Friday, 16 October 2015

Buzzards to bees, and the first winter thrushes will be pleased.

As Winnie the Pooh would say it's "a rather blustery day today". A north or north-easterly wind has been gusting, sending the spiky cases of the chestnuts crashing down, and scattering the ground with acorns and autumnal leaves. Despite the grey skies I headed out onto my patch in search of some moments with nature. 

A pair of buzzards were calling and circling over the Chichester Road, as I made my way around South Pond. Remembering days from my childhood holidays when buzzards wouldn't appear in the skies until we reached the foggy-heights of Dartmoor, I still love to see these wide-winged soaring birds-of-prey which are now plentiful in Sussex. 

A couple of shaggy inkcap toadstools had popped up under the bench at the north corner of South Pond. I wonder if anyone eating their lunch-time sandwiches noticed? 

The horse chestnut tree beside the bridge at the end of the wharf has turned a muddy shade of brown and I found possibly the largest conker ever discovered, just beside the wall of the bridge (what's that? oh yes, of course, I put it in my pocket!). 

I was pleased to spot the pair of roe deer which can regularly be found browsing amongst the trees of the small wet copse in the middle of Cowdray Causeway flood meadows. As I paused for a few minutes to watch them, another causeway meadow regular, a stonechat, popped up into view perching on the top of an old dock stem. 

Yew trees, holly bushes and rowan trees alike already seem to be laden with ripe berries. The thrushes will be pleased, but is it a sign of a particularly cold winter on its way? 

A party of redwings were my first winter migrants of the year, their 'seep' 'seeep' calls filling the air as the made their way through the tree tops above the River Rother. 

As the wind began to chill and my legs tire, nature had one final treat for me. An ivy bee was resting on an ivy flower at perfect viewing level at the corner of the primary school playing field. Each detail was clear; the furry thorax, the neat sandy coloured stripes on her abdomen, the glossy black eyes and the stacks of pale ivy pollen on her back legs. She posed for a few photos, until a cup of tea began calling me home.

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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis