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Saturday 24th February 2007
Balcombe - Ardingly
8 miles

With no bike
and no money we needed to keep things cheap and simple today. To that end we got the train to Balcombe and did a circular walk around Ardingly Reservoir. From there we headed west to the spectacular Balcombe Viaduct, through farmland and back to the railway station just as it turned dark. A great walk of about 13 kilometres (8 miles) mostly on thick mud.
Lots of birds about today; buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel, yellowhammer, red legged partridge, tree creeper, as well as a brown hare running across a field. Gill also found a Wood Mouse hole with a nibbled hazelnut outside it.
The biggest surprise of the day was finding some Mink scat on the doorstep of the reservoir hide. We would have had no idea they were there apart from that clue.


Some barn owl real estate!

A view of the reservoir with the hide on the left.

The mink scat that Gill identified on the doorstep of the hide.

Lots of this today. It was great fun sploshing through it all day.

An expertly nibbled hazelnut.

A statue on the bank of the reservoir.

The Balcombe Ouse Valley Viaduct comprises of 37 arches and was completed in 1842. It is very impressive and when you cross it on the way to Brighton you get great views in both directions.
For all you railway buffs out there, I have made a small
film (3.25 mb).

A photo that many people have taken over the years, but worth repeating here.

Lichen flowering, they seem to think it's spring!

And the cherry blossom is coming out too, so what more proof do you need that it's spring already.