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Saturday 22nd September 2007
Crawley - Rusper - Crawley
8 miles

After last week's fiasco we had no option but to go back and get it right today. There was no way we could leave things like that. Today though, everything went perfectly and we managed a 13 mile walk that first took us along Broadfield Brook to the mill pond, then northwest out through Lamb's Green and on to Rusper. On the way we saw a leucistic carrion crow which looked more like a magpie due to the white markings on its wings and tail. A
similar bird was seen in Arlington two weeks ago. At Rusper we stopped in the newly decorated Plough Inn and had a Stella and then went across to the churchyard to visit my old friend, Seumas "Shag" O' Byrne.

After lunch in the graveyard we set off north-easterly to Langhurst. On the way we found a dead Pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus). It was so tiny and apparently they are Britain's smallest mammal. Just beyond Langhurst is an area of access land in a small wood near Little Prestwood farm. We explored that on the way before joining the footpath again and heading south. We left the path to take a look at Ifield Court farm and the hotel there. We couldn't get in to the hotel to see the moat, but the farm buildings are very old and there are some old fuel pumps there which must date from at least the middle of the last century.

The most commonly seen bird today was the Jay. We must have seen at least 20 of them, we also saw several woodpeckers, Canada geese, and a treecreeper. The biggest surprise came when we got to The Druids, shortly before entering Crawley again. An albino squirrel came out of the hedge to our left, ran across the path and up a tree.
Other sightings today included a Small Copper butterfly, speckled wood Butterfly, Alpacas, Llamas and Loughton Sheep.
The only problem with today's walk was the constant noise from the aircraft taking off from Gatwick. It was very hard to ignore it.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)


St. Margaret's church, Ifield.