Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
This large area of land is a mosaic of habitats beside the sea with shingle, saltmarsh, sand dunes, rivers, pits, grazing marsh, reedbeds and farmland. Full of wildlife for you to discover with a network of footpaths and 5 birdwatching hides with easy access.
3 June 2013
From Hastings Meteorological Station (normal value in brackets)
Sunshine 197.3 hours (228.9)
Mean maximum temp. 14.5 C (15.4)
Mean minimum temp. 7.9 C (8.4)
Rainfall 60.3 mm. (44.9)
Gale or stronger 0 days (0.3)
26 May 2013
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24 May 2013
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10 April 2013
The hide at the Wader Pool has now reopened. It was built 26 years ago! Sadly, its legs had rotted and it was a bit too small for some wheelchairs and school groups – so we have completely replaced it. In addition to being a little larger, the hide now faces in a better direction for watching the birds out on the flooded Flat Beach. We have dedicated this new hide to the memory of John Gooders who was Chairman of the Friends for 10 years and an author of many bird books.Read more »
Bird highlight during May was undoubtedly a Terek sandpiper, which was present for a few hours on Harbour Farm on the evening of the 25th. This is only the second record of this rare vagrant wader at Rye Harbour (the first was in 2008), and there have been fewer than 100 records in Britain since the first bird was recorded here in 1951 (strangely enough in East Sussex), so this was a real find and attracted quite a few birders even for the short time it was present. This species breeds from Finland through to north-eastern Siberia and the unusual name comes from the Terek River, where it was first found, which flows through Georgia and Russia into the Caspian Sea.
Mid-April saw the first records of whimbrel on the reserve for 2013. This ‘mini-curlew’ breeds all around the northern hemisphere, including a few hundred pairs in Scotland, and winters at similar latitudes south of the equator. Most birds recorded in Britain at this time of the year are on their way from West Africa to their breeding grounds in Iceland, and Rye Harbour has been a traditional staging post for these long distance migrants, providing daytime feeding on the saltmarsh and sheep-grazed grassland, and overnight roost sites within the electric fencing. From a peak of around 600 birds in 1996, numbers have fallen over the last few years, with a maximum of only 76 birds recorded in 2012. Hopefully, the work we have carried out in recent years to create pits and pools and re-create saltmarsh on Harbour Farm will see numbers increase once more.
Bird highlight during March was the appearance of two Kentish plover on the new saltmarsh out from Lime Kiln Cottage on the 25th, the first time more than one of these dumpy little waders has been recorded at Rye Harbour, and both stayed until the end of the month.