On Sunday I took a walk with a friend to Binsted Woods, near Arundel. The terrain was muddy and the weather overcast, but it was great to get outdoors and go searching for wildlife.
The landscape around the village of Binsted is a rich tapestry of ancient pasture land, woodland and hedgerow, as well as ponds and rifes. The woods fall within the Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey area (MAVES) which is a community based not-for-profit charity. MAVES main purpose is environmental protection and improvement in the beautiful landscape of the Arundel area.
Although the list of species we saw on our walk wasn’t extensive, we were treated to fabulous views of a buzzard as it flew to the north of us, so we could clearly see the pale underside of its wings. A couple of deer bolted a few hundred metres away, so fleet of foot that it was impossible to tell whether they were roe or fallow.
Jays rasped above us throughout our journey, hidden until we reached the ancient woodland edge and we saw a flash of blue and white wing. Other species seen included: chaffinch, blue tit, great tit, wren, blackbird, song thrush, robin, wood pigeon, long tailed tit and fieldfare.
As we reached the end of our walk, we watched a great spotted woodpecker as it explored the bark of a tree, tapping gently here and there, shuffling around the trunk.
If you are interested in getting involved in the MAVES project, there are work parties and survey opportunities. For more information see: www.maves.org.uk/volunteer