The Reedswamp exhibit is undergoing restructuring work and we've had to temporarily restrict some activities, including hand feeding. Find out more here.

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Wildlife

Each season brings its star species and spectacles to Arundel Wetland Centre

Plan ahead with our site map and latest sightings.

In early April sand martins swoop through the wetlands on their way northwards with some making homes in our Sand Martin hide nesting banks. Listen for the songs of sedge and reed warblers in the reedbeds. Lapwings nest on grasslands and early butterflies appear.

Star species: lapwing, oystercatcher, sand martin, kingfisher, black-headed gull

Lapwing nesting begins. These feisty waders are protective parents, often taking to the air to attack crows and other predators.

Swallows, house martins and sand martins move through Arundel each April on their way northward. Some make Arundel their home.

Arundel's oystercatchers nest in odds spots, in a construction zone, in the middle of a field, on the roof of a hide - where will they end up this year?

New life and nesting birds

The wetlands are awash with life in May. Find out what to look out for during your visit.

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In June look for wild orchids and wetland plants beginning to flower, encouraging butterflies to emerge. Early summer rain sees amphibians make their appearance in big numbers. Pipistrelle bats emerge from their maternity roosts, bird song fills the air and ducklings learn to swim. Waders visit, and dragonflies dart above every pool.

Star species: butterflies, dragonflies, wildflowers

Toadlets emerge from all the ponds to migrating outward, leaving home.

Pyramidal orchids, common spotted orchids and bee orchids all appear onsite.

Look out for grass snakes swimming in the channels from the boats, or sunning themselves in warm spots.

Spot dragons and damsels

Which dragonflies and damselflies will you spot at Arundel this summer?

Download activity sheet

Falling leaves make kingfishers easier to spot; the first of the wintering water rail and snipe arrive. Fisher waders like grey herons, little egrets and cormorants increase. Noisy Cetti's warblers about with firecrest, chiff chaffs. Wintering teal and shelduck arrive. A few marsh harriers and pied wagtail begin to roost onsite.

Star species: water rail, little egret, common snipe, green woodpecker, Cetti’s warbler, marsh harrier

Often heard, rarely seen – listen for the explosive song of Cetti’s warblers, perching in reeds.

Colder temperatures drive big numbers of teal and shoveler, arriving for the winter.

Graceful little egrets are regulars at Arundel. Watch them roost in good numbers.

Wetland bird guide

Use our reference guide to spot autumn migrants and wintering birds at Arundel.

Download activity sheet

Shelducks and shovelers overwinter, vibrant firecrests and goldcrests hide in the hedgerows, redwing and fieldfare move through the reserve and marsh harriers swoop overhead. Kingfisher sightings increase, peaking in December and January.

Star species: marsh harrier, kingfisher, common snipe, teal, lapwing

Look out for wading water rails and secretive snipe among the reeds along the edges ponds, channels and ditches.

Flashy kingfishers like to perch on hand rails near the boat jetty to fish for roach and rudd below. A favourite spot is the deep water at the Ramsar hide.

Water rails break the peace with their call like a squealing piglet! Keep an eye out for them skulking in the reedbeds.

Marsh harrier heaven

Watching marsh harriers coming to roost in the late afternoon, is a winter highlight at Arundel.

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Plan your visit

Now you know a bit more about what to expect, find your way here, along with other important information.

Plan your visit