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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 4th March 2006
Burton Mill Nature Reserve

Today we paid a visit to Burton Mill nature reserve, which is just south of Petworth. On the way we saw 2 kestrels, one of which flew right in front of the bike and also a buzzard, which sailed right over us giving great views of it's plumage. 
It was really cold when we got to Burton but the place is very quiet and peaceful so it was completely worth it. On the ponds there we saw pochard, great crested grebes, tufted ducks and shelducks. Walking around the area we saw lots of wrens, two nuthatches, goldcrests, long-tailed tits and also some bramblings. The reserve is very picturesque and has many types of habitats and you can never be sure what you will see. There are usually not too many people either.
On the way home we stopped at Dave's workshop at Slinfold to watch the barn owl that hunts there every evening. We had to wait about 15 minutes in below zero conditions until it turned up. It came really close to us and was swooping to the ground regularly to try and catch things. A fantastic end to a beautiful winters day.

Apparently bitterns live here and one was seen that morning, but we didn't see any.

Most of the lake edges are too swampy for humans to walk on, which makes them safe for birds and animals.

This area is known as the black hole and is a fantastic place for dragonflies in the summer. Today it was the home to lots of wrens.

Here is the Barn Owl that we watched at Slinfold. I got a closer picture but it came out blurred. I needed to use a flash really but there was no way I was going to frighten the owl.

Here's the blurry picture anyway. You can at least see that it is a Barn Owl (Tyto alba).