Jul – Aug 2015
A new species for Rye Meads was a Black-bellied Tree Duck, sadly highly unlikely to be a genuine vagrant from South America! More plausible was the male Garganey which took up residence for a couple of weeks.
A juvenile Marsh Harrier flew south, and there were 7 records of Red Kite to add to the usual raptor suspects. Waders included Oystercatchers on 5 dates, up to 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Greenshanks followed by 2 records of single birds, and up to 11 Green Sandpipers and 7 Common Sandpipers – a good year for them. There were also single Mediterranean Gulls on 3 dates.
Ring-necked Parakeet sightings are slowly increasing, with up to 4 on three dates. One of the birds of the period was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker juvenile in early July, which suggests that they bred nearby. Also unusual for Rye Meads were Coal tits on two dates
The Swallow roost peaked at 160, Sand Martins at 30, and a Starling roost at 400. 18 Yellow Wagtails were also attracted to a recording at a Swallow roost but were not caught.
There were good warbler numbers as Autumn reached full flood, with up to 40 Chiffchaffs, 70 Blackcaps and 25 Whitethroats. A Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher were found on the same day, a couple of days after a Whinchat. Finally, a small flock of 3 Crossbills paid a visit.