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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Nature walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 21st February 2009
Eastbourne ~ Beachy Head - Birling Gap - Seven Sisters - Exceat - Friston - East Dean - Long Down - Eastbourne
14.5 miles

We hadn't been to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters since last September so it was nigh time we did a walk here again. Eastbourne is known as the sunshine town and it didn't let us down today as we spent most of the sunny, Spring-like day with our coats and jumpers rolled up in our packs.
The walk along the cliffs was fantastic as usual with; a helpful, cooling breeze, bright sunshine, some iridescence and several Sun Dogs amongst the brightly lit, feathery, cirrus clouds and slightly fewer people around than the norm.
No Peregrines spotted this time, but there were Stonechats, Skylark, Raven, Fulmar, Oystercatchers and Meadow Pipits to make up for it. Lots of farmland birds punctuated the whole day but the birdsong became strangely quiet as we made our way through Friston Forest.
The sunset was gorgeous and came as we got close to Cornish Farm, just North of Belle tout lighthouse. The area around here is used by Little Owls as a hunting ground and we spotted one just before nightfall perched on a fence post. As we walked back towards Holywell several of them were flying unseen around us letting out wild squeaks and squeals.
After dark we used our binoculars to look at the stars unencumbered by light pollution and got a great view of the star cluster called the Pleiades, but which is better known as "The Seven Sisters", a very fitting end to the walk.

One of the many evergreen
Holm Oaks to be found at Whitbread Hollow.


Beachy Head lighthouse

Foxhole Farm and its campsite nestled into the Downs near Exceat.

West Dean church

Friston Church

Snowdrops at West Dean

Gill meets a friendly sheep just outside East Dean.....

....and a not so friendly sheep!

We'd promised ourselves a pint at The Tiger at East Dean, but it's closed until March.
There's a tea room in the village that closes at 4:30pm.

Dusk, and we enter into the hunting grounds of Little Owls for a night hike.

Sunset over Birling Gap seen from near Cornish Farm.
The bright point in the sky was Venus.