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25 Jun 2018

Reedbed hide reopens, partial closing of Scrape hide for nesting swallows

Four beaks visible in the swallow nest in the Scrape hide. Thanks for your understanding as we had to close off that section of the hide.

Nature Notes by Reserve Manager Paul Stevens

Staff members saw barn owl at 7 pm one evening carrying prey, flying towards Wet Discovery and our barn owl box when a peregrine swooped in and stole its prey from its beak

The haul on the Moth Morning event on Saturday was almost as prolific as June 10 with 60+ species. Lots of privet hawkmoths so I’ll start looking for caterpillars on the privet hedges.While setting up that traps Friday evening at 9pm I saw a male marsh harrier low over our Lost Reedbed.

Our Reedbed hide has re-opened, now that four swallow chicks have fledged. We have closed off the back half of the Scrape hide as swallows chicks have hatched there. Sorry for any inconvenience but stops people getting to close and spooking the parents into abandoning the nest. They should fledge in 10-12 days.

The hot dry weather has not affected the lush green wetlands – newly flowering: meadowsweet, purple loosestrife, yellow loosestrife, tufted and meadow vetch, greater birds foot trefoil, marsh woundwort, black knapweed, meadow cranesbill. Bramble is flowering along the paths.

Hot weather has brought out the meadow brown butterflies, few red admirals and whites as well.

Less singing in the reed beds as warblers focus on feeding young.

Teal on site increasing to a handful – early autumn arrivals likely failed breeders.

Saturday – the Ramsar hide ditch is a new spot for water vole sightings. Maybe they are more visible here since we cut back the vegetation.

Osytercatcher pair are still on nest on the gravel island to the right of the Sand Martin hide. Fingers crossed. Most black-headed gulls chicks here have fledge, many are juveniles on the water. We are seeing a few Mediterranean gulls in the area again.

Ramsar hide – kingfisher shoots over wet meadow and across the water to the far side. More kingfisher sightings along the Wetland Discovery reedbed channels too.

Bug hotel at the Holt has leaf cutter bees in and out, ruby tailed wasps. Wool carder bees gathering fibres from leaves of marshmallow plants in butterfly garden.

At Lapwing hide an almost fully fledged greylag gosling baths with parents in small pond we revealed with our strimming last week. Broad bodied chaser female is egg-laying on the water while 10(!) Black-tailed skimmers hover around. I hear a Cetti’s warber blast and a sedge warbler flies across the wet grassland. I spy a reed bunting at the back of the grassland with my binoculars.

At the Scrape hide I see shoveler, teal and gadwall.

Along the reedbed boardwalk in the water many swarms of whirly-gig beetles are spinning on the water surface. In clear water you can see stickle back fry hanging out. I meet a visitor who came across a grass snake sunning itself on the boardwalk before shooting of into the water. The temperature in the woodland carr section of the boardwalk is a few delicious degrees cooler.  Same at the section by the bridge at the Dragonfly Pond.


Recent Sightings


  • Cettis Warbler
  • Sedge warbler
  • Reed bunting
  • Marsh Harrier male Fri evening

Ramsar/Sand Martin Hide

  • Oystercatcher
  • Scrape Hide
  • Gadwall
  • Tufted ducks
  • Teal
  • Reed bunting
  • Swallow
  • Marsh tit
  • Mandarin
  • Little egret

Arun Riverlife Lagoon

  • Song thrush
  • Bullfinch
  • Linnet
  • Med Gull
  • Tufted duck
  • Pochard
  • Greylag geese

Lapwing hide

  • Skylark

Car Park

  • Coal tit

Scrape hide

  • Gadwall
  • Tufted duck
  • Teal
  • Swallows

Woodland Loop

  • Goldcrest
  • Willow Warbler

Wetland Discovery

  • Tufted duck
  • Sedge warbler
  • Goldfinch
  • Shoveler
  • Greenfinch

Long Path

  • Stoat