I’m back at Arundel after a few days away last week up at Slimbridge where I was attending the centre managers meeting. As usual we had a packed agenda and covered a range of topics sharing best practise between the centres. One of our discussions was about cross promotion with other centres and Dave Fairlamb the Caerlaverock Centre Manager, told us about the holiday accommodation they have on site. If like me, you look at some of the centres which are miles and miles away and wonder when you’ll ever get the chance to visit, I would urge you to have a read of the website http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit-us/caerlaverock/accomodation/
The house sleeps up to 14 people and can be booked as a whole in the summer or by rooms the rest of the year. They have recently been doing lots of redecorating and the incredible location offers exceptional views of the barnacle geese which winter right in front of the farmhouse. So take a look!
After the meeting I whizzed down to Pembrokeshire where I had plans to take a trip to Skomer with my Auntie. Sadly the swell of the sea prevented the ferries from running on both days we tried so we consoled ourselves with lots of walking and a boat trip round Ramsey Island. I’d never seen colonies of seabirds like that before, huge numbers of razorbills, guillemots, fulmar and kittiwakes nesting on the cliffs and gannets circling over the porpoises as they fished. We finished up with a walk along the stunning coast path and bumped into a birder who perfectly summed up the day as ‘splendidly wild’.
The same lovely phrase was appropriate for my walk around the Arundel centre today. The wind was blowing and the sky was grey and drizzly but the gloomy weather was lifted by the freshly flowering loosestrife standing purple and striking against the green and gold backdrop of the reedbed. Young birds are everywhere. Swallows have hatched in the reedbed hide, wrens in the camera obscura and juvenile nuthatches and woodpeckers continue to visit my bird table. Mammals are also flourishing with amazing views of baby water voles from the boats and the discovery of a nest of ‘pinkies’, newborn field voles on the wet grassland, a good sign that we may see short-eared owls hunting over this newly established area in the near future.