An Afternoon at Woods Mill

I spent a few hours yesterday at Woods Mill, the headquarters of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. It was hot (but not unbearable), with a light breeze. Perfect weather for a gentle walk through the nature reserve, which itself nestles in the South Downs National Park.

Fields at Woods Mill, East Sussex

The middle of summer isn’t the best time for wildlife watching. In the spring there’s all the breeding activity and new life, and in autumn many birds and animals become emboldened by the need to prepare for winter. So it was relatively quiet, but not without a few highlights. Several buzzards flew over, but the best raptor spot was a young kestrel (male) which was perching on one of the information boards.

kestrel at Woods Mill

kestrel at Woods Mill

Just along from there a pair of herons emerged from the fields. Nothing too dramatic in terms of photos opportunities, but good viewing as they flew over.

heron

I did rather better by the small lake. There was a lone swan there. I have a suspicion that it is rather used to humans as it paddled to the edge of the water each time I paused.

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

Mute swan at Woods Mill lake

There were a few moorhens, and one or two coots, plus mallards (of course). Nothing surprising there, but among them there were four or five little grebes (dabchicks), and they were in an entertaining mood.

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

little grebe (dabchick) at Woods Mill

One final treat. The small streams at Woods Mill provide a perfect environment for these very appropriately named “beautiful demoiselle” damselflies. The blue one is the male.

Beautiful Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens except images 1 and 5 (the landscape and the lake) which were taken with the EF17-40mm f/4L USM lens.

This entry was posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, damselfly, Landscape, South Downs National Park, water birds, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , .

6 Comments

  1. derwandersmann August 9, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    Lovely shots, Words! Not a bad one in the lot.
    BTW, hast heard aught of Adele?

    • Words August 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      dW, thanks! It’s a great site to visit. I think Adele may be in Mexico at the moment, but presumably without much in the way of internet connections.

  2. Darko August 9, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    I like that swan and damselflies, too.
    We are in Belgrade at the moment and most of the birds we see are crows, collar doves, pigeons and sparrows. But a nice surprise was a huge flock of swans resting near the bank of Danube, maybe 20+ birds. I’ve never seen so many of them before over here.

    • Words August 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      Darko, hope the trip goes well. Flocks of swans are always wonderful to see.

      • Darko August 13, 2014 at 5:34 am #

        My brother told me yesterday that the same flock is spending entire year over here. I guess, that last winter was not bad enough for them to move more to the south!

        • Words August 15, 2014 at 11:07 am #

          Darko, birds can be lazy and many will stay in the same location. You can easily get to know individuals after a while. As long as there’s food they’ll stay around.