With the lovely weather continuing again today I felt that a trip to RSPB Rye Meads was in order, so, camera bag packed (and remembering the 1.4x teleconverter this time too!) off I trundled. On arriving there are the usual pleasantries to be exchanged, have I been before, yes I have, and yes, I have already left my membership card on display in the car to entitle me to free parking. Non members get charged a £2 fee, but entry to the reserve is still free. Then its onwards and out onto the reserve to start my wander around. First stop is always the first of the hides - which tends to get a lot of waders and ducks visible from it. Highlights today were masses of Pochard and also a Little grebe with her chicks - like teeny weeny powderpuffs! Then on I go to follow the "Kingfisher trail" - at this time of year vast numbers of people make the trip to the reserve as you can be almost certain of seeing these glorious little birds. How lucky am I to have it 15 minutes away?!
My walk round the trail was interrupted today by these Goslings making their way across the path - Mum and Dad were trying to scoot them along but they weren't being hurried.....until they saw the scary human beings approaching that is!
Once they'd cleared the path and splashed merrily into the stream I continued, stopping once again when I got distracted by these glorious yellow irises - aren't they fantastic? These are out all over the place in the reeds at the moment and really make the place look so bright and cheerful!
Plenty of photographers in the Kingfisher hide when I arrived - there was some feeling that the chicks might choose today to fledge - the parents had been going to and from the nest repeatedly earlier on apparently, as though trying to encourage the babies to leave, poor little things!
All thoughts of fledging went out of the window when the Heron turned up - there was simply no chance of it then although he obviously felt it was worth him hanging about a while as he tried hiding for a bit......it didn't work too well though - we could still see you Mr Heron!
Thankfully after a while he decided he was bored and flew off, and, almost immediately, Mr & Mrs Kingfisher appeared again and began fishing in earnest! Clearly having decided that their babies were staying safely in the next for another day they thought they ought to feed them!Great for us as they repeatedly dipped from one of the branches not so far from the hide, and we got an excellent view whether we wanted photographs or not!
So there you go - a snippet in the life of our lovely local Reserve - makes being an RSPB member well and truly worth it as when the weather is good I can quite happily while away hours at a time down there, either walking round (there is a 2.5 mile circuit right round) or simply sitting in the hides.