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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.