As well as an assortment of ducks, ducks on stilts and seagulls (which Ollie corrected us on 'not seagulls, just gulls, proper scientists don't call them seagulls') there were also an amazing array of beautiful dragonflies and damselflies whirring around, with swallows whizzing past attempting to match their insect rivals for title of best flyer. We saw butterflies enjoying the rich habitat and Matt even saw a lizard scuttle across the path in front of him while I was immersed in watching a cool parasitic ichneumon wasp hunting for hosts.
Some of the watery inhabitants were familiar but lovely to find even so, like this ramshorn snail, probably the biggest I've seen outside of an aquarium tank. Other finds were more unexpected, such as weathered and gnarly whale bones which I might have walked past thinking they were driftwood if it hadn't have been for the helpful signpost.
So I think today was a real success, and a large part of that was down to the kindness of the RSPB staff in providing the activity backpacks for the kids to borrow. I would definitely recommend it as a great place to visit, whether you are a seasoned birder or just starting out.
Notes: The site is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There are toilets available in the car park, including disabled and baby change facilities. There are also few picnic benches in the car park (we fed the kids an early lunch before entering to avoid trailing round with the chorus of 'I'm hungry'). There is a gift shop but I didn't notice a café so bring a thermos if you're planning on making a day of it. No dogs (except guide dogs) allowed on site, but if you have a dog there is the nearby Rye Nature Reserve as a dog walking alternative where you can still see lots of wetland birds.