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.

  • September – October 2018

    Our second Great White Egret enlivened what otherwise continued a quiet year with below par numbers.

  • July – August 2018

    Rounding up pullus ducks in the South Lagoons

    A period dominated by heat and drought resulted in few birds, and very disappointing migration numbers. Best bird was our fourth Little Tern, and the first at this time of year.

  • May – June 2018

    The Sluice - an area of the Works

    Spoonbill, Black Tern, two Starts and a Chat, and record counts of Mute Swan and Hobby were the highlights of May and June at Rye Meads.

  • March – April 2018

    First Meadow

    Lots of legs in the news this period, with Great White Egret, Avocets, both Godwits, Curlew and Spotted Redshank visiting!

  • January – February 2018

    The Ringing Hut in the snow

    A very quiet winter period, with only a site record count of Red Kites and a ‘tristis’ type Chiffchaff particularly notable.

  • 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!