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Saturday 19th April 2008
Balcombe - Staplefield - Ardingly - Balcombe
15 miles

We had to wake up at 4:30 this morning so that we could get the 6:14 train to Balcombe. The reason for our haste was that we had to do our BTO breeding bird survey this morning at Staplefield and preferably finish it before 9:00. So, from Balcombe station we still had a 2.5 mile walk (in the rain) to get to the start of our first survey transect for 8:00. We just managed it and were completely finished by 9:05. Mission accomplished!
After we finished we headed south and picked up the High Weald Landscape Trail. We followed that through Borde Hill gardens all the way to Ardingly Reservoir. We had a strange find on a large pile of manure, a hoof trimming from perhaps a small pony. We took it home and gave it to our friend Blue to give to his dog Milo. Apparently dogs love them. Yuck!
This turned out to be one of the longest walks (and one of the longest days) we've done for a while and as it was mostly through mud, so we were pretty tired at the end of it.

 This lake is at the very end of our survey and always provides lots of species for the list

Not the only deer we saw today, but the easiest to photograph

Great Crested Grebes courtship display

Hoof trimming - tasty and delicious!