Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 09/10/2011

Far From The Maddening Crowd


Yellow Mongoose, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

As the last vestiges of Summer sun made an appearance today, we hot footed (actually it was a little drizzly when we set off, so it was more like cold footed it off) it down to the South Coast (of England) to one of the WWT (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) sites that we’ve not yet (until today) visited. Arundel WWT isn’t as large as some of the other locations in the group but that’s not a negative thing.

We started out with a boat ride around some of the water ways, the boat was electrically powered and as silent as an owl in flight and was so gentle that I could have easily spent all day on there, so relaxing was it. We were lucky enough to see a water vole swimming between banks looking for food, followed almost immediately by the closest encounter with a Little Grebe (Dab chick) I’ve ever had. It was also one of the prettiest ones I’ve seen – unfortunately the bird was too close for me to get a photo, but the image in my head is priceless.

Arundel do have a number of other birds I’ve not seen at one of their centres, Merganser, Common Scoter, Harlequin duck to name but three. I was particularly taken with the Common Scoter which I have seen in the wild but not as close as the ones in the enclosure. The birds are black with a yellow ring around their eye as well as a dash of yellow on their upper bill. Whilst this may not sound that enticing when compared to something like a Mandarin or a Wood Duck, they have their own style and charm.

The highlight for today, though, was seeing a wild Peregrine Falcon. We didn’t spot this ourselves, one of the WWT Staff had a scope trained on the bird, which was sitting in a tree on the side of the hill that borders the trust. How on earth they managed to see it, I’ll never know, unless of course it’s a tree if favours – it’s just not something I would look for, and where it was positioned didn’t make it any easier either way. I suppose with a number of gulls and pigeons visiting the various ponds and marshes – they’re an easy meal.

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Responses

  1. Sounds like you had a nice trip out my friend. Better than mine, it rained and rained, I ventured out twice, and actually saw NOTHING!
    Oops..I tell a lie, I took a shot of some fungus growing on a tree, which I will get round to posting. I only shot this because you mentioned your love for them.

    cheers
    Mark


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