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 2019

    November - December 2019

    Our third ever Merlin, a Whooper Swan, a Siberian Chiffchaff and a very late Swallow all brightened a dull period.

  • September – October 2019

    September - October 2019

    Highlights included a record count for Greylags, visits from Marsh Harrier and Raven, and the best showing of Yellow Wagtails for 30 years.

  • July – August 2019

    July - August 2019

    Bumper numbers of small birds, a long-staying Marsh Harrier, and our first Little Owl for five years.

  • May – June 2019

    May - June 2019

    A good period for waders, from small to very large, and encouraging numbers of warblers.

  • March – April 2019

    March - April 2019

    This period saw the first record of our 228th species, a Cattle Egret, and the second record of Common Crane.

  • January – February 2019

    January - February 2019

    In sharp contrast to last year the final week of February included some lovely warm spring days; sadly, the birds found were largely unexciting.