The Observation pages contain a synopsis of the more interesting sightings of birds at Rye Meads over the past year.

How we record our birds

The Ringing Group operates to site boundaries which cover most of the RSPB reserve, part of the HMWT reserve, and all of the Thames Water Treatment Works area. We maintain a detailed log of observations every day that the site is manned, to the same standard as the permanent Bird Observatories. When interpreting these records, however, please remember that the Group is an amateur one, and so we are unable to cover the site every day! Observations are passed to the Hertfordshire Bird Recorder, and all rarities have full descriptions taken for scrutiny by the county or national Rare Birds committees as appropriate.

For more detailed information

"Friends" of Rye Meads receive a more detailed report in our Bulletin every two months, and a full species breakdown in our three-yearly Report. Click here for details of how to become a Friend or Member, or to buy a copy of the most recent Report.

  • November – December 2017

    From Whoopers to Hawfinches, with the spice of more detailed counts of our everyday birds, the early winter period was not without its interest!

  • September – October 2017

    Hot Spots in September and October included Spotted Crake and Spotted Flycatcher! A reasonable Autumn period except for Hirundines.

  • July – August 2017

    Rounding up pullus ducks in the South Lagoons

    Our Nightingales and Little Ringed Plovers have bred, and some unusual Autumn visitors pass through

  • May – June 2017

    The Sluice - an area of the Works

    A new site record for Mute Swan, a wealth of waders, Whin and Stone together, and do we have breeding Nightingales?

  • March – April 2017

    First Meadow

    A Little Gull, two Ravens and a singing Nightingale brighten an otherwise rather average early Spring period.

  • January – February 2017

    The Ringing Hut in the snow

    Ravens return, and Chiffs thrive with some Tristis birds among the mix: winter can be quiet but seldom dull.