• Sim Elliott

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve 05.06.21: Black-headed Gull Chicks and a Spotted Redshank

I caught two rains to Rye Harbour (Brighton to Eastbourne, Eastbourne to Rye)


My photographs are presented in chronological order of my walk through the reserve.



Walking from Brede Lock to Camber Castle


Starlings on the back of a sheep, eating insects from the sheep's fleece


A Pied Wagtail


A House Sparrow


Camber Castle


Camber Water


Cormorants nesting in trees in Camber Water


Camber Castle form Camber Water


Herring Gulls in flight over Camber Water


Great Crested Grebes


A Kestrel in flight above Castle Water


Camber Castle from Castle Water


A Cormorant in flight


A Herring Gull in flight


Waking the east path from Camber Water to Rye Harbour Village


Juvenile Coot

Adult Coot


Rye Harbour Village


Jackdaw in field of daisies next to Rye Harbour Village's Church (St Mary's)


From the path through the Salt Pools


Black-headed Gull


Greenshank with Avocet in background


Little Egret


Skylark; there were many nesting, making shirt trips to forage and returning to the nest site


Avocet and chick


Avocets


Black-headed Gull and chick; Avocet in background


More nesting Skylarks


House Sparrow


Avocet and Chick


Avocets


Avocets and chick


Greylag Goode and Avocet chicks


Avocet and chick


Avocet chick, Avocet ad Greylag Goose


Avocets


Avocet


Avocets and Greylag Goose


Avocet


Denny Hide, Flat Beach Pool


Juvenile Starlings outside and on the hide roof


Common Tern and a Spotted Redshank (possibly) on an island in Flat Beach Pool


Common Terns in Flight over Flat beach Pool


Nesting Black-headed Gulls on island in Flat Beach Pool


Male Tufted Duck


Nesting Black-headed Gulls


Nesting Common Terns


Black-headed Gulls mating

after mating


Spotted Redshank (possibly). The bill length of this bird is more than twice the width of it's head, which is the structural differential between a Spotted Red Shank and a Redshank according to the British Trust for Ornithology. (BTO News, Summer 2021. According to the RSPB there are approximately 98 Spotted Redshanks over-wintering in the the UK, and we get about 540 passage migrants; so, if this is a Spotted Redshank, it is probably a passage migrant stopping off in Rye on its way elsewhere. Spotted Redshank Bird Facts | Tringa Erythropus - The RSPB


From Parkes Hide - Ternery Pool


Little Egret - whilst walking around the reserve I met its manager (wearing a Sussex Wildlife Tryst hat) and we had a chat. He conformed that when they had put up a drone to count the birds nesting in the reserve that there has been a significant increase in the number of Little Egrets; a fact I have noted in recent observations at the Adur Valley, Rye Harbour and Pagham Harbour. I also asked about the Little Bitterns and he confirmed that they were regular breeders now in Castle Water, and were resident all year, but were only likely to be seen on a frosty winter day when the Water edge froze, driving the Bitterns out of the reeds in which they typically stay.


Oystercatchers in flight


From Crittall Hide, Ternery Pool


Black-headed Gull with chicks


Cormorants


Avocets


Spotted Redshank - see abiove


Black-headed Gull with chicks on their nest site (an island in front of the Crittall Hide, on Ternery Pool


Black-headed Gulls, Common Terns and Avocets nesting together on the same island


Black-headed Gulls and chicks


Along the Beach Road


Ruined 19th century house



Mary Stanford Lifeboat Station


Situated on a lonely stretch of the coastline of the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, two miles from the present RNLI Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station, is the derelict Mary Stanford Lifeboat House. Architecturally, the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House is a rare surviving example of a construction of the pre-1885 pioneering period of the use of concrete for building purposes. It may also be the only remaining example of a pre-1885 concrete lifeboat house. Decommissioned by the RNLI in 1928 it remains dear in the memory of Rye Harbour for what happened on 15 November 1928. On the morning of that day, the Mary Stanford Lifeboat was launched from this lifeboat house into the teeth of a gale described, at the time, as being the worst in living memory. The Mary Stanford Lifeboat was launched to rescue the crew of a vessel in difficulties off the coast of Dungeness. This unnecessary rescue attempt (as the crew of the stricken vessel had already been saved) was devastating, however, as it resulted in the deaths of all 17 crew on the Lifeboat; nearly the whole male fishing men of Rye Harbour. This was the single, largest loss of life from a single lifeboat and there were many "family" members among the crew; a father and two sons, three brothers and cousins. Sixteen crew members are buried in a communal grave in the churchyard of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour. The seventeenth body was never recovered. A visit to the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House can easily be combined with a view to the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Pebble Memorial (outside the present-day lifeboat station in Rye Harbour), the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Disaster Memorial (over the communal grave in the churchyard) and the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Disaster Memorial Window (in the Parish Church of St Thomas the Martyr in nearby Winchelsea).. Geoff H (March 2020) Mary Stanford Lifeboat House (Winchelsea) - 2021 All You Need to Know Before You Go (with Photos) - Winchelsea, UK | Tripadvisor


Memorial to the lifeboat men from the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Station as sea in 1928 - in the churchyard of St Mary's Rye Harbour village. (These two photographs are out of chronological sequence)



Rye Harbour beach



Wall of the churchyard of St Thomas Church, Winchelsea, where the bus stop is (that I took back to Hastings)


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