Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 1 February 2010

Haywards Heath February 1st One month gone!

One month gone. So fast yet so long. Mid Sussex and a very sunny yet very frosty day. 122 birds on the year list, added marsh tit yesterday during a relatively bird free visit to Broadwater Warren RSPB reserve. Due to an area of the adjacent Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve being coppiced, I missed the path which went along the bottom of Eridge Rocks and went along the top of this sandstone outcrop. Came across the warden of the reserve doing some path clearing work. Stopped for a chat and found out that the reserve had SSSI status due to the presence of a very rare fern - the Tunbridge Wells filmy fern. Had to see it and was shown the small area where it occurs. It's just amazing how a chance meeting brings such wonderful rewards. No, I'm not just very interested in birds; it's the whole range of natural history that delights me.

I say 'bird free' because despite walking the whole of the designated on the leaflet pathways around the RSPB reserve I saw very few birds. 19 species to be exact and only wood pigeon reached double figures. Marsh tit, as I've already said, was new. Otherwise it was the usual woodland suspects - tits, siskin, woodpeckers, goldcrests, etc. Must be a beautiful place in Spring though.

So a month of cycling, birding and meeting people, seeing places and enjoying [!] the elements. Simplistically I've been to 19 RSPB reserves, 1 WWT reserve, cycled 480 miles, walked I don't know how many, seen 122 different bird species and cycled through snow, hail, rain, sleet, ice, sun, drizzle, fog, mist and had winds from every direction, seemingly usually in my face! Whilst cycling so many memories pass through my mind and if I can remember them all then my notes at the finish of the year are going to be a wonderful aid-memoire for my old age.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey. To name them all would lay me open to the risk of omitting someone. People have been amzingly brilliant and I am so grateful to one and all.

I would also like to thank everyone who has sponsored me. Some people have kindly made one off donations and others have contacted me to say that they are going to sponsor me so much for each bird. Now there's a real incentive, as if I need one, to see as many species as possible.

It's been a real privilige to visit the schools and what a variety of visits so far. My sincere thanks to them all.

Now please sponsor me for . . .




Earth Hour is coming soon - March 27th - please sign up and help stop climate change.

One month gone - 11 to go. It's going too fast but every day is bringing wonderful things.

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