Jan – Feb 2016
January in particular was most notable for the numbers of wintering warblers and crests on site. There were up to 20 Chiffchaffs observed, and probably many more actually on site (16 were ringed in one day), and good numbers of Blackcaps. The ringing totals give the picture: 41 Chiffchaffs ringed in total, despite weather rapidly becoming too poor for netting as January wore on, plus 6 Blackcaps and 9 Goldcrests. Best of all, after a number of sightings, two Firecrests were caught and ringed.
Unusual visitors included a pair of Brent Geese flying over, a Yellow-legged Gull, and a Bittern; the usual waders were joined by a Dunlin and 2 Woodcocks.
A pair of ringed Stonechats mysteriously morphed into a pair of unringed Stonechats. The Meadow Pipit flock reached 40 birds, and were joined by three Water Pipits. The invasion of the Ring-necked Parakeets seems to be reaching Rye Meads, with a few roost flight sightings of small flocks of up to 10 birds.
Unusual for Rye Meads were a Coal Tit, a couple of Bramblings for much of the period (no longer annual in occurrence here), and two House Sparrow records.