Water rail and snipe arriving for winter

Water rails are being seen and mostly heard around the site this week.

Their contact call is a pig like squeal. We see a few water rail onsite year around but numbers increase in autumn with birds arriving from mainland Europe to winter on our wetlands. They are related to moorhens, but smaller and thinner with a lovely red bill.

Another wintering wader are common snipe – numbers are rising with the birds historically coming in from Northern Europe and Russia to winter here.

Cetti’s warblers are making themselves heard all around the site. The warm red brown warbler gives a loud blast of song usually while hiding in dense branches. They look similar to a reed warbler but have a slight peak on their head and often raise their tail. Reed warbler’s flatter heads form a line to their outstretched flat tails.

Kingfisher sightings are at par with last week. Photo above taken by regular visitior Alec Pelling. Staff have begun to see these flashy fishers at the Willow Sphere as well.

Our Reserve Manager Suzi Lanaway reported a firecrest flitting around while working in the Wood Loop yesterday.

This is not a comprehensive list of current wildlife onsite. Our Reserve team observes different sections of the site on a rotating basis.

Wed 11 Oct

Long path: 2 Cetti’s warblers

Scrape hide: 1 Cetti’s warbler, 6 mute swans including 3 juveniles flying over.

Tues 10 Oct

Arun Riverlife lagoon: 1 kingfisher

Wood loop: 1 firecrest

Ramsa & san Martin hides: 3 little egrets, 3 Canada geese, 1 pochard, 11 mallards, 73 gadwall, 1 grey heron, 1 cormorant, 2 teal, 6 coots,1 moorhen, 5 tufted ducks, 60 black-headed gulls, 2 shoveler, 1 herring gull, 4 Egyptian geese, 2 wood pigeons.

Mon 9 Oct

Lapwing hide: 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 grey heron, 1 magpie, 2 snipe.

Ramsar hide: 8 cattle egrets, 1 kingfisher, 1 Cettis Warbler, 10 tufted ducks,4 shoveler ducks, 50+ gadwall

Wetland Discovery area: 1 Cetti’s warbler

Sand martin hide: 1 Cormorant

Scrape hide: 1 snipe, 1 water rail, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 9 shoveler ducks, 1 little egret

Willow sphere: 1 Cetti’s warbler

Arun Riverlife lagoon: 1 grey wagtail

Sun 8 Oct

Wetland Discovery: 2 mute swans, 1 coot, 7 mallards, 1 black-headed gull

Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 3 little egrets, 2 pochards, 1 kingfisher

Tranquil trail: heard water rail squealing

Scrape hide: heard water rail squeal

Sat 7 Oct

Arun Riverlife lagoon: 3 mute swans, 2 kingfishers - one male flyby chased off by another perched there, 1 moorhen, 44 mallards 32 males and 12 females, 2 Canada geese, 21 tufted ducks, 33 coots, 8 black-headed gulls

Lapwing hide: 2 stonechats

Ramsar hide: 2 little egrets

Fri 6 Oct

Woodloop: 1 mallard, 2 blue tits, 2 great tots, 1 coal tit, 1 robin

Reedbed boardwalk: 1 water rail

Thurs 5 Oct

Wetland Discovery: 1 pochard

Sand martin hide: 2 grey wagtail

Ramsar hide: 1 teal, 3 shoveler ducks

Lapwing hide: 2 stonechats

Sand martin hide: 1 kingfisher, 1 water rail

Scrape hide: 1 Cetti’s warbler, 2 teal

Willow sphere: 18 mallards, 1 kingfisher

Reedbed boardwalk: 4 male mallards, 3 blue tits

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