Thursday, 26 March 2009

A Successful Day

I am proud to announce that I have the privilege of having been chosen as one of 15 members of the new Sussex Wildlife Trust Youth Council!! Hello to all other members, looking forward to meeting and working with you soon.

Thank you to Emily and Rosella White for allowing me spectacular views of their favourite night-time visitor from the comfort of their sitting room. It was wonderful to sit and watch a completely wild Badger happily devouring peanut butter sandwiches just inches from the other side of the patio-doors. Thanks also to their Mum and Dad, Carol and Paul, for their hospitality and an enjoyable evening. Thanks are also due to Mr. Badger for turning up!!

All photos published in good faith, please respect all copyright by not using or copying any of the images on this blog without permission. Thank you.

Spring Flowers

This week has seen spring flowers appearing in abundance. a small woodland at college was carpeted with Moschatel, also known as Townhall-Clock, beside patches of Violets both purple and white, and clumps of Primroses and Ground Ivy amongst the Dogs-Mercury. Nearer home along our stream, huge clumps of bright gold Marsh Marigolds and delicate patches of Ladies Smock. Further up-stream in the woods more carpets of Moschatel were flowering alongside Opposite-Leaved Golden Saxifrage. There will soon be many Bluebells mixed with Greater Stitchwort and hiding at amongst tree roots along the path we found the dainty white flowers of Wood Sorrel.

Moschatel (foreground) and Ground Ivy

White and Purple Violets

Marsh Marigolds (left)

Wood Sorrel (right)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A Very Interesting Day

Yesterday I attended an 'Otter day' at Winchester, Hampshire, provided by the Sussex Wildlife Trust. The day was hosted by Fran Southgate, Sussex Otters and Rivers Partnership, Sussex Wildlife Trust. The morning was very informative and it is not everyday that you spend time sniffing Otter-poo! During the afternoon we walked along the river side searching for signs of otter activity and talking amongst ourselves. A wide variety of people were attending they day, for various different reasons and it made interesting conversation. Here are two pictures that I took of Otter signs; the first is Spraint (Otter POO!) and the second is an Otter print.

During the walk we also saw a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly; the first I have seen this year.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

First Day of Spring and the Easter Bunny

Yesterday was officially the first day of Spring, and working outside in the sun all day it certainly felt like it. Bees were buzzing around and the sky was a wonderful blue.
Today we were treated to sunshine yet again and, with our fingers crossed, traveled to a nearby farm that is said to be a reliable site for Little Owls. Unfortunately this was about our sixth visit and we still have not seen them. Never mind, one day! A nice surprise however was in store for us as we drove down the lane back towards the main road. Before we reached the road we passed a green field when Mum suddenly spotted something out amongst the crop. A brown Hare, the original Easter Bunny. A wonderful sight! The Hare was feeding on the growing shoots and seemed fairly un-bothered about the car's presence. We watch for a few minutes until the animal lopped slowly away into the long grass and hedge at the edge of the field.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Warm Weather and Signs of Summer

We have been enjoying some wonderful warm weather this week. A friend of mine saw her first Swallow of the year on Monday. Today I was around the Brinsbury College Estate in the afternoon when I suddenly heard a familiar sound - a singing Chiffchaff, the very first time I have heard one this year. Upon arriving home I found out that my Mum had also seen heard one today, singing and feeding in pussy-willow trees near the entrance of a dis-used caravan park at Midhurst, West Sussex. 17th of March and it finally feels as if Spring is well and truly here.

This is a photo of a singing Chiffchaff that I took last year.

All photos published in good faith, please respect all copyright by not using or copying any of the images on this blog without permission. Thank you.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Silent Pool

Today was the warmest day of the year so far. We visited the Silent Pool near Guildford. the only movement seemed to be some fresh spring Brimstone butterflies, my first of the year, and an orgy of Toads!

My Year So Far

Some highlights of my year so far. One of the first outings of the year was a Sussex Ornithological Society (SOS) birdwatching walk at East Head and Snow Hill Marsh, West Wittering, led by Bernie Forbes. A freezing start with thick frost on the sand but we were soon warmed up by wonderful views of Golden Plover and ice-skating Water Rail.
More Ice-skating at Arundel Wildfowl and Wetlands Center (WWT)
The 25th of January was the day of the SOS Annual Conference. A good opportunity for a get-together and listen to some wonderful speakers. This year that list included BBC presenter, Mike Dilger.

We had SNOW!!

The above is one of two pictures published in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer

With a foot to snow still on the ground in Surrey we visited Wisley RHS Gardens to see the strange sight of tropical butterflies and orchids in the glass house whilst the snow lay thickly beyond the windows.

More photos on my website: under photo gallery/highdays and holidays

All photos published in good faith, please respect all copyright by not using or copying any of the images on this blog without permission. Thank you.


Hi and welcome to my new blog.
I am Sophie May Lewis (nicknamed Mabel), a conservation student, photographer, 'eco-warrior' and poet, based in rural West Sussex. I will try to post something at least once a week, with reference to things I have done, wildlife I have seen and thoughts that pop into my head, including some photos I have taken.
If you enjoy reading this be sure to visit my website: