Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Friday, 21 June 2013

** Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. 19th June 2013. **

Not having been to Rye for a couple of years I thought it was about time I went. We trusted in the weather forecaster in saying that it was going to be sunny and hot, how right they was. We left home in 19c and when we pulled into the car park at Rye it had risen to 24c, clear blue sky, perfect.
As soon as we got out of the car and started to walk up the path to the centre a Cuckoo was calling non stop. There was Common Terns feeding up and down the River, Rother, long with B/H/Gulls and a few Herring Gulls.
The one thing I like about Rye is that there are plenty of benches at regular intervals to sit and scan around. After leaving Lime Kiln Cottage Information Centre Pam went back to the car, and I made my way to the hide that overlooks the flat beach.

A short distance from the centre is this building which I thought I would add because I think it brightens up the blog. Below is what I found out about it.
###William Norton is the owner of The Red Hut, Rye Harbour, East Sussex. The hut was owned by his Uncle before him and has always been known by the name "Uncles Shed", first recorded history in a photograph was 1904. He said it has always been used by shrimp catchers but its original use is unknown.  He paints it twice a year. It is featured in the book "Beach Huts" by Rod Green ###

There wasn't much  about, a few Avocets here and there, but the highlight here was 2 dapper looking male Wheatears. My next stop was on the point. While sitting here I watched Common and Sandwich Terns heading back to their nest sites, and then came a call of a bird calling that I clearly recognised, one of my top 5 species,LITTLE TERN. Watching them at times passing over head was a real treat.
Wandering along further, scanning the quarry area a few other species was seen, Oystercatcher, Little Egret( 5 spread out), Cormorant, L/B/B/Gull, and 2 Linnets sitting on the wire fence.
While walking in the direction of the hides I took some photo's of the following flora.
Wild flowers are not my speciality, and I do not have a decent book on flora. I know a few of those below, but I could do with some help with the others, I think the 4th one is Sea Kale again, but not sure, and as for the lovely yellow, one I do not know.
                                                        Below: Sea Kale.
Below: Vipers Bugloss.
                                              Below: Yellow Horned Poppy
Below:  Biting Stonecrop(thanks to Derek Faulkner for correcting me)

I then made my way to the 2 hides that are almost back to back, one overlooking the quarry and the other overlooking the ternery pool. There is another hide but it a far way further on.
Out in front of the quarry hide is mainly B/H/Gull nests with young of all ages. There was a pair of Common Terns nesting in the same area as the gulls but not close enough for a decent shot, especially with the heat haze.

I did see a Little Tern come in with a fish where a assume it had a nest but it landed at the far end out of site. There was also 7 Lapwing at the waters edge, and 5 Shelduck.
I then went across the way into the ternery pool hide. Nesting out in front with the B/H/Gulls was a few Mediterranean Gulls at the time I was there I only saw the one pair but I was told that there are more about. Watching them through the bins was great, but again the heat haze played a big part in taking photo's, I did take a couple but not with much success.

There was  4 pairs of Redshank with nests, Cormorants flying over, some on nests.A solitary G/B/B/Gull flew over putting all the gulls and terns up but caught nothing. At the far end of the pit was a Greylag Goose with 6 gosling bringing up the rear, 3 pairs of Tufted Duck cruising around.  Just as I was about to leave a juvenile  B.H.Gull decided to have a wash and brush up right in front of the hide.


Leaving the hides I followed the footpath  back towards the car park. I was accompanied most of the way by Skylark, that really summed up a beautiful summers day.
Other species seen on the way was: magpie, C/Crow, Blackbird, Starling, W/Pigeon, As you reach the caravan park one has to cross a small metal bridge, hearing a sound I stopped and looked over the side and I saw a female Mallard and a Moorhen close to the bank of the stream.

Once back at the car it was refreshment time, and before I knew it I had a mate, a Herring Gull.


Leaving the reserve we stopped off at Castle Water.

 It is a old excavated  gravel pit. It is on the left as you leave the car park, passed the church on the left. There is a small parking spot on the right hand side of the road and the foot path is almost opposite. There is open water, reed bed, tree's and grassland. The boardwalk leads to a viewing mound. In the short time I was there I saw: Marsh Harrier(f) Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, a number of Cormorants resting up in a tree, many of the was gulating, Goldfinch, Wren, Blackbird, and Sedge Warblers.

My Bird of the Day is: ** LITTLE TERN **  
(thanks for reminding me Warren, how did I forget that)


  1. Ken, the yellow flower is Biting Stonecrop.

  2. Ken ,
    You certainly did well with the weather for your visit .
    The Viper's Bugloss and YHPoppies weren't out when we went .
    Glad you got to see your Little Tern .
    Nice close ups of the Herring Gull . Hope you treated him for posing .
    The red roofed building ,I believe , is the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House .

  3. No Bird of the day Ken! Little tern perhaps? :-)

  4. You certainly picked the right day to go to Rye Ken. I was along the coast at Dungeness on the same day but I think you had the better weather.
    Some very nice pics there, especially the up close and personal shots of the Herring Gull.

  5. Ken ,
    A case of the 'wrong shed' .
    From Google maps , I see yours is alongside the Rother towards it's mouth .
    The Mary Stanford LH is along the beach towards Winchelsea .