Trip reports

Reserve Visit: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Avocet wading in water

Saturday, 13 May 2017

It was a grey and chilly morning, accompanied by an unseasonably strong cold wind, to our day's birding at Rye. Not an ideal start. However, under the leadership of Sedley and Neil we split in to two groups and set off to explore the birdlife on the Beach Reserve.

Rye always looks beautiful, no matter what the weather, with its expansive pools of water, enclosing islands of various sizes that hold birds we come to see and in some cases we expect to see. Whether in vast numbers or in this instance slightly less in number of several species, Rye still has a beguiling effect on its bird watching visitors. We started our day at the John Gooders Hide which gives the visitor excellent views of the wading birds.

We covered the area that included Quarry Hide, Parkes Hide and some made it to Crittall Hide. Gradually the day got warmer and the sun started to appear, which was a welcoming sight indeed. Our final walk of the day was to Harbour Farm, before we made our way back to the main entrance.

During the time on the reserve we saw avocet (pictured), dunlin, ringed plover, redshank, oystercatcher, whimbrel, bar tailed godwit, turnstone, lapwing, black headed, common, herring, lesser black backed and great black backed gulls, Sandwich, common and little tern, linnet, skylark, meadow pipit, goldfinch, chaffinch, whitethroat, chiffchaff, reed bunting, wheatear, yellow and pied wagtail, dunnock, house sparrow, wood pigeon, collared dove, starling, crow, magpie, kestrel, swift, swallow, tufted duck, mallard, coot, great crested grebe, greylag geese, cormorant, pheasant, grey plover, little egret, blackbird, great tit and jackdaw. We also heard a cuckoo.

On arrival at the main entrance it was early afternoon and the sun was now shining gloriously, the temperature was notching by a degree every minute and a good number of us decided that liquid refreshments were in order.

Some chose to have ice cream, teas and coffee at a mobile food stand at the entrance to the Reserve and others took themselves off to the William the Conqueror on the banks of the River Rother. This time of birdwatcher bonding and general camaraderie was much enjoyed by all who came and it was a happy band of birders who set off on their journey home.