By Michael Blencowe
Senior Learning and Engagement Officer
Well the much needed downpours have refreshed the county and things are starting to feel a little bit autumnal. Swallows are gathering above the pond at Woods Mill and, like many other birds, they are thinking about taking that first step (or should that be flap?) on a journey which will take them through southern Europe and into Africa. It’s an exciting time of year to get out and watch migration in action and our packed programme of events in September will give you the chance to get closer to birds and other wildlife too.
On 1 September the Woods Mill 50th anniversary celebrations continue. We’re holding a BioBlitz at Woods Mill and we’re going to record as many different species on the reserve as possible – and we need your help. There will be a series of events (starting in the evening on 31 August) or you can just join in at any time, grab a net and a pot and see if you can add a new species to our list!
Over at Rye Harbour on 1 September there will be a guided walk to Camber Castle looking out for migrating birds along the route. We’ll also be looking for migrating birds at our Woods Mill HQ on 4 September in another event which is part of our 50th celebrations.
We’re focussing on nocturnal creatures on 6 September. In Lewes we will be leading a bat walk around the St John sub Castro churchyard. Meanwhile at Woods Mill we are running a special training event for people who are interested in taking part in the BTO’s 2018 Tawny Owl survey. Learn how to identify these owls and then take part in the weekly survey in your garden or local park.
On 8 September there are still a few places left on our ‘Introduction to Reptiles’ course near Laughton. Join us for the day to learn all about the UK's snakes and lizards and get close to these incredible reptiles in cold blood. Also on 8 September there are two guided walks around Woods Mill (at 10am and 2pm).
On 9 September there is a guided walk at the fantastic Rye Harbour, looking for migrating waders and wildfowl at Castle Water. The Eastbourne Sussex Wildlife Trust group will also be looking for migrants on their walk on 11 September at Cuckmere Haven. Also on the 11th, there is another bat walk at Woods Mill – but tickets for these bat events have been booking up fast!
It’s our big fundraising ball in Brighton on 15 September hosted by Michaela Strachan with food, drinking, dancing and wildlife! There are just a few tickets left on David Plummer’s popular ‘Field Craft’ course on 16 September. Join David as he teaches you the field craft required to get closer to wildlife while respecting and not disturbing the wildlife itself.
On 17 September the Chichester Sussex Wildlife Trust group has organised a walk to Snowhill and Ellanore (West Wittering) led by David Hart looking for shoreline birds, flora and fauna. Also in West Sussex we ware leading a members-only walk at our wonderful reserve at The Mens (north of Petworth) on 21 September.
There is an exciting event in Brighton on 22 September - The 2018 Ocean Symposium and Marine Exhibition. With our oceans under threat there has never been a more vital time to learn more and help support their conservation. With presentations, screenings, exhibition (and a demonstration of the amazing new SeaVax prototype!) this promises to be an interesting and engaging day.
Also on 22 September there are a few places left on the ‘Introduction to Harvest Mice’ course at Warnham (near Horsham). Spend the day learning all about these elusive (but very cute!) little rodents. Our September Owl events are now fully booked but there is another Bat Night at Woods Mill on 27 September with a few tickets remaining.
David Plummer returns at the end of the month for a weekend course ‘Beginning Nature Photography’ (29 September). We end the month with two weekend walks at Woods Mill (29 September, 10am & 2pm).