Bank holiday Monday and it looked like the skies might clear for the first time in the long four day weekend. So off we drove to Rye Meads wildlife reserve near Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire – a slightly strange split between RSPB and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. It's also right next to the Rye House go-karting track where Lewis Hamilton apparently learnt his craft, and I've been karting many a time. So I can highly recommend this spot on at least two counts!

Just a very quick report for now: it's a fairly large place with loads of lagoons, ditches, reed beds, ponds etc. and 11 hides from which to look out for interesting things. A couple of notables below (but more to come).

First up, a lone Redshank. It took a bit of leafing through the book of longish billed wadey things to figure this one out.

RyeMeadRedshank 6472 
Next, a tufted duck – this is a male. The female is all dark and without the obvious tufting on the back of the head.
RyeMeadTuftedDuck 6474
An Oystercatcher, with it's very colourful bill. Apologies for the poor sharpness of this photo. It was probably at least 50m away.
RyeMeadOysterCatcher 6475
Finally, a Shoveller – a duck with a great big spade like bill. More interesting sights to come…
RyeMeadShoveller 6477


  1. We used to live near there, we spent many a weekend looking for Kingfishers only to be told there were any anymore! Since then I’ve seen lots in Verulamium Park.
    Did you see all the cormorants too?

  2. They have an artificial bank for kingfishers to nest in at Rye Meads. Spent a while watching it, but no joy. I’ve seen plenty of kingfishers in St Albans though, along the Ver and at the WWA. I’ve got quite a few pictures of them on this blog. The best one is

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