For the past few months the weather has been incredibly mild. Then we headed into March and it felt like winter had finally arrived! With the temperatures dropping we had to reach for our thermals and scrape the car windscreens.
But when the sun starts shining in April the spring wildlife is soon flying, buzzing and bumbling about. Look out for brimstone butterflies, bee-flies, hoverflies and bumblebees. As our woodlands are transformed by blooming bluebells and wood anemones listen out for the chiffchaff broadcasting his monotonous two-note call from the tree-tops.
In April the chiffchaff will be joined by the first of the migrant birds returning from their sub-Saharan holidays. Listen out for willow warblers, whitethroats, nightingales and cuckoos.
April Wildlife Walks
At the start of the month (8th April) I’ll be leading my annual ‘Welcoming in the Wheatears’ walk on our Southerham reserve near Lewes. Wheatears undertakes an incredible migration each year. Join us and be part of the welcoming committee to cheer on these plucky birds as they pass through Sussex.
On the 9th April Mike & Rosalie will be leading a circular spring walk around the woodlands and countryside around Bolney finishing up, conveniently, at The Eight Bells just in time for lunch.
Our Eastbourne Group have arranged a walk around Lake Wood near Uckfield on 14th April and will be looking and listening for the sights and sounds of spring.
The action starts to heat up at Ternery Pool at Rye Harbour in April as sandwich terns, black headed gulls and Mediterranean gulls jostle for nesting sites. Enjoy some seabird scuffles on our walk there on 17th April. Also at Rye, on April 23rdr there’s a walk out to Camber Castle looking out for marsh harriers and listening out for the first cuckoo.
At the end of April (30th) we open the gates to our West Dean Woods reserve south-west of Midhurst. This reserve is usually closed to the public but on this special Open Day you have the chance to join guided walks and learn more about the conservation work being undertaken here.
Upcoming Wildlife Courses
Some of our April & May courses (Small Mammals, Raptors, Badgers, Dawn Chorus, Botanical Illustration) are already fully booked so act fast if you don’t want to miss out on our courses.
There’s an opportunity to join renowned wildlife photographer David Plummer on his ‘Beginning Nature Photography’ course (April 9&10). Learn how to make the most of your camera and take up an exciting and rewarding new hobby.
Our ‘Evening with Badgers’ courses give people the opportunity to get closer to these elusive animals. These courses are very popular and this year is no exception. There are still available opportunities in May (4th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 18th & 23rd) but they are booking up fast.
One of the best things you can do for wildlife is build a pond in your garden – but building a perfect pond can be tricky. On May 7th pond expert ‘Pete the Pond’ will be leading a course and demonstrating how to build the ideal wildlife pond. Get important tips from an expert with a practical demonstration
As the warmer weather arrives a lot of the most exciting wildlife action is happening on the seashore. Learn how to identify these wonderful (and bizarre) plants and animals that live here on a special one-day seaside identification course being held at Seven Sisters Country Park.