• Sim Elliott

RSPB Rye Meads & Amwell (Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust) Nature Reserves 13.05.22

RSPB Rye Meads and Amwell Nature Reserves are located in the northern part Lea Valley (in Herefordshire)

Rye Meads is an RSPB-managed reserve which includes reedbeds, open water and a scrape. ... a 58.5 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Rye House, Hertfordshire. It is also part of the Lea Valley RAMSAR site (a group of internationally important wetland sites) and a Special Protection Area. Rye Meads Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire - The RSPB


Once a designated gravel pit, today a haven bustling with wildlife all year round. Amwell Nature Reserve near Ware is one of the most important places for wildlife in the county and is well-used and enjoyed by the local community. It hosts a mosaic of habitats including reedbeds, grassland and woodland, although Great Hardmead Lake is arguably the most striking feature. The reserve forms part of the Lee Valley, which connects the site with other nature reserves and habitats along the River Lee, providing a wildlife corridor stretching from Hertford to the Thames, creating a Living Landscape. Amwell | Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (hertswildlifetrust.org.uk)

Both of these reserves were new to me. Sometimes when I go to a nature reserve, I have a focus, e.g. to see Butterflies, or waders, or woodland birds, but I had no focus in mind for this day out. I took the train to Rye House railway station (from London Liverpool Street Station, a 36 minute trip, trains every 30 minutes, I took the train from Brighton to London Bridges, and walked to Liverpool Street from London Bridge). (A fare tip: if you are travelling from Brighton, a Zone 6 Travel Card will you get you as far as Enfield Lock on the train to Rye House, so you just need to but a return from Enfield Lock to Rue House; the costs of a Travel Card and a return from Enfield Lock to Rye House is much cheaper than a return to Rye House from Brighton, and you don't need to get off the train at Enfield Lock. It is a short walk to the entrance of RSPB Rye Meads.


These photos are presented in chronological order, not by species or habitat; to give a feel of my journey around these locations. I photographed what captured my attention, butterflies, bees (bumble and solitary), dragonflies/damselflies, plants and landscapes, in the moment.



Rye House Gatehouse

Gatehouse to Rye House (demolished), lower part used as a museum. C15 for Sir Andrew Ogard a naturalised Dane (license to crenelate 1443) on this moated site beside the river. 1683 scene of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles II. Rebuilt except gatehouse at end of C17 (RCHM Typescript). Said to have been used as the parish Workhouse before 1834. Site made into a pleasure garden for London trippers c1868 by Henry Teale (1806 - 76). Site

cleared and gatehouse restored recently for Lee Valley Park. Rye House Gatehouse, Stanstead Abbots, Hertfordshire (britishlistedbuildings.co.uk)



Trail Guide

Map from untitled (rspb.org.uk)


Inside the Lapwing Hide


Large Red Damselfly


Ragged Robin


Moorhen parent and chicks



Another Large Red Damselfly


The pond where this damselfly was seen.


A hoverfly (species unknown)



Another Large Red Damselfly


Marsh Marigold


To the Draper Hide


From the Draper Hide


Black-Headed Gulls, Gadwalls and Coots


Common Tern


Common Tern and Gadwalls


Common Tern


Red-Crested Pochard


Black-Headed Gulls and a Lapwing


Woodpigeon


Black-Headed Gulls, Red-Crested Pochards and Pochards


Pochard


Speckled Wood


Cormorant



From the Ashby Hide


Male Reed Bunting


Redd beds


Gadwall



Coot nest




Carpet Moth


Canada Goose and hidden gosling!


Hoverfly and Dog Rose


Holly Blue Butterfly


Possibly a Cuckoo/possibly a raptor/possibly a Crow!


Gadwall Hide


Tufted Duck


Little Grebe


Little Tern


Lesser Black-Backed Gull


Male Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens, Large metallic damselfly with fluttering, butterfly-like wings. Male: metallic blue body with broad dark blue-black spots across outer parts of wings. Can be confused with The Beautiful Demoiselle; "the only other British damselfly with coloured wings but the males have fully coloured wings and the females have brown-tinged wings. Banded Demoiselle - British Dragonfly Society (british-dragonflies.org.uk)


Red Admiral


Green-Veined White on Aconite


Peacock on reed


From the Kingfisher Hide


Coot chick


Gadwall


Common Blue


Moorehen


Along the Tow Path of the Rover Lea Navigation at St Margaret's


Canada Goode and goslings



Black-Headed Gull


Common Tern


Amwell Nature Reserve



Map from: Amwell | Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (hertswildlifetrust.org.uk)


On the Great Hardmead Lake


Lapwing and Common Tern


Tufted Ducks with a Little Ringed Plover behind, and Black-Headed Gulls


Moorhen, Mallards, Black-Headed Gulls and Ringed Plover


Tufted Ducks and Black-Headed Gulls


Another Male Banded Demoiselle,


Hoverfly



Female Blackbird


Male Blackbird


Great Tit


From the James Hide


From the White Hide


Lapwing


Black-Headed Gulls, Gadwall and Ringed Plover


Tufted Ducks, Gadwall and Ringed Plover


Black-Headed Gulls


Ringed Plover in flight, Black-Headed Gulls, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Comorant

Tufted Ducks, Gadwall and Dunlin (summer plumage)


Ringed Plover


Mallards


Cormorants and Mute Swan


Black-Winged Gull and Lapwing


Female Tufted Duck and Lapwing


Rabbit


From the path


Common Tern, Black -Headed Gulls and Lapwing


Common Tern, Lapwing and Black-Headed Gull


Common Sandpiper and Herring Gull


Black-Headed Gull, Common Tern and Common Sandpiper


Black-Headed Gull and Common Sandpiper


Black-Headed Gull, Common Tern and Common Sandpiper


Large White


Mayfly


Robin


Walking back to St Catherine's station


Mallard


Canada Goode and goslings






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