With more than 90 species of bird nesting at Rye Harbour it takes the SWT team a lot of time to determine numbers of pairs and breeding success every year. This counting is important because it is the raise and fall of populations that let us know if our management of the nature reserve is being successful or not.
Here is a 2017 summary of a few of our special breeding birds...
170 pair common terns fledging success high (above an adult feeds its flying young)
15 pair little tern fledged six young
240 pair Sandwich terns fledging success ok (see video below for the noise and activity of our successful ternery)
1400 pair black headed gull fledging success high, a late start and decline in numbers that we think was due to the very dry spring, so they couldn't find their grassland worms.
3 pair Mediterranean gull fledged two young, a big decline in the colony size that we think was also due to the very dry spring.
2 pair common gull (below) did hatch some chicks but failed to produce any to the flying stage.
15+ pair redshank fledging success ok
13 pair lapwing fledging success low
30+ pair ringed plover fledging success high
68 pair avocet fledging success high
25+ pair oystercatcher fledging success high (below)
1 booming bittern between 10th March and 27th April no breeding suspected
1 pair marsh harrier fledged two young
8+ pair bearded tits appear to have done well
10 pair wheatear fledging success high (below are 2 chicks)