Tuesday, 9 June 2015

30 Days Wild Day 9: Lunch on the Heath

I was volunteering at Pulborough Brooks again today. It was pretty busy in the centre, with various tasks occupying my time and, of course, plenty of welcoming the visitors. People were coming back from their walks saying that the wind was really bringing the temperature down so when I ventured out on my lunch break, I was expecting to feel a little chilled. Personally, I think some of them were exaggerating just the tiniest bit as it was actually very pleasant, muggy even, but I guess we all feel the cold differently. I'll let them off!

I headed out to the heath lands which are situated behind the car park and are used a lot by dog walkers. It's an entirely different habitat from the wetlands trail, with lots of inclines and great views of the South Downs. I settled myself on a bench that overlooks the centre of the heath. With my lunch, the latest issue of BBC Wildlife and the air filled with chiff chaffs chiff-chaffing and blackbirds laughing, it made for a pretty relaxing break.

Several hobbies have been spotted at the reserve recently so it came as no surprise when I saw one gliding overhead. I knew straight away that it wasn't a buzzard or red kite purely from the size and looking at the tapered shape of the wings and absence of "fingers", it couldn't have been a marsh harrier either. It's taken a while, but I feel like my bird of prey identification skills have definitely improved.

Talking of buzzards, on my journey back to the centre, I found a slightly tatty feather on the ground which I am fairly certain belonged to a buzzard. I already have a huge one, in better condition, in my feather collection but I'm always happy to add to it, so this was a lovely bonus.* Please do correct me if I'm wrong!

*Whenever I mention my feather collection, I always make a point of saying that they are all feathers I have found on the ground. Taking feathers from the birds themselves is illegal and I do not encourage it. 

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