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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 19th July

I went to Arundel today. Not to the town but the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve.

But a few words about the town. Views are dominated by the castle (mostly Victorian) and the Victorian Roman Catholic Cathedral, sandwiched between them is the parish church of St Nicholas.

The Cathedral was built by the Dukes of Norfolk who own the castle and who are England's premier Roman Catholic family. Arundel depresses me. The cathedral (well last time I was there) makes great play of the sins against Catholicism perpetrated by Elizabeth I conveniently forgetting how awful the catholic Mary I was. The cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady and St Phillip Howard (who was executed by Elizabeth). The parish church is divided by a screen. The chancel was built by the Dukes of Norfolk and they reclaimed it in the 19th century for the Roman church and promptly erected a barrier between the two. So to view the fabulous Howard monuments you have to pay to enter the castle. Very occasionally the screen is removed, one such being the last Duke of Norfolk's funeral.

What really gets my goat is that in the 21st Century this type of divisiveness is still happening. Thinks, email to the parish, cathedral and Arundel castle.

Anyway to the reserve. I'll skip the collection. It was a bit quiet but i did see Bullfinch, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat (year tick) and various other bits and pieces. There was a Peregrine over and a Buzzard.

Arundel has the tamest Moorhens EVER!!

As the sun was shining I went on the boat trip.

And you get to see...

The castle from the boat.

So on to Uppark. Uppark was devastated by fire in 1989 and has been well restored by the National Trust. Of course this was controversial. It reminds me a bit of Trigger's Broom (Trigger being a sit com character for non Brits). Trigger won an award for keeping the same broom over a 25 year period, he had 10 heads and 7 handles but it was the same broom.

The view from the house (got to see a Marbled White in the wild flower meadow).

Interesting clouds. Luckily I dodged the rain.

So onto St Andrew's Didling (619). Its a simple downland chapel of about 1200.

I stopped off at Benbow Lake for a read and found a pair of Black Swans a Mandarin Duck and a Little Grebe.


oldcrow61 said...

A lovely collection of birds you have there. The Black Swans are beautiful.

st said...

Haven't seen w.voles since my teens, when i just about lived on the river bank.

Jan said...

Super pics, I like the black swans too, they are beautiful birds. I used to go to Arundel too, have been to the castle, but many years ago.

Anonymous said...

Regrettably the black swans are not showing. Great scenes all around. Thanks for the tour.

Anonymous said...

Some stunning photos Pete. Very exciting. I would like to list my favorites but there are too many. What is that brown creature swimming - a mink? Sorry for my lack of knowledge of these things. I am a bit of a pest here.

Pete said...

the brown creature is a water vole, ratty in wind in the willows

Oceans - no problem

Mo said...

It must have been great to see the water vole. Lovely photos.