Nature walks throughout the year
Sunday 17th January 2010
I'd made it all the way
through the cold spell in great health, but now, as the snow was disappearing, I
was starting to come down with a cold. We urgently needed fresh air and big
views though, so we decided on a short stroll from North Stoke church around The
Burgh and back. Wintering
Short-eared Owls have been seen on this nature conservation area (dogs on
leads please) lately and we couldn't resist the opportunity of the slight
possibility of maybe having a short glimpse of them from a distance.
As well as the snow melt we've had quite a bit of rain and on the A29 the flood
waters at Pulborough bridge were nearly up to the road, with the North and South
brooks completely flooded out. We wondered if the road would be blocked on our
The Burgh area has lost most of its snow now with just small 'glaciers' running
down the length of the footpaths. The place was alive with birds though, flocks
of Herring Gulls, Starlings, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Chaffinches and Redwings
were all around.
Among the six or so Buzzards up there was a distinctly pale one, possibly an
offspring of the
very pale one we’ve seen near there in the past. A
Merlin was having a bad day as it was first flushed from its perch in some
scrub by a Magpie before immediately being sent packing by a Kestrel.
Other sightings today included lots of midges, a Peacock
Butterfly and a daisy in full flower.
Eventually my cold, with it's accompanying and increasingly high temperature,
forced us to leave for home while the sun was still high in the bright blue sky.
The road at Pulborough was flooded on the way back, but we cut a huge bow wave
as we ploughed through it with our feet in the air to keep our socks dry.
There's only room for about one bike to park in the lane at North Stoke.
Up the glacier to The Burgh
Arundel Castle in the distance, further down the River Arun.
The superbly-positioned Downs Farm seen from The Burgh.
My slightly blurry video of the Merlin and kestrel was taken from quite a
distance, so apologies for the quality.
A male Reed Bunting in his winter plumage, all puffed up to keep warm...
... and here's the female.
Some of the flooding on the flood plain
around North Stoke.
The only owl we spotted all day, in North
Stoke church. Can you see it?