Trip reports

Rye Harbour (Leader Robin Smith )

Rye Harbour (Leader Robin Smith )
Dunlin (Rich Hanman)

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A trip to Rye Harbour during a brief English heat wave made me wonder whether there would be a good turn out from the Group when the official advice was to try to stay out of the strong sun, particularly between 11 and 3. Well, you know how it is, "mad dogs and Englishmen" comes to mind and 11 of us gathered for the walk.

On arrival at the Reserve it was very overcast, windy and not at all hot, how fickle the English weather can be!

We set off wondering whether the birds would be keeping a low profile, but we actually had some good sightings. Unfortunately the little terns had already left and sadly we were told there was a complete nest failure this year due to predation by a kestrel. However we saw a good group of Sandwich terns and later a flock of 50+ common terns. There was much debate and banter about a distant wader on one of the pools, was it a common sandpiper, greenshank, godwit, or none of them! Eventually the consensus was that it was in fact a greenshank - bird watching can certainly be a challenge. Other sightings included a dunlin in breeding plumage, wheatear, ringed plover, a few skylarks in full voice, gadwall, little grebe, tufted duck, shelduck and marsh harrier. On the return to the car park through the scrub and hedges area things were very quiet, apart from stonechat and a few hirundines. A total of 48 species were listed.

All in all an enjoyable walk which Robin and I topped off with a lovely lunch in the Bosun's Bite Café, followed by a "99" ice cream, well it was midsummer after all!!

Elaine Smith