forward to seeing you again soon

    Matt Bartlett

    Visitor Experience Manager - RSPB Rye Meads

  • Another fine Wednesday morning so back to the Kingfisher hub. The pair were active and here is another of my photos:

    You can imagine the conversation: "I'm just off for a spot of fishing, See you soon" .... "OK dear, don't be too long - I'll keep an eye on the eggs"

    After this I paid a first visit to the Amwell Nature Reserve which I would heartily recommend. It's just a short 5 minute drive away from Rye Meads and there is plenty to see from the paths and the hides. Many thanks to the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust for maintaining this reserve. 

  • In reply to David Everett:

    A very nice action shot!

    Matt Bartlett

    Visitor Experience Manager - RSPB Rye Meads