For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

The best of both worlds: rambling and nature photography on The Seven Sisters of Sussex

  Walking with a rambling group has very many benefits to physical and mental health.
The need for the group to maintain a certain walking pace though is incompatible with observing and photographing nature, which is what I do.
There is a fix.
On this day, the charming folk of Mid Sussex Ramblers met in East Dean and off we set on an eight miles walk.  I was able to enjoy their company and take time to photograph by early on declaring my "departure" from the walk releasing the back marker and leader of any pressure or responsibly to look out for or wait for me.  To continue to enjoy their company it was simply necessary to jog up and down the hills to catch up from time to time.
Furthermore, the highly professional leader Yvonne was informed that I would leave the walk half way and explore the overflown Cuckmere river valley on my own.
With this tenuous link to the walk here are some pic's.
Glamour shoot overlooking Beachy Head


The descent towards Birling Gap

Part of the Seven Sisters with Seaford Head in the distance.


A Raven right near the cliff edge, centre left in this pic..

The rasping croaking of this bird was load, raucous and awesome.
Raven

Raven
Well behind now after admiring the Raven https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/raven/ there was some strenuous running to do.
  Note to my boys:  Youngest son Samuel, please note that decades ago your brothers and I 
walked this with you asleep in a baby buggy pushchair when you were two years old.


 Looking back to Belle Tout lighthouse https://www.belletout.co.uk/ which was featured in the TV drama https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04mlzdl
A zoomed picture: the group was a long way ahead.

 Finally caught up and took a group photo'.
Yvonne
Yvonne, our charismatic and highly professional walk leader enjoying a banana break,
Jackdaws  https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/jackdaw/ 
 A lone walker, unaware perhaps, that the cliff may fall away at any time -- especially now after heavy rain.

 Yvonne, considerately and sensibly, lead on a gentle path, well way from the cliff-edge and eventually on towards Friston forest.
 A beautiful spot for a celery, feta and tomato salad and a flask of tea.


 It was here that we parted for my descent to the flooded Cuckmere valley
The river has overflowed and made a second way through the shingle beach.  Click on any pic' to enlarge it.


Juvenile Stonechat
Walking past scrub were Stonechats: a delightful juvenile and male and female adults
Juvenile Dunnock, not a Juvenile Stonechat.
My thanks to Dr Ernest Garcia for the correction.

Male stonechat


Female stonechat

 Egret in a flooded field.
A sheep killed by a dog attack perhaps.

 No need for a water trough this day.
 A good field for a couple of dozen Little Grebes though.

Similar numbers of Black-headed gulls were around in their winter plumage, i.e. no black head.

 All photo's are copyright Peter Lovett.


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