• 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


Black-headed Gull and chick; Avocet in background

More nesting Skylarks

House Sparrow

Avocet and Chick


Avocets and chick

Greylag Goode and Avocet chicks

Avocet and chick

Avocet chick, Avocet ad Greylag Goose



Avocets and Greylag Goose


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



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