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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 4th June 2011
Billingshurst - Pulborough via the Wey South Path
~ 9 miles

Gill's recuperation is going very well, so her first walk of the season needed to be a reasonably flat one that would dish up all of the fantastic, Sussex springtime wildlife that she's sorely missed over the past couple of months. 
Starting from Billingshurst Station with screeching Swifts above (her favourite), this swelteringly-hot walk (made up of quick flits between shady spots) along the beautiful Wey & Arun Canal served up a springtime smorgasbord that returned the colour to her cheeks and the beaming smile to her face.
Fledglings were everywhere; roblets, wrenicles, titlets, finchibles, thrushypegs, blackychugs and pecker-pips (all real scientific names, you can check if you like!) seemed to be peeping, squeaking and wobbling about everywhere. A couple of Cuckoo were calling from afar and eventually we got the view of one we were after. We heard some Little Owl squeaks but couldn't pinpoint the source and we missed the even tinier squeaks of a tiny shrew which was seen scampering into the undergrowth beside a bridge.
To further highlight that the season of new life touches all environments, we even sighted a striped young Pike (Esox lucius) lurking behind the flood lock at Orfold like a hidden tiger.

Some of the water meadows are now being cut for hay, but the huge hedgerows and intricate waterways are lush and full of life.

Eggs of all types are being laid on every surface...

... and the insects are taking over!

Young Pike. Lurking with intent!

A very scared looking Dove nesting in a barn. It wasn't us, we kept a good distance away.

These hiking monks were two of the very few people we saw all day.


Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.