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09 Oct 2017

Autumn kingfishers & Sussex Peregrines

Kingfisher at the Sand Martin hide on Sun 8 Oct by Mike Jerome.

A stoat was spotted in the car park last Saturday looking ‘bold as brass’ according to our Guide in the Hide David Harper. The fact the stoat was outside our predator fence was good news! The fence that surrounds the reserve goes undergrounds and has slip strips, is electrified and topped with barbed wire to keep the likes of the stoat from preying on the water vole population inside.

From the Ramsar hide on Saturday morning David recorded 20 gadwall, fourteen teal, a water rail and a snipe. At least four Mediterranean gulls were mixed in with the flock of black-headed gulls on the islands and water. Two little egrets, a cormorant and a grey heron were fishing nearer the hide. David saw two kingfishers throughout the morning – at times tolerating each other, then chasing each other. Kingfishers were showing well on Sunday too when Mike Jerome got this cracking shot of this brilliant blue bird on the perches in front of the Sand Martin Hide. The grey heron and a kingfisher were also at Ramsar hide on Sunday morning, spotted by our Guide Peter Ashley.

The leaves in the trees on the Offham Hangar cliff are changing to oranges and yellows of autumn. Buzzards continue to show well over the hangar, along with a kestrel and a peregrine this week.  This Sun 15 Oct environmental educator and consultant Dr Mike Nicholls will speak on the spectacular comeback of the peregrine population in Sussex after a 30 years absence from Sussex due to pesticide-induced extinction. The talk starts at 1.30pm in the Sandpiper Theatre at Arundel Wetland Centre and talk is included in your admission price to the wetland centre.

The branches of the dogwood outside of the office window are becoming deep red but still have leaves enough to hide the black caps who come to dine on the white berries. The feeder outside the other window has been attracting loads of blue and great tits.  A bright male bullfinch has been dropping in, causing them all to scatter when he arrives. A great spotted woodpecker has been spotted in the Woodland Loop and Cetti’s warblers all around the site.