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Sand martins arriving

Sand martins started filtering through this week. Last Tuesday we saw eight in the late afternoon, four on Thursday and 10 on Good Friday. There are likely more than this moving through –this is just what our wardens counted while working.

Warblers sightings are increasing with reed (as in photo above), sedge and willow warblers all spotted over the past week.

Many flowers including lesser celandine, ground ivy, white and red dead nettle, primrose, cowslip, marsh marigold and snake’s head fritillary are a joy to see and of course great food sources for emerging bees and butterflies. Butterflies such as peacock, red admiral, brimstone, comma and small tortoiseshell can be seen flitting around on sunny days.

Lapwing can be seen on Arun Riverlife and on the wet grassland, displaying and nest scraping. Let’s hope that the birds produce more chicks than last year. We are hoping that a later cut of the wet grassland last year, will create a more suitable sward for successful breeding this year.

You may have noticed on Wetlands Discovery that our old and dilapidated barn owl box has been replaced by a shiny new one, built by Paul Stevens, former Reserve Manager. As that box was the barn owl’s box of choice in which to breed, I hope that they appreciate their new watertight accommodation and use it wisely this year.

The newly created islands on the large lagoon have attracted good numbers of Mediterranean gull and common gull, with up to 69 and 600 respectively. We hope to attract common terns back on site and are looking to use decoys later this spring in the hope of luring them in.

Fri 15 Apr

Arun Riverlife: 2 lapwing

Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing visible.

Scrape hide: 1 lapwing on the fen cut, 9 pochards

Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 1 lapwing, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 10 sand martins investigating nest holes.

Woodland Loop: 8 blue tits, 2 chaffinches, 15 mallards, 3 great tots, 2 mandarin ducks, 2 dunnock, 2 pheasants.

Thurs 14 April

Woodland Loop: 1 willow warbler

Reedbed boardwalk: 3 reed warblers, 1 kingfisher

Reedbed hide: 3 reed warblers, 2 reed buntings

Long path: 2 sedge warblers

Scrape hide: 2 snipe

Sand Martin hide: 4 sand martins, 2 swallows, 2 kingfishers

Arun Riverlife: 2 lapwing