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Saturday 12th May 2007
Ashdown Forest - Kings Standing - Fairwarp - Airman's grave

A bit of a shorter walk for us this Saturday, an 8 mile circuit in the Ashdown Forest starting at King's Standing, heading south to the small village Fairwarp (which we call Timewarp) and then back via the Spring garden and the Airman's Grave. The day started off very windy and showery but got better and better as the day went on. In the afternoon the sun looked amazing on the green Scots Pines and the dead brown ferns and peaty soil. The recent eagerly awaited rain meant that the forest was alive with the sound of running water.
We kept hearing a cuckoo in the near distance and eventually we found him sitting on a broken branch in a small tree. We got great views as he flew from there to the top of another tree, giving his call whilst in flight. Soon afterwards he vanished into the distance, flying at a great speed, but we caught up with him a bit later in a spectacular way. He was being chased out of a tree by a juvenile Hobby, which took his place there and allowed us great views through the binoculars. At one point it flew towards us, banked sharply and made a lightning speed swoop to catch a dragonfly. This it ate in mid-air on its way back to the perch. The sun was directly on him as he did this and the whole scene appeared as if it had been set up for us to see.

We spent part of the time on this path.

And some of the day on this path, the Weald Way.
This is an 80 mile long-distance footpath that goes from Gravesend to Eastbourne.


The new years ferns are all bursting out in the forest now.

The hobby in the distance.

Closer up, as taken through the binoculars, with shaky hands, in the wind, on full zoom, with one hand!
Oh come on, its not bad considering!