The Burgh to Rackham Banks

There can't be many better things to do on a warm summer evening than to yomp accross the chalk grassland of the South Downs. At Canada Barns a flock of 13 Swifts screamed overhead, Red Kites and Buzzards soared, and a Kestrel hovered. The ancient chalk paths were lined with Red and White Campion, and Painted Ladies aggressively stood there ground, flying up and around me to land back in the same spot. It was interesting to the note the differences from my last visit to Medley Bottom one month ago when the north facing slope was carpeted yellow with Cowslip. Today, the carpet was still yellow, but the colour was provided by Buttercups. I stood at the bottom of the valley by the dew pond and Stoke Hazel Wood was alive with bird chatter. I wondered if I could hear a Spotted Flycatcher, but didn't manage to see it, if it was there. A Cuckoo and a Lesser Whitethroat sang. Over at Downs Farm a Barn Owl was hunting, and by Amberley Mount Meadow Pipits darted about with beaks full of food for their young. I stood to admire the views from Rackham Banks and wondered what it must have looked like to the pre-historic people who built this ancient settlement; many more trees, birds, and insects? Certainly much more to fear. Brown Hares and Painted Ladies accompanied me back along the white shingle track along which young Linnets cherped. There was a moment with a Grey Partridge as we both froze, fixated on each other, before it darted off on my next step forward. A Lapwing was sat in a field as sheep grazed around it, and a Sparrowhawk glided over my head. 


White Campion

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit

Painted Lady

Rackham Banks


Grey Partridge




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