Sunday, 12 April 2015

April Fools Day - Time for a Visit to Rye Meads

1st April 2015

Still early in the season but time for a visit to Rye Meads to see what is happening to the water levels. Well, the levels in front of the Draper Hide are still being maintained very high to kill off the vegetation on the islands but the levels are now starting to be reduced gradually to expose some wet mud. So straight on to the Gadwall Hide where the water levels were also high but the close proximity of the island meant that there was a great deal more activity.

The Black-headed Gulls are now back in town and have already commandeered all the islands and tern rafts although I suspect this 1st winter bird will not be breeding this year. The adults, however, were all looking smart in their breeding plumage and getting down to some serious courtship displays.






Ducks were also well represented with pairs of Gadwall, Shoveler and Tufted Duck. The wind gave this tuftie a punk hair style.




















Now on to the Kingfisher Hide to see what the famous Rye Meads Kingfishers are up to. The birds are only starting nesting so no young to feed, and therefore it might be a long wait before either of the birds appeared. However, just like the queues in Disneyland in Florida, this Grey Heron was on hand to provide the entertainment while you are waiting.




But then came the tell-tale call of the first Kingfisher which, as they normally do at this stage in the proceedings, settled on the far post next to the nest bank. After a quick visit into the nest the bird flew off and over the next couple of hours the birds were coming and going but not giving many clues away as to whether the clutch was complete or not, or even started for that matter.












At least the hide was nice and quiet today compared to the crowds it attracts when the Kingfishers are feeding young.

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