Trip reports

Rye Harbour Beach Reserve

Male snipe singing in the rain

Saturday, 2 April 2016

I think it is safe to say that Rye Harbour Beach Reserve is one of the group's most favourite places to visit. Rye with its many hides offers the birder as much or as little walking as they want to do, but I say with great pride that there are no slouches in our band of brothers and sisters. I hope that I too will be able to walk many a mile to bird watch when I reach the 'enlightened eighties'.

Under the leadership of Neil Greenaway and ably assisted by Peter Calladine in one group, and Sedley leading another, we set off exploring all that Rye had to offer us that day. There was so much to see as the bird list attests to. We saw mallard, teal, wigeon, gadwall, shoveler, shelduck, tufted duck, coot, skylark, meadow pipit, wheatear, linnet, goldfinch, long tail, blue and great tits, chaffinch, reed bunting, pied wagtail, wren, dunnock, house sparrow, starling, blackbird, Mediterranean, black headed, common, herring, great black backed and lesser black backed gulls, robin, lapwing, sandwich tern, little egret, avocet, ringed plover, dunlin, redshank, curlew, grey plover, black tailed godwit, oystercatcher, brent and greylag geese, mute swan, great crested and little grebe, kestrel, pheasant, jackdaw, crow, magpie, wood pigeon, collared dove, chiffchaff, swallow, Egyptian goose, cormorant, turnstone and knot. Cetti's warbler was also heard.

Sadly there were no common terns. Four common terns had been sighted the previous morning, but were not showing on Saturday.

However, Neil, he of the eagle eye, late in the afternoon and shortly before our departure at 1600 hours spotted from the John Gooder Hide a bird many of us were keen to see. Not to make life too easy, he didn't name the bird but hinted as to where to look on the shingle bank. Of course some of us first had to find the pipe!!.........but when said pipe was sighted, there virtually indistinguishable from the shingle was a lone SNIPE (pictured) adding another bird to the list. Just wonderful.

There was much elation in the hide, and I for one was keen to give Neil a demonstrative sign of affection and thanks, but our Neil is 'not into that' so a simple THANK YOU had to suffice.