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What might we see in the Merry month of May?


The fabulous festival of the Mayfly of course, if you are lucky enough to have access to an exclusive pristine Southern English Chalk stream. This year I have just that, thanks to a kind friend who has bought us a day's dry fly fishing (with my camera!) One day is about all anyone gets, the spectacle is in two stages over in perhaps just 48hrs.

Early Burnt Orchids are due any day now on the South Downs. This image was taken on May 7th last year. Early purple, Green winged and Early Spider Orchids have already been seen around Lewes.

Look out for Fox cubs play during the day, Mum is usually nearby keeping an eye on them, and everywhere there are are baby birds! These Blackbirds survived and fledged last year under the footbridge in Railway land nature reserve where dozens of Lewes folk and their dogs go 'walkies' every day. Sadly I saw a Swan killed there by a dog last year and was told it was the third in three weeks! Controlling dogs there is not possible as the Council owned land was left to them by the original owner with the clause, I'm told, "The land should be for the quiet recreation of the people of Lewes" Which includes 'walkies' for dogs.

I'm now checking every day, from a distance with my camera's telephoto lens, a highly vulnerable nest of a pair of Whitethroats just back from Africa. The nest is just 18 inches from the ground and a metre from an open area where owners let their dogs run riot every day. If only the reserve had signs, wardens and no go areas in the nesting season!

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