Another reasonably sunny day and a chance to take another local walk, this time from Sheepcote Valley to Ovingdean, along a winding path between the fields.
The skylarks were out in number, filling the air with their insistent trilling as they hovered and hunted out insects.
When they come down to land, they hide in the thicker grass where they are almost impossible to see. I was startled by this one taking to the air (or perhaps it was startled by me).
Further along, the song changed to that of the whitethroat. This one was flitting in and out of the hedgerow. There were young about, but well hidden and being well guarded by the adults.
Two more treats greeted me when I reached Ovingdean. At the farm just outside the village a pair of pheasants ran across the path. This is the male. The female had scurried away between some farm buildings.
I’ve saved the best (in terms of sightings) until last. The swallows and house martins arrived in Sussex a couple of weeks or so ago, but today they were joined by the latest arrival from Africa, the swift. Summer is now officially on the way. About a dozen were flying over the farm, inevitably proving a difficult challenge to capture in a photo so I was more than pleased to manage two swifts in one shot. There really is nothing quite like a swift for sheer aerial grace.
Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.