Mindfully Arundel

Posted on 09/12/2020 By

Head and shoulders shot of Bertie wearing his Sutton United scarf.Bertie: “Bobby… Why are you cleaning the bathroom at three in the morning?”

Bobby: “And the downstairs loo!”

Bertie: “Why?”

Bobby: “Can’t sleep…”

Bertie: “You told me you had had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon at Arundel. So why were you going through those boxes of memorabilia at midnight?”

Bobby: “Had a great idea, but needed to find something. When I found it, it was even better than I first thought.”

Bertie: “In other words, you were on bonce overload. You have been on bonce overload for a little while now. It doesn’t have to be anxiety, it can be excitement as well. But if you carry on like it, it will become GAD. You know that. What are you doing on Monday?”

Bobby: “Zoom YMCA Gym, 12:30. Waitrose weekly shop, 14:00. Mindfulness monthly Zoom with Estelle’s group, 19:30. Got loads of other things to do. Christmas cards, for one thing. But not the bathroom now. All on my list.”

Bertie: “Right. Remember Matt Busby to Manchester United players: ‘Do the Simple Thing. Do it well.’ Tell us briefly about Arundel yesterday afternoon. It’s going to be foggy in the morning. Do nothing. Write some cards after Waitrose. Do nothing at all after Estelle. Including switching all screens off. Listen to some nice music.”

Mindfully Arundel

Bobby: “I had gone to see Daisy play grassroots football.”

Bertie: “STOPPPPP… Just Arundel!”

Bobby: “I am trying to go to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust every Sunday afternoon.”

WWT Arundel

Sign "Welcome to the Arundel Wetland Centre", with some of the Wetlands in the background.

Arundel Wetland Centre Welcome Centre.

It feels very safe. Tier 2 means the hides are open. Still fresh air, but wear a mask. The café is open and you can sit by the picture window. As the light dims, most people have gone and it assumes a magical quality. I love sitting in the Scrape Hide soaking up the atmosphere. The wild birds start flying in as the light fades and I was waiting. Hoping to see a really special bird. The reserve closes at 4:30. At 4:20, a lady from the WWT staff came into the hide to sanitise all the surfaces. “Time to go, sir” she said, just as two Marsh Harriers flew into the reed beds. Wowww. In the fading light, I walked back to reception. “Are you the gentleman in the Scrape Hide?” “Yes. Two Marsh Harriers!” “Excellent. You are also the last visitor and we can close now. See you next week.”

The viewing window in the café overlooking the wetlands.

The wonderful viewing window. Most of the birds outside are wild, not collection birds. Socially distanced tables for modest café food. Or take your own sandwiches. Toilets here.

The reed beds.

The reed bed electric boat ride. £3.00, has to be booked in advance as do entry tickets. Toilets in the thatched building.

Noticing Nature. Mindfulness exercises in collaberation with the Mental Health Foundation.

Heading for the Scrape Hide, which is next door to the Trumpeter Swan enclosure. We had never heard them trumpeting until the feeding lady turned up. Tallest and loudest of all waterfowl.

Trumpeter Swan. Tallest and Loudest of all the wildfowl.

Click for larger version.

Sunset over Arundel Council as seen from the Wetlands.

The view from the Scrape Hide as the light fades. Arundel Castle in the background.

Sunset over the Wetlands.

Getting darker.

Four Canada Geese flying overhead.

Canada Geese flying in for the night.

Marsh Harrier as a small dot silhouetted against the fading sunset.

And then marsh harrier (magnifying glass required).

The Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier in flight.

Marsh harrier. Hunting a Starling roost in a reed bed.

One of Britain’s iconic birds of prey. Once persecuted by Gamekeepers and the like. They hunt by stealth, as do all the Harriers. Flying slowly, quartering a marsh or, in the case of hen Harriers, moorland. Searching for unsuspecting prey. A couple of years ago, they started using the reed beds in the reserve as an overnight roost. The WWT have seen eight on one spectacular night, It’s only a fleeting look as they fly in silhouetted against the fading light. What a privilege to be there on Sunday night.

From the RSPB website:

Key information screenprint from the RPB website, which can be read from the link above.


Lighting a Candle for Diddley

Glass paperweight with an image of a Kingfisher in it, silhouetted against a candle lit for Diddley.

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  1. Andrew Ball says:


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