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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Wednesday 6th June 2008
Crawley - Warnham Nature Reserve
10 miles
GSI (Gill's sneeze index) 8/10

Although hay fever season is upon us and Gill sneezed 16 times today, it didn't ruin this surprisingly pleasant walk between Crawley and Horsham. Considering that the footpath took us between the busy A264 and Gatwick's flight path, the route was really very quiet. Even the part that circumvents an old landfill site is pleasant and bustling with wildlife.  After leaving the confines of our home town the land is given over to farming but with very large, healthy hedgerows and small woods between the fields. We saw a Roe Deer sneaking through the woods just outside of Ifield West and elders and foxgloves flowering. The sad news is that some of this area has been scheduled for the development of new homes and will soon be just another housing estate.
There were a lot of insects about, including midges and mosquitoes (we got bit) but also a Broad-bodied Chaser and a pair of Beautiful Demoiselles. There were also lots of birds too, including a buzzard that was so raggedy and with so many missing feathers, that we were surprised it could fly at all.
The species list grew a bit when we got to Warnham, where everything seemed to be having babies including: Great-Crested Grebes, Moorhen, Coot and a pair of Common Terns. All through the reserve we could see young birds or hear their cries for food from hidden nests. We had arrived at Warnham at about 4:30 in desperate need of tea and not quite so desperate need of cake. Luckily the tea shop at Warnham is open from 10:00 - 5:30 7 days a week and the reserve closes at 6:00, however, after tiffin and a good look around the reserve, it was 6:30 by the time we finally left. We got politely rebuked by Sam Bayley the reserve manager for our tardiness. Sorry Sam!

Stinkhorn found at Kilnwood. The tell-tale smell told us that there were others
hiding in the hedgerows, but we couldn't find them.

Scorpion fly

Caught in mid-flight, this male Beautiful Demoiselle was very keen on the female

The mythical Frog & Nightgown pub near Faygate

A young Bank Vole that we found in the middle of the path at Warnham.
What is it with voles, we keep finding them like this?