Tag Archives: south downs national park

Horses at Falmer

I took a slightly different route out today and spent some time on the other side of the A27 in what is now North Falmer (the village is split in two by the A27). This is a view across the South Downs National Park, which – thanks to a government u-turn tonight under pressure from Labour – will now be protected from fracking.

fields

Falmer fields, part of the South Downs National Park

There are usually some horses around, and today was no exception.

Horses

horse

Nicely wrapped up against the chill.

The closing shot today is included for its curiosity. I swear these doves think they’re ducks.

Collared doves

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Birds, Farming, horse, Landscape, South Downs National Park Also tagged , |

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.

Posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, damselfly, Landscape, South Downs National Park, water birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , , , , |

Falmer Farmland

It’s still hot! The fields are quiet and everything is moving at a leisurely pace. This is the view of the fields hidden behind the small wood at the edge of the car park at work. There are certainly worse places to be. The campus itself is outside the South Downs National Park. The fields are inside it. I’m standing on the boundary line.

Wheat fields

Wheat fields

In the distance, cattle were quietly grazing. I hiked over in that direction at lunchtime.

cattle

cattle

There was one more treat as I left work. Three buzzards emerged from the woods. They headed away, but not before I unpacked the camera and took this shot.

buzzard

Camera note: cattle and buzzard photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. The wheat fields photographed with the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens.

Posted in Cattle, Farming, Landscape, South Downs National Park Also tagged , , |