By Michael Blencowe
People and Wildlife Officer
September was very mild and continued a trend of warm Septembers which we have been experiencing for several years. Crispin Holloway is a Sussex Wildlife Trust volunteer who has been monitoring butterfly populations on our Malling Down reserve for many years. He’s also been recording the weather in his Lewes garden weather station and has commented that September may have been the third warmest in the last 30yrs.
As we head into autumn there is a great change in our countryside and its wildlife as everything prepares for the coming winter. On our recent Autumn Migration course in the Cuckmere Valley we watched swallows and house martins heading out of Sussex while wigeon and greenshank were just arriving from the north.
On 8th October the ‘Harbour Sails and Trails’ walk will take you around Chichester Harbour – an important wintering and refuelling area for many birds heading south to escape the frozen North. The following day 9th October there is a guided walk around another important site for migrating birds; Rye Harbour. Join the warden here to see what birds have been arriving or passing through.
Our monthly members-only Woods Mill Wander is on the 14th and, after a short illustrated talk, we’ll be looking at autumn wildlife on our Woods Mill pond, meadows and woodland.
On Saturday 15th we have the first of two courses aimed at helping people navigate in the Sussex countryside. Learn how to use maps and compasses to enhance your countryside wanderings. A navigation course aimed at young explorers runs on 25th October.
The Eastbourne group are running a fungi foray event on 18th October and on 20th October there is a members-only illustrated talk at The Mill at Woods Mill giving you a virtual guided tour of all our nature reserves.
There is a guided walk at our wonderful Ebernoe Common reserve on 21st October - a beautiful woodland which holds something of interest in every season. The following day (22nd October) a guided walk to Castle Water at Rye Harbour will give you the opportunity to see migrating waders and wildfowl.