A couple of hours spare on a rather dull but calm afternoon so time for a visit to see what Rye Meads has to offer. First stop was the Draper Hide for no other reason than it is the first on the trail. Green Sandpiper numbers had dropped off dramatically since my last visit with only tree birds present, but still strutting their stuff for all to enjoy.
Snipe were beginning to return for the winter months, but today there were only two present in front of the Draper Hide. One was content to have a soak in the bath whilst the other was busy feeding on top of one of the islands.
As usual the female/juvenile Tufted Duck was diving right in front of the hide allowing some close-up shots to be taken, but then the peace was shattered by the bugle call of a Canada Goose warning everything to get out of the way while it attempted to land.
Now on to the Gadwall Hide where the water levels have been reduced to their winter levels. This has made the lagoon attractive to a great variety of water birds including waders, gulls and ducks but all very distant. However, I didn't have to wait long before one of the juvenile Kingfishers paid a visit to a willow stem in front of the hide, eventually taking up residence for a while on a nearby metal pipe.
But the biggest surprise of all was when a Water Rail broke cover from the reeds on the left and strolled past the front of the hide before flying off to the right.
Today must have been "Obliging Day" at Rye Meads.