< BACK   Rye Meads RSPB Reserve, June 24th 2014      
I heard that a pair of very rare birds - Black-necked Grebes - had bred at Rye Meads, so it was off to my favourite reserve on a warm sunny summer day. Only about a dozen pair nest in Britain annually, and it was a new bird for me. The adult in breeding plumage is spectacular, but although the nest was close to the hide they had moved quite far away so I wasn't able to get a proper photo. This was the best I got, CLICK HERE to see how they really look. You can just about see the chicks which have climbed onto the parent's back.

Black-necked Grebe

Other birds - a glimpse of a juvenile Reed Warbler:

Reed Warbler

The Dunnock or Hedge Sparrow is a common garden bird, but is not often noticed - the male has a grey hood or mantle:


Ringlet butterflies look almost black as they flit around, but they get their name from the underwing pattern:


Two of the more spectacular butterflies:

Red Admiral

Small Tortoiseshell

Some other insects - the Pondskater moves on top of the water using surface tension between its legs and the surface:


This Sawfly is the Reed Stem Borer - Calameuta filiformis:

Calameuta filiformis

Ladybirds hatch from their eggs as beetle-like larvae, then form a hard pupa attached to a leaf from which the adult emerges after a week or so:

Ladybird Pupa

7-Spot Ladybird

Technically, spiders are not insects but Arachnids. This one is a Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider:

Tetragnatha extensa

Soldier beetles are very active hunters of smaller insects:

Red Soldier Beetle

Finally one of the stars of the reserve:

Water Vole

  All Photographs © Brian Price except where stated