top of page
  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

RSPB Rye Meads, Hertfordshire. A Snipe and a Kingfisher. 15.10.22

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

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.

This was only my second visit to Rye Meads, an account of my first can be found here: RSPB Rye Meads & Amwell (Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust) Nature Reserves 13.05.22 ( My last visit was a summer visit; this trip was an autumn visit; the range of birds I saw was very different. For details of the reserve, see: Rye Meads Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire - The RSPB

Between Rye House station and RSPB Rye Meads is the ruins of Rye House

Rye Houe Gatehouse

The history of Rye House Gatehouse dates back to 1443 and has been home to royalty, ghosts and a assassination attempt! Now the Gatehouse is grade 1 listed building featuring high-quality diaper brickwork and a ‘barley sugar twist’ chimney as well as a string of underground chambers or dungeons.

The Rye House – An Investigative History ... [by Phil Holland] takes the reader from the house’s 15th origins, through to Tudor times when Catherine Parr spent part of her childhood there; to the Rye House Plot to assassinate King Charles II and the Duke of York in 1683; to the widely reported paranormal activity and apparitions; and finally to the present day.

The Gatehouse is all that now remains of the 15th century brick-built fortified manor house. It’s a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument and as such is protected by law. The Moated Enclosure is considered to be one of the finest examples of the period in Hertfordshire. Rye House Gatehouse | Lee Valley Regional Park (

Sightings Map

Draper Hide

Teal and a Mute Swan


Little Grebes

Male Shoveler in eclipse plumage

"Eclipse plumage is temporary or transition plumage. Ducks are peculiar in that they moult all their flight feathers; the long, wing feathers; at once. For about a month, they can't fly and very vulnerable to predators. To provide some protection, particularly for the brightly-coloured males, the moult starts with their bright body feathers. These are replaced by dowdy brown ones, making them look much like females. ... Once the flight feathers have regrown, the birds moult again, and by October the full colours are back and the various species of ducks are easily recognisable once more. Phew!" Moulting Ducks | What is Eclipse Plumage? - The RSPB

Little Egret

Pied Wagtail

From the Gadwall Hide


From the Gadwall hide; the Snipe was in the cut rushes bottom left of this picture

From the Tern Hide


From the Tern Hide



Gadwall eating weed

Sculpture outside the Kingfisher Hub


Grey Heron

Banks of the Lea Navigation



bottom of page