The Reedswamp exhibit is closed for restructuring work. We've also had to temporarily restrict some activities, including hand feeding. Find out more here.

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Latest sightings

Damsels & dragons emerging

Damsels & dragons emerging

Damselflies are starting to emerge in earnest, with large red (pictured), common blue and blue-tailed damselflies flitting about. Hairy dragonflies are also emerging now. Warblers are singing all over the place, including sedge, reed, willow and Cetti’s warbler, blackcap, chiffchaff, whitethroat and lesser whitethroat. A nightingale has been singing between wetlands discovery and the scrub outside the perimeter fence for the past two weeks or so, a real treat to hear. Thousands of toad tadpoles can be seen in the front pond as you approach the building, thank you to everyone who helped the toads across the road during migration season – it was well worth it. Thurs 12 May Pelican Cove: a pair of pochard with two ducklings, a pair of oystercatchers sitting on nest on land in front of Coastal Creek aviary. Ramsar & Sand Martin hide: 1 oystercatcher on mud opposite Ramsar hide, 3 lapwing one contact calling chicks, 1 male pochard Scrape hide: 1 male lapwing, 1 male pochard Reedbed: 5 reed warblers, 2 sedge warblers, 36 male mallard and 3 female mallards, 4 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 1 mute swan sitting on nest on island opposite Sussex Screen, 1 green-veined white butterfly, 1 goldfinch, 1 wren, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 chiffchaff, 2 blackbirds, 1 blue tits, 2 great tits. Tues 10 May Arun Riverlife: 1 lapwing Pelican Cove: pair of pochard and 2 ducklings, Ramsar and Sand Martin hide: 10 male tufted ducks and 7 female tufted ducks, 2 mandarin, 1 kingfisher, 18 male gadwall, 7 mallards, 8 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 1 shelduck, 2 lapwing, 2 cackling geese, 3 shoveler.75 black-headed gull, 7 herring gulls, 20 sand martins, 1 swallow, 2 oystercatchers Scrape hide: 1 lapwing Lapwing hide: 3 lapwing, 1 cuckoo at back of reedbed. Mon 9 May Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing, 15 Canada geese, 5 tufted ducks, 1 greylag, 1 coot, 2 woodpigeons Ramsar and Sand martin hide: 1 lapwing, 1 greater black-backed gull, 1 oystercatcher, 3 Egyptian geese, and 5 sand martins Scrape hide: 1 lapwing, 1 kingfisher, 1 pochard Pelican Cove: one pair of pochard with 2 ducklings Sun 8 May Arun Riverlife: 1 lapwing, 3 pochards, 1 kingfisher Pelican Cove: 1 oystercatcher, 3 pochard Sussex Screen: 1 mute swan on nest Scrape hide: 2 lapwing, 1 pochard Sand martin hide: 3 Egyptian geese, 1 oystercatcher, 6 sand martin Wetland Discovery: 4 Canada geese, 2 mallards, 2 sedge warblers Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing, 2 Canada geese.

Singing and nesting around the reserve

Singing and nesting around the reserve

Sand martins and kingfishers continue to show at the Sand martin hide. A pair of oystercatchers have been frequenting the fresh cobble islands out front (photo).Between Ramsar and Sand martin hides look out for lapwing and chicks, common gulls, Med gulls, shelducks, shoveler, mute swans and greylag geese and goslings. In the Wood Loop look out for chaffinches, blue and great tits on the feeders and mandarin and mallard ducks below and in the ditch. Lots of sininging around the reserve from chiffchaffs, Cetti’s warblers, sedge warblers, song thrush and black caps. Look up for soaring buzzards and kestrel perching. Water rails have been seen and heard squealing around the reedbeds. Sightings from WWT wardens assessing specific areas of the reserve on a rotating basis. See daily sightings highlights posted daily in the Visitor Centre.Wed 4 May Ramsar hide: a pair of lapwing Pond in front of Coastal Creek aviary: 2 oystercatchers nesting. Scrape hide: 10 Canada geese, 7 greylag geese, 4 pochards, 8 tufted ducks, 1 shelduck, 2 lapwing, 4 male and 3 female mallards, a pair of gadwall, 1 coot, 1 moorhen, 1 sedge warbler, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 male shoveler Tranquil Trail: a pair of bullfinches Arun Riverlife: 1 kingfisher Along perimeter fence: 1 cuckoo in flight Tues 3 May Arun Riverlife: 1 oystercatcher, 2 pochard Pond in front of Coastal Creek aviary: 2 oystercatchers nesting. Scrape Hide: 3 male pochards, 2 lapwing – male nest scraping Ramsar hide: 2 shoveler, 7 greylag geese, 13 Canada geese, 13 gadwall 6 male and 7 females, a pair of lapwing mobbing crows and contact calling chicks, 2 moorhens, 5 mallards, 10 tufted ducks (5 pairs), 39 black-headed gulls, 4 coots, 2 cackling geese, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 2 oystercatchers, 1 shelduck, 1 kingfisher, 12 sand martins Wetland Discovery: 1 nightingale Mon 2 May Lapwing hide: 2 lapwing, 8 Canada geese, 12 greylag geese - 4 male 3 females 5 goslings, 1 shoveler, a pair of mallards, 1 male gadwall Ramsar & Sand martin hides: 2 oystercatchers, 2 lapwing, 1 male and 1 female kingfisher on perch outside Sand martin hide, 2 pied wagtails, 6 sand martins Scrape hide: 3 male pochards Wetland Discovery: 1 nightingale Sun 1 May Wetland Discovery: 7 Canada geese, 5 male and 4 female tufted ducks, pair of greylag geese and 2 goslings, 5 male and 3 female mallards, 1 Cetti’s warbler Ramsar & Sand Martin hide: 1 little egret Arun Riverlife: 1 kingfisher flew into Hole 5 on artificial nesting bank, 3 male pochards

Lapwing chicks  near Ramsar hide

Lapwing chicks near Ramsar hide

At least three lapwing chicks have hatched out opposite the Ramsar hide – now the adult lapwing's mission is protection. They are mobbing predatory crows or any greylag geese families that wander too close. An adult kingfisher was seen taking a faecal sac out of nesting bank on Arun Riverlife which indicates thy have hatchlings in the nest on the Arun Riverlife lagoon. A singing nightingale was spotted onsite last Thurs from 7.50-10.30am in the far end of the car park. Staff saw it again on Tues 26 April. A pair of oystercatchers were spotted mating near Sand martin hide and another pair are nesting in front of the Coastal Creek aviary where they successfully raised a chick last spring. Many warblers singing onsite - reed, sedge & Cetti's. Black cap spotted as well. Wed 27 April Meadow pond: 1 pair of gadwall Long path: song thrush was smashing a snail on the reptile tin! Scrape hide: a pair of shelducks, 7 adult mallards and 7 ducklings, 6 pairs of Canada geese with 9 goslings, 34 black-headed gulls, 7 pochards, 2 coots, 1 carrion crow, 7 pairs of tufted ducks, 2 gadwall, 2 reed warblers, 2 sedge warblers, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 moorhen, 1 reed bunting, and 1 wren Sand martin hide: one pair of oystercatchers, 2 pairs of tufted ducks, 9 gadwall, 1 cormorant, 4 shoveler, 30+ sand martins, 1 kingfisher, 1 house martin. 2 cattle egrets Ramsar hide: 3 pairs of tufted ducks, 5 gadwall, and a pair of lapwing with 3 chicks, 1 male teal, and 1 swift Lapwing hide: 1 whitethroat, 6 tufted ducks, 1 gadwall, 3 lapwings, 6 tufted ducks, 1 cuckoo, 1 lesser whitethroat, 1 swallow, 1 water rail Arun Riverlife: 4 tufted ducks, 5 pochards, 3 gadwall Pelican cove: 1 grey wagtail. 7 tufted ducks, 2 gadwall, 1 oystercatchers. Tues 26 April Ramsar hide: 7 mallards, 3 moorhens, 2 shelduck, 2 oystercatchers, 2 lesser-black backed gulls, 7 Canada geese with 4 goslings, 10 greylag geese with 15 goslings, 4 cackling geese, 37 black-headed gulls, 2 coots, 1 wren, and 10 sand martins Wetland Discovery staff pathway: 1 nightingale Arun Riverlife: 1 pochard, 2 kingfishers in and out of nesting hole 5 Wetland Discovery: 1 female pochard Scrape hide: 3 pochards one female and two ales Lapwing hide: 2 male lapwing Ramsar hide: 6 shoveler, 8 tufted ducks, 3 lapwing mobbing crows, 4 gadwall, 1 cormorant, 2 shelducks Mon 25 April Sand martin hide: 9 sand martins investigating holes in the nesting bank, 1 kingfisher on the perch Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing, 4 Canada geese, 3 pairs of greylags with 5 goslings, 2 grey herons preying on ducklings, 3 pairs of tufted ducks, 1 female mallard with 4 ducklings, 1 male gadwall Wetland Discovery: 1 water rail Ramsar hide: 1 cattle egret, 1 lapwing Scrape hide: 1 lapwing Sun 24 April Scrape hide: 2 pochard Wetland Discovery: 2 pairs of tufted ducks, 1 pochard, 8 Canada geese, 7 male mallards, 3 gadwall, 1 robin, 1 sedge warbler Ramsar and Sand martin hide: 2 lapwing mobbing a crow, heard 1 kingfisher, a pair of oystercatcher, 10 sand martins Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing, 1 little egret Sat 23 April Ramsar and Sand Martin hide: 1 lapwing mobbing a greylag family, 2 oystercatchers mating, 1 greater black-backed gull, 2 lesser back-backed gulls, 4 sand martins, and a pair of shelducks Arun Riverlife: 3 oystercatchers having a row! 3 mute swans, 1 coot, 9 mallards, 4 male pochards, 31 black-headed gulls, 8 Canada geese, 4 tufted ducks Pelican cove: 1 oystercatcher Woodland Loop: 1 great-spotted woodpecker Scrape hide: 4 pochards Sedge warbler singing in the hedgerow. Photo by Media Volunteer Andy Burns

Sand martins arriving

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

Second kingfisher pair nesting onsite

Second kingfisher pair nesting onsite

A second pair of kingfishers seem to be nesting in artificial bank of the Sand martin hide. They have beat the sand martins to the space this year but there is plenty of room on the other side of the bank. We should be seeing sand martins moving through soon as they usually arrive in early April and we have just begun to see swallows on site. The nesting kingfishers mean we have now closed and locked the windows in the Sand Martin Hide. The windows would usually be closed during sand martin nesting anyway, but this plucky pair of kingfishers have got in there early! Thanks to visitor Chris Penrice for sending in this photo of a kingfisher on the cobbles near the Sand Martin hide. Wed 6 April Sand martin hide: 2 pairs of gadwall, 2 swallows, 3 great black-backed gulls, 2 tufted ducks, 2 pochards, 7 shoveler, 3 Med. gulls Ramsar hide: 1 lapwing, 2 gadwall, 2 tufted ducks, 2 shoveler, 2 teal, 1 shelduck, 2 lesser black-backed gulls and 13 common gulls Wetland Discovery: 1 pochard, 6 tufted ducks Lapwing hide: 1 grey heron, 3 shoveler, 2 barnacle geese, 1 lapwing Wood loop: 1 mandarin Sussex Screen: 1 mute swans, 7 Canada geese, 3 coots, 2 shoveler, 2 pochard, 10 mallards, 24 black-headed gulls, 1 moorhen, 4 greylag geese, 7 tufted ducks, 3 wood pigeons, 1 reed bunting, 1 chiff chaff, 2 snipe, 2 Cetti’s warblers Trumpeter pen: 1 water rail, 2 mandarin ducks Arun Riverlife: 4 tufted ducks, 2 gadwall, 3 pochards, 1 oystercatcher, 1 lapwing, 1 shelduck, 11 tufted ducks, 10 gadwall, 1 pochard, 1 peregrine, 1 greenfinch Lakes & Forest exhibit: 1 oystercatcher Tues 5 April Arun Riverlife: 3 lapwing, 2 pochard, 2 kingfishers, 1 peregrine Scrape hide: 1 cormorant, 1 snipe Lapwing hide: 3 lapwing Wetland Discovery: 2 pochard Lapwing hide: 7 snipe Ramsar & Sand Martin hides: 24 Canada geese, 3 coots, 10 mallards, 88 black-headed gulls, 2 mute swans, 4 shoveler, 2 cormorants, 1 great black-backed gull, 2 lesser black-backed gulls, 4 greylag, 2 kingfisher, 1 pochard, 14 Med. Gulls, 2 shelducks, 4 tufted ducks, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 2 lapwing, 3 cackling geese, 40 common gulls, 2 gadwall Mon 4 April Lapwing hide: 2 greylag, 2 shoveler, 6 mallards, 1 coot, 2 snipe. Ramsar hide: 7 cormorants, 1 pochard Scrape hide: 2 pochard Arun Riverlife: 1 kestrel, 1 lapwing, 2 pochard Sun 3 April Wetland Discovery: 5 pochards Ramsar hide: 8 shoveler, 10 black-headed gull, 2 cattle egrets, 2 greater black-backed gulls, 2 lesser black-backed gulls, 6 cackling geese, 1 kingfisher Sand martin hide: 2 oystercatchers, 3 tufted duck Lapwing hide: 3 lapwing Scrape hide: 1 lapwing Arun Riverlife: 3 tufted ducks, 9 black-headed gulls, 2 Canada geese, 7 mallard, 3 coots, 1 kingfisher

Oystercatcher pair about

Oystercatcher pair about

A pair of oystercatchers are appearing regularly at the Sand martin hide and the old Tundra pen on the corner. They have nested at both sites in previous years so this may be that same pair. Kingfishers have been using the perch in front of the Sand martin hide as well as using the Arun Riverlife nesting bank. Is it the same pair or are their two? Lots of common gull and Mediterranean gulls around and a few black backed gulls in the mix this week. The great egret was still around last weekend but hasn’t been spotted for a few days.Lapwing have been sighted daily on the wet grassland from the Ramsar hide. Wed 30 March Scrape hide:15 Canada geese, 4 greylag geese, 2 shelducks, 3 pochards, 6 shoveler, 5 mallards, 4 tufted ducks, 12 black-headed gulls 1 coot, 2 moorhens, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 teal, 1 snipe, 1 wren. Arun Riverlife: 4 pochard, 1 kingfisher Pelican Cove: 2 pochard Wetland Discovery: 1 pochard Ramsar and Sand martin hide: 1 pochard, 12 Mediterranean gulls, 1 oystercatcher, 1 black-backed gull, 2 lapwing, 7 teal, 1 cormorant Old Tundra pen: 2 oystercatchers Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing Tues 29 March Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 10 mallards, 2 oystercatchers, 23 Canada geese, 22 black-headed gulls, 2 black-backed gull, 3 common gulls, 1 mute swan, 2 greylag geese, 14 shoveller, 1 shelduck, 2 moorhens, 2 coots, 1 tufted duck, 1 lapwing Scrape hide: 1 pochard Arun Riverlife: 1 lapwing, 1 kingfisher Mon 28 March Lapwing hide: 1 lapwing mobbing a crow, 3 mallards, 3 pheasants, 2 wood pigeon, 3 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 1 snipe Sand Martin hide: 2 oystercatchers, 1 kingfisher Scrape: 1 lapwing Reedbed: 1 kingfisher Arun Riverlife: 10 pochard, 1 kingfisher Ramsar hide: 3 grey heron, 1 lapwing, 2 pochards Sun 27 March Wetland Discovery: 9 mallards, 1 pochard, 1 coot, 7 Canada geese, 2 black-headed gulls, 4 tufted ducks, 1 pheasant, I Cetti’s warbler, 1 chiff chaff Arun Riverlife: 8 pochards, 1 lapwing Sand martin hide: 2 oystercatchers, 2 kingfishers Ramsar hide: 2 lapwings, 2 lesser black-backed gull Offham hangar: 1 peregrine Scrape hide: 5 pochard Sat 26 March Arun Riverlife: 2 mute swans, 18 mallards, 4 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 4 pochard, 11 tufted ducks, 19 black-headed gulls, 2 gadwall, 2 shoveler, 2 moorhen, 2 coots, 2 lapwing, 2 kingfishers Pelican Cove: 2 oystercatchers Lapwing hide: 3 lapwings (2 male one female) Ramsar and Sand martin hides: 2 lapwing displaying, 1 great white egret, 20 Mediterranean gulls, 100 common gulls, 2 kingfishers on perch Offham hangar: 1 goshawk

Great egret & a crowd of cattle egrets

Great egret & a crowd of cattle egrets

A great egret was back onsite last week making appearances at the Scrap hide through Sunday. Six cattle egrets spent the afternoon on the cobbled island opposite the Ramsar hide on Tuesday afternoon, photographed by volunteer Andy Burns.Kingfishers are still around the nesting bank on Arun Riverlife Lagoon. There has been more lapwing activity on the wet grassland between the Scrape and Ramsar hides and the oyster catchers have been around, scouting nest sites? The team did our first butterfly survey on Tuesday - plenty were out in the morning but they seem to hide when they know we are counting! Still we recorded 27.Wed 23 March WeBS count (Wetland Birds Survey) Arun Riverlife: 15 mallards, 2 coots, 2 moorhens, 8 tuftred ducks, 3 shelducks, 3 pochards, 7 Canada geese, 3 greylag geese, 1 shoveler, 2 lapwing, 1 kingfosher, 27 blackheaded gulls, 1 little grebe, 1 barnacle Canada cross goose. Pelican Cove & outside Coastal Creek aviary: 1 mallard, a coot, 2 moorhens, 1 mure swan, 8 tufted ducks, 8 gadwall, 2 Canada Geese, 1 black-headed gull Lakes & Forest exhibit: 103 mallards, 5 moorhens, 2 mute swans, 1 pochard Reed swamp exhibit: 5 mallards, 2 moorhens Old Black neck swan exhibit: 7 mallards, 2 coots Trumpeter pen: 29 mallards, 2 coots, 1 water rail Reedbed boardwalk: 28 mallard, 2 coots, 2 Canada geese, 1 kingfisher Reedbed hide: 1 mallard, 2 coots, 1 moorhen Scrape hide: 5 mallards, 2 coots, 1 moorhen, 2 tufyted ducks, 2 teal, 1 shelduck, 2 gadwall, 6 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 7 shovelers, 1 kingfisher, 45 black-headed gulls Old Trumpeter exhibit: 2 mallards, 1 coot, 1 moorhen, 1 water rail Sand Martin hide: 8 mallards, 2 coots, 1 moorhen4 shelducks, 10 Canada geese, 1 greylag goose, 71 black-headed gulls, 5 common gulls, 1 water rail Bewick’s swan exhibit: 10 mallards, 1 moorhen Old Tundra pen: 60 mallards, 1 coot, 2 moorhen, 2 Canada geese, 1 greylag goose, 2 oystercatchers, 3 black-headed gulls Wetlands Discovery: 9 mallards, 2 coots, 2 moorhens, 1 tufted duck, 12 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese Ramsar hide: 1 mallard, 3 moorhens, 3 teal, 9 Canada geese, 1 shoveler, 3 lapwing, 78 nblack-headed gulls, 225 common gulls, 2 Mediterranean gulls Lapwing hide: 1 mallard, 1 coot, 9 moorhens, 2 teal, 2 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 2 shjoveler, 2 lapwingsTues 22 MarchRamsar/Sand martin hide: 6 cattle egrets, 25 Canada geese, 7 greylag geese, 13 mallards, 2 tufted ducks, 1 teal, 106 black-headed gulls, 2 shelducks, 2 gadwall, 57 common gull, 4 coots, 2 moorhens, 3 wood pigeon, 3 lapwingLapwing hide: 1 lapwingWetland Discovery: 2 pochardWoodland loop: 2 mandarin ducks, 1 water railButterfly survey 2.30 pm - 4 pm: 27 total - 1 Brimstone, 2 small tortoiseshell, 14 peacocks, 10 commas.Sun 20 MarchWoodloop: 2 mandarin ducksRamsar hide: 2 lapwing, both in flight displayingSand Martin hide: 2 kingfishers on perch in front of the hideScrape hide: 1 great egret, 1 male lapwingReedswamp exhibit: 1 oystercatcherWetland Discovery: 20 mallards, 6 Canada geese, 1 coot, 1 pochard, 3 tufted ducksArun Riverlife: 8 pochard (4 pairs)Sat 19 MarchArun Riverlife: 29 black-headed gulls, 2 shelducks, 2 greylag geese, 1 coot, 8 mallards, 8 tufted ducks, 2 oystercatchers, 1 pochard, 1 black capWetland Discovery: 6 pochardLapwing hide: 1 lapwingRamsar hide: 8 Mediterranean gulls, 200 common gulls, 1 pochard.Woodland Loop: 4 mandarin ducksScrape hide: 1 great egretFri 18 MarchWoodland Loop: 1 nuthatch, 1 wood pigeon, 3 great tit, 4 blue tits, 1 wren, 3 moorhens, 4 pheasants, 1 water railArun Riverlife: 1 kingfisherWetland Discovery: 2 pochardsWet Grassland: 3 lapwingRamsar hide: 1 lapwingSnad Martin hide: 2 oystercatchersScrape hide: 1 great egretArun Riverlife: 10 pochards

Busy Woodloop feeders a sign of spring

Busy Woodloop feeders a sign of spring

The bird feeders in the Woodland Loop have been getting busier as more songbirds arrive. The pair of kingfishers are still on the nesting bank on the Arun Riverlife lagoon. Lapwing sightings are increasing on the wet grassland -this photo from volunteer Andy Burns.Wed 16 MarchWetland Discovery: 1 pochardArun Riverlife: a pair of oystercatchersLapwing hide: 2 male and one female lapwingRamsar hide: 11 Mediterranean gulls, 1 kingfisherScrape hide: 19 Canada geese, 5 greylag geese, 4 teal, 4 tufted duck, 12 mallards, 2 shelducks, 2 coots, 8 shoveler, 27 black-headed gulls. Tues 15 MarchArun Riverlife: 2 pairs of pochard, 1 lapwingLapwing hide: a pair of lapwing, female looks to be nest sittingRamsar hide: 2 pheasants, 3 lapwing, 14 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 2 shelducks, 2 pochard, 1 shoveler duck, 4 tufted ducks, 1 kingfisher, 3 coots, 3 moorhens, 11 mallards, 148 black-headed gulls, 163 common gulls, 10 Mediterranean gulls, 3 buzzards overhead, 1 red kite.Mon 14 MarchRamsar and Sand martin hides: 2 oystercatchers, 1 cormorant, 2 lapwing, 9 Mediterranean, 2 kingfisher, 2 pochardsArun Riverlife: 2 oystercatcher, 1 pochardWoodland Loop: 4 mandarin ducks, 1 nuthatchScrape hide: 1 lapwing, 1 kingfisherLapwing hide: 4 lapwing, 4 greylag geese, 1 coot, 1 mallard, 4 black-headed gulls, 1 moorhen, 2 shelducks, 1 blue tit, 1 Cetti's warbler, 1 pheasantSun 13 MarchWetland Discovery: 2 chaffinches, 2 coots, 2 black-headed gulls, 7 mallards, 4 Canada geese, 1 long-tailed tit, 2 blue tits, 4 tufted ducks, 2 great tits, 1 Cetti's warbler, 1 Lapwing.Arun Riverlife & Pelican Cove: 2 oystercatchers, 9 pochard, 1 lapwingRamsar & Sand Martin hide: 1 kingfisher, 65 Mediterranean gulls, 500 common gulls, 1 lapwing.Sat 12 MarchArun Riverlife: 14 mallards, 3 coots, 2 moorhen, 1 greylag, 4 Canada goose, 2 gadwall, 2 pochard, 1 shelducks, 11 tfted ducks, 3 herring gulls, 78 black-heded gulls, 3 snipeRamsar hide: 12 Mediterranean gulls, 600 common gulls, 4 lapwingLapwing hide: 2 lapwingFri 11 MarchWoodland Loop: 4 phesants, 1 moorhen, 8 blue tits, 2 goldfinches, 5 great tits, 1 dunnock, 1 woodpigeon, 6 mallards, 2 ong-tailed titsWet Grassland: 1 lapwingReddbed boardwalk: 1 snipeWetland Discovery: 1 pochard, 1 kingfisherRamsar hide: 69 Mediterranean gulls, 4 cormorantsScrape hide: 1 lapwing, 3 pochardsArun Riverlife: 1 pochard, 1 kingfisher

Kingfishers on Arun Riverlife delight visitors

Kingfishers on Arun Riverlife delight visitors

The kingfisher pair continue to show well on the perches near their nesting bank on Arun Riverlife. At least one has been showing on the perch each day. Last Thursday both kingfishers were visible and a pair of oyster catchers were on the lagoon as well. This kingfisher was snapped on Tuesday around noon on perch outside the nesting bank on Arun Riverlife lagoon. Visitors have been watching them from the cafe seating area's windows and snapping away from the area just outside the cafe doors to the grounds. Our Discovery hide is being refurbished this week but it reopens on Saturday for those who want a closer look at the nesting bank.More lapwing sightings this week on the wet grassland area from Lapwing hide to Ramsar hide. One lapwing was spotted at Scrape hide. Daily sightings by WWT Reserve wardensThese are morning sightings that target different site locations on a rotating basis. This is not a comprehensive list of all wildlife onsite,.Wed 9 March Scrape Hide: 5 greylag geese, 39 black-headed gulls, 17 Canada geese, 12 mallards, 1 shelduck, 2 common gulls, 8 shoveler, 2 pochard. Arun Riverlife: 8 pochard, 1 kingfisher Sand martin hide: 2 pochards Ramsar hide: 2 Mediterranean gulls Wet grassland: 2 lapwings Tues 8 March Wet grassland: 2 pairs of teal Arun Riverlife: 3 male and 3 female pochard Sand martin & Ramsar hides: 80 black-headed gulls, 4 common gulls, 6 Mediterranean gulls, 13 Canada geese, 3 greylag geese, 1 Egyptian goose, 5 moorhens, 2 coots, 3 shoveler, 2 shelducks, 1 lapwing, 5 male and 3 female mallards. Mon 7 March Wet Grassland: 2 mallards, 2 moorhen, 2 Canada geese, 2 greylag geese, 2 teal, 2 snipe Reedbed: 1 reed bunting Woodland Lodge: 1 water rail Sun 6 March Woodland Loop: 1 coot, 3 mallard, 1 pheasant, 2 long-tailed tits Sat 5 March Arun Riverlife: 1 kingfisher, 1 gadwall, 1 coot, 4 Canada geese, 39 black-headed gull, 1 moorhen, 9 tufted ducks, 2 shelducks, 1 pochard. Fri 4 March Arun Riverlife: 1 little grebe Woodland Loop: 5 pheasants, 3 mallards, 1 sparrow hawk, 1 wren, 5 blue tits, 1 great tit, 1 moorhen, 1 wood pigeon Scrape hide: 1 lapwing Ramsar & Sand martin hides: 58 common gull, 8 Mediterranean gull, 3 lapwing Lapwing hide: 5 lapwing. Thurs 3 March Reedbed: 1 great tit, 3 blue tits, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 green woodpecker, 2 Canada geese, 24 mallards, 1 song thrush, 1 reed bunting Scrape Hide: 18 shoveler, 2 teal, and 2 shelducks Arun Riverlife: 2 oystercatchers, 2 kingfishers.

Kingfisher pair back at the nesting bank

Kingfisher pair back at the nesting bank

Pick up our Wildlife Observation cards to help us keep an eye on the kingfisher pair who have made the Arun Riverlife lagoon their territory. The pair were sitting on the far right perch in front on the nesting bank on Wednesday morning around 11 for quite a while giving visitors a lovely chance to see them from the Discovery hide and from the windows of the café seating area in the main gallery of our visitor centre. Last Sunday this pair chased another kingfisher off their territory! Kingfishers have also been spotted along the channels of the boat safari on Wetlands Discovery area. A second pair? Other signs of spring? Lapwings have been appearing regularly on the wet grassland at Lapwing and Ramsar hides. Wed 2 March Arun Riverlife lagoon: 2 kingfishers, 4 male pochards, 1 lapwing Front pond: (rescued from along the perimeter fence) 35 toads Scrape hide: 2 coots, 2 Canada geese, 6 mallards, 13 male and 5 female shoveler, a pair of shelducks, and 1 little grebe. Tues 1 March Lapwing hide & wet grassland: 3 lapwing (1 mobbing a crow, 1 flying over and calling, and a male feeding) Ramsar hide: 11 mallards, 5 greylag geese, 8 Canada geese, 3 moorhens, 2 coots, 8 black-headed gulls, 2 shelduck Sand martin hide: 2 teal, 2 shelducks Scrape hide: 2 male pochards Arun Riverlife: 1 lapwing feeding on the grassland, 4 pochards Mon 28 Feb Scrape hide: a pair of pochards, 3 mandarin ducks Ramsar hide: 1 oystercatcher, 4 cackling geese Sun 27 Feb Arun Riverlife: 3 kingfishers, a pair chased of a lone bird, 4 pochards Wetland Discovery: 2 robins, 10 tufted ducks, a pair of kingfishers, 6 Canada geese, 7 mallards, 1 coot, 3 pheasants Ramsar hide: 2 lapwing Lakes & Forest exhibit: 1 treecreeper Sat 26 Feb Arun Riverlife: a pair of kingfishers, 2 gadwall, 13 mallard, 5 Canada geese, 78 black-headed gulls, 2 moorhen, 3 coots, 4 shelducks, 4 tufted ducks. Pelican Cove: a pair of pochard Ramsar hide: 1 lapwing Lapwing hide: 2 lapwing Fri 25 Feb Arun Riverlife:3 pochard, 2 kingfishers Wood Loop: 3 pheasants, 4 moorhens, 7 blue tits, 1 dunnock, 2 wrens, 1 song thrush Ramsar hide: 1 lapwing

Jack snipe at Ramsar & kingfishers courting

Jack snipe at Ramsar & kingfishers courting

A pair of kingfishers have been very active on Arun Riverlife lagoon this week. They have been investigating holes on the nesting bank, perching in front of it and in the trees around the lagoon and on the roof of the visitor centre. The pair have been calling to each other and the male was spotted wood offering the female a fish while sitting in the dogwood just outside the Warden’s and Keeper’s office. We are asking visitors to help us monitor kingfisher behaviour again this year by recording their observations on cards available in the visitor centre. We are also monitoring the behaviour of lapwings on the same Wildlife Observation cards. A pair have been seen at the Lapwing hide and we had 12 lapwing break off from a larger passing flock to land on the new islands near the Ramsar hide yesterday. We hope to see at least 8 pairs end up nesting on our wet grassland this year. Look for more lapwing arriving and their display flights to begin, with swooping and diving displays and slide whistle pee-wit calls. Some snipe have returned to the fen cut at the Ramsar hide. Our media volunteer Andy Burns photographed 2 common snipe and a jack snipe there on Wednesday afternoon. Wed 16 Feb Arun Riverlife: 4 pochard (2 pairs) Wetland Discovery: 2 pochard (1 pair) Lapwing hide: 2 lapwing Ramsar hide: 1 jacksnipe, 2 common snipe, 12 lapwing (afternoon) Wed 15 Feb Ramsar/Sand martin hides: 2 shelducks, 51 black-headed gulls, 10 herring gull, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 4 male and 2 female mallards, 1 greylag goose, 2 Canada geese, 1 pair teal, 1 water rail Pelican Cove: 1 pair of pochard Wetland Discovery: 1 male and 2 female pochards Arun Riverlife lagoon: 1 male pochard Reedbed hide: 1 little grebe Reedbed hide: 1 marsh harrier at 11.50 am Tues 14 Feb Lapwing hide: 1 coot, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 2 moorhens, 2 shelducks, 2 Canada geese Arun Riverlife lagoon: 2 kingfishers -very active, calling, feeding behaviour. Mon 13 Feb Pelican Cove: 5 pochard (2 pairs) Arun Riverlife: 2 pochard (1 pair) Wetland Discovery: 1 pochard, 2 coots, 1 pheasant, 8 mallards, 4 Canada geese, 1 moorhen, 1 green woodpecker Ramsar and sand Martin hides: 51 common gull Sun 12 Feb Arun Riverlife: 25 Canada geese, 4 coots, 7 tufted ducks, 1 shoveler, 9 mallards, 40 black0headed gulls, 2 kingfishers calling and active Ramsar hide: 2 lapwings, 1 lesser black-backed gull, and 10 common gull Wetland Discovery: 2 pochards Sat 11 Feb Poplars by the lapwing hide: 7 goldfinches Scrape hide: 1 snipe Sussex screen: 1 bullfinch Arun Riverlife: 2 kingfishers active and calling Wood loop: 1 water rail, 4 pheasants, 2 moorhen, 7 blue tits, 1 long tailed tit, 4 dunnock, 5 chaffinch, 1 goldfinch Fri 10 Feb Wood Loop: 5 chaffinch, 2 goldfinch, 1 bullfinch, 12 blue tits Arun Riverlife: 4 pochards, 4 shelducks, 3 pairs of tufted ducks, 2 kingfishers investigate hole five

Teal & lapwing back on Arun lagoon as project finishes

Teal & lapwing back on Arun lagoon as project finishes

The Arun Lagoon Project is almost complete. Water has been allowed to slowly flow back into the lagoon since Fri 4 Feb and already birds are moving in. Good numbers of Lapwing have returned (110), eight Mediterranean Gulls are also present amongst other gull species and the first Oystercatcher appeared on Arun Riverlife on Monday morning, Feb 8. The warmer weather has the wildlife convinced that spring is here already! Everywhere you look a couple of birds are jostling for territory or partners, carrying nest material, or generally being a little over amorous for this time of year! A kingfisher was spotted in the trees of the entry reedbed last Friday where Warden Emma Jacobs got this photo (above). There has also been sightings along the long path and perched up near the nesting bank on Arun Riverlife. The highlight of bird sightings over the past month has been a Glossy Ibis that was visible from the Scrape Hide for well over a week and is still making the odd appearance. There have been six of them at Pagham Harbour, which of course is very close as the bird flies. Teal and Shoveler numbers are good and with everyone now in their best plumage, displays from males are attracting more attention from females. Wed 10 Feb Wood Loop feeders: 6 blue tits, 4 chaffinches, 3 greenfinches, 2 goldfinches, 3 moorhens, 1 great tit, 1 firecrest (mid-morning in trees by stag beetle pile) Arun Riverlife: 1 kingfisher on perch at nesting bank Ramsar hide: 20 teal, 3 tufted ducks Scrape hide: 2 grey herons, 8 little egrets Tues 9 Feb Scrape hide: 4 gadwall, 8 teal, 23 shoveler, 5 Canada geese, 3 coots, 6 mallards, 9 snipe, 1 shelduck Arun Riverlife: 1 kingfisher also on long path Wetland Discovery: a pair of pochards Ramsar & Sand Martin hide: 5 lapwing Mon 8 Feb Arun Riverlife lagoon: 1 oystercatcher Pond opposite waterfall exhibit: 1 tree creeper, 1 water rail, 1 green woodpecker Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 6 mallards, 12 Canada geese, 2 shelducks, 44 teal, 110 lapwing, 2 greylag geese, 186 black-headed gulls, 2 moorhens, 42 common gull, 8 Mediterranean gulls Sun 7 Feb Lapwing hide: 6 Canada geese, 2 pairs of mallards, 2 pairs of pheasants, 1 moorhen Pelican Cove: 3 male and 5 female pochard Sat 6 Feb Wetland Discovery area: 4 male and 2 female mallards, 3 coots, 2 Canada geese, 2 male and 1 female tufted duck, 30 mixed flock of siskin and goldfinches Sand martin hide: 15 lapwing on shingle island, 44 male and 32 female teal Pelican cove: 2 pairs of pochard Arun Riverlife: 2 male pochards Fri 5 Feb Arun Riverlife: 55 black-headed gulls, 1 grey heron, 6 coots, 11 male and 5 female mallards, 3 male and 2 female tufted ducks, 1 shelduck, 25 Canada geese, Pelican cove: 1 female pochard

Flock of lapwing & a flush of snipe

Flock of lapwing & a flush of snipe

Our wardens spotted the glossy ibis back at the Scrape hide on Monday morning at 8 am. That was the last recorded sighting of it here onsite. Monday’s warm sun also brought a red admiral butterfly out of hibernation along the reedbed boardwalk among the carr woodland. On Thursday fifty lapwing landed on Arun Riverlife lagoon briefly in the morning before taking to the air. Wardens also flushed up 60 snipe while working in the area. The contractors are just finishing up the edging in front of the Sand martin and Ramsar hides this week so we will slowly start reintroducing water to the lagoon project over the weekend. Water levels are higher already with overnight showers making large ponds attracting coots, shoveler, mallards and black-headed gulls. Plenty of ducks pairing up for spring, particularly from the Scrape hide. Rumours that some grey herons might be nest building out there too! Daily sightings by WWT Reserve wardens These sightings target site locations on a rotating basis on a morning walk-through of the site. Wed 2 Feb Scrape hide: 10 male and 3 female shoveler, 2 coots, 7 pairs of teal, 1 pair of shelducks, 6 male and 2 female mallards, 6 greylag geese,45 Canada geese, 1 grey heron, 1 male and 2 female gadwall, 2 moorhen Arun Riverlife: 2 pair of pochard Tues 1 Feb Ramsar & Sand martin hides: 1 woodpigeon, 2 black-headed gulls, 1 pair of shelducks, 1 moorhen, 1 pair of mallards, and 1 pair of shoveler Arun Riverlife: 3 pairs of pochards Reedbed: 1 marsh harrier at 4.20pm Mon 31 Jan Scrape hide: 1 glossy ibis in fen cut at 8 am Arun Riverlife: 14 snipe, flushed Pelican Cove: 1 pair of pochard Sussex screen: 1 mandarin duck Reedbed: 1 admiral butterfly. Sun 30 Jan Pelican Cove: 3 pochards Wetland Discovery: 2 coots, 6 Canada geese, 10 mallards, 1 kingfisher, 4 tufted ducks Sat 29 Jan Arun Riverlife: 16 Canada geese, 34 mallards, 11 shelducks, 4 greylag, 2 mute swans, 1 kingfisher, 6 pochard, 18 tufted ducks, 4 coots, 3 moorhens, 44 black-headed gulls, 1 gadwall, 4 snipe, 1 grey heron Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 1 greenshank Fri 28 Jan Scrape hide: 1 grey heron, 1 cormorant, 11 Canada geese, 4 pairs of shoveler, 14 teal, 2 shelducks, 4 coots, 1 moorhen, 12 mallards, and 2 wigeon Wood loop: 8 blue tits, 1 water rail, 4 pheasants, 3 sparrows, 4 chaffinches Arun Riverlife: 4 pochards, 5 Canada geese, 7 male and 4 female tufted ducks, 2 greylag geese, 1 pair of shoveler, 5 mallards, 1 kingfisher Thurs 27 Jan Ramsar hide: 2 shelducks, 4 male and 7 female teal Reedbed hide: 1 Cetti’s warbler, 2 mallards, 1 water rail Reedbed: 1 firecrest, 3 blue tits, 2 wood pigeon, 1 vole, 1 blackbird, 2 robins Arun Riverlife lagoon: 50 lapwing landed on Arun Riverlife briefly, 60 snipe flushed up on Arun Riverlife

Glossy ibis drops in for a long visit

Glossy ibis drops in for a long visit

A glossy ibis dropped into the fen at the left hand side of the Scrape hide last Sunday morning and has been spotted there off and on this week. We are seeing the ibis in the mornings and late afternoons to roost and it seems to be ranging about during the day. Thanks to visitor Daniel Boon for the photo. The last glossy ibis we had onsite at Arundel was nine years ago on March 31, 2013. Glossy ibis were once a rarity in UK but in recent years there have been several national influxes according to Sussex Ornithological Society. The glossy ibis used to only breed in the Balkans and Black Sea states but they now breed in Spain and are moving into Southern France. Daily sightings by WWT Reserve wardens These sightings target site locations on a rotating basis on a morning walk-through of the site. Wed 26 Jan Arun Riverlife lagoon: 2 pochards, 2 mute swans Scrape hide: 1 glossy ibis, 2 wigeon, 2 gadwall, 12 Canada geese, 2 shelducks, 9 mallards, 12 shovelers Tues 25 Jan Arun Riverlife: 5 pochards Ramsar & Sand martin hide: 1 carrion crow, 2 black-headed gulls, 1 blackbird, 12 mallards, 1 teal Old Trumpeter Pen: 3 water rail Scrape hide: 1 glossy ibis, 1 wigeon, 14 shovelers, and 2 shelducks. Mon 24 Jan Scrape hide: 1 glossy ibis, roosted overnight and was there in afternoon again Sun 23 Jan Wetland Discover: 3 pheasants, 3 mallards, 6 Canada geese, 1 Cetti’s warbler, 1 coot Arun Riverlife: 6 pochards in three pairs Reedbed: 1 glossy ibis at 9.30 am Scrape hide: 1 glossy ibis at 4.30 pm Sat 22 Jan Arun Riverlife: 16 male and 9 female mallards, 11 shelducks, 2 mute swans, 14 Canada geese, 3 male and 2 female pochards, 2 male and 3 female tufted ducks, 2 coots, 1 little grebe, 4 moorhens Scrape hide: a pair of wigeon Reedbed: a great spotted woodpecker Wood loop: 1 water rail Fri 21 Jan Arun Riverlife: 12 shelducks, 2 teal Long path crossroads: 1 kingfisher female fishing Wood Loop: 3 pheasants, 2 wood pigeons, 1 water rail, 3 moorhens, 14 blue tits, 3 great tits, 2 dunnocks, 1 robin, 3 chaffinch Thurs 22 Jan Scrape Hide: 3 male and 2 female shoveler, 41 Canada geese, a pair of teal, 14 mallards, 2 coots, 1 moorhen Sand martin hide: 2 lapwing Long path: 1 kingfisher Wood Loop: 7 blue tits, 2 chaffinch, 1 water rail, 2 sparrows Arun Riverlife: 9 coots, 2 moorhens, 7 Canada geese, 6 greylag, 13 shelducks, 4 tufted ducks, 1 pair of pochard, 1 mallards

Shelduck and teal numbers up

Shelduck and teal numbers up

There is still an abundance of stonechats on and around the wet grassland, redwing and goldfinch amongst the hedgerows and egrets (both little and cattle) roosting in trees from dusk onwards. The odd wigeon is making an appearance from the Scrape Hide and shelduck and teal numbers are increasing on site. Keep an eye out for bullfinch, goldcrest and firecrest amongst hedgerows and wooded areas, and an ear out for the sound of water rail and Cetti’s warbler singing all over the place.Daily sightings by WWT Reserve wardensThese sightings are done target locations on a rotating basis on a morning walk through of the site.Wed 19 JanScrape hide: 10 greylag geese, 55 Canada geese, 8 male and 4 female teal, 11 male and 4 female shoveler, a pair of shelducksTranquil Trail: 1 bullfinchArun Riverlife: 3 male pochardsTues 18 JanRamsar and Sand Martin hide: 2 carrion crow, 1 moorhen, 1 black-headed gullArun Riverlife: 5 tufted ducks, 2 greylag geese, 20 Canada geese, 4 coots, 1 moorhen, 8 mallards, and 12 black-headed gulls.Long path: 2 robins, 2 bullfinchesMon 17 JanLapwing hide: 3 pairs of mallardsWildlife garden: 2 snipeScrape hide: 24 male and 22 female teal, 7 male and 5 female shoveler, 1 male and 2 female pochards, 2 male and 3 female wigeonSun 16 Jan Wetland Discovery area: 8 blue tits, 8 wood pigeons, 2 song thrush, 1 blackbird, 1 cootScrape hide: 20 teal, 3 shelduck, 12 shovelerArun Riverlife: 2 pochard, 12 tufted ducksWetland Discovery area: 19 mallard, 4 Canada geese, 3 pheasants, 1 moorhen, 1 robin, 5 goldfinchesSat 15 JanArun Riverlife: 9 shelducks, 44 Canada geese, 3 pochard, 7 greylag geese, 26 mallards, 12 coots, 3 moorhen, 27 black-headed gulls, 7 tufted ducks, 1 grey heron, 5 snipeSand martin hide: 10 shoveler, 1 little grebeFri 14 JanScrape Hide: 8 Canada geese, 4 greylag geese, 1 grey heron, 5 mallards, and 1 cootWood loop: 2 pheasants, 2 chaffinch, 2 water rail, 10 blue titsArun Riverlife lagoon: 1 grey heron, 2 tufted ducks, 24 Canada geese, 16 greylag geese, 2 shelducksThurs 13 JanWood loop: 1 water rail, 2 pheasants, 10 blue tits, 2 chaffinches, 3 sparrowArun Riverlife: 28 Canada geese, 22 greylag geese, 1 grey heron, 2 shelducks, 2 tufted ducks.Scrape Hide: 8 Canada geese, 4 greylag geese, 1 grey heron, 5 mallards, and 1 cootWood loop: 2 pheasants, 2 chaffinch, 2 water rail, 10 blue tits