A Place to Think

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Blue tit or great tit?

Blue tits and great tits are now regular visitors to our bird feeder. While there are similarities in colour, the blue tit is the smaller of the two birds. Both birds have white cheeks but the blue tit has a blue cap and a black stripe that passes through the eye. The larger great tit [...]

Winter Flocks

We are starting to see some of the woodland birds forming winter feeding flocks. In the summer the birds are spread out through the woodland, engaged in nest building and the busy duties of feeding and rearing their young. Through autumn into winter, some species start to form winter flocks, often a mixture of two [...]

Bumble bee and dragonfly

During a walk around the reserve yesterday I was surprised to see that a large dragonfly, possibly a faded southern hawker (it did not settle so not definite ID.) was actively flying back and forth near the Winterbourne stream. Adult dragonflies usually have a short life compared to their nymph that live beneath the surface of [...]

Autumn leaves

The railway land reserve now has a real autumn feel to it as the flora and fauna prepare for winter. The most dramatic change can be seen in the woodland as the leaves change from green to gold and red and a carpet of leaves is building up on the woodland floor. The main reason [...]

The Iridescent Kingfisher

The kingfisher is a popular bird but sadly they are too quick for our webcams to pick them up. The best place to see a kingfisher on the reserve is along the winterbourne stream, its over-hanging foliage and (in the summer) a quiet, gentle stream, provide ideal conditions.  Fishing posts have been added along the [...]

By |October 2nd, 2015|Adaptation, Birds, Food chains, Seasonal change|0 Comments

Update on moorhen family

Moorhen chicks become independent after 45 to 50m days of hatching. As they do not stay together it is difficult to know if all the chicks have survived. We have been seeing two older chicks  together through ditch cam and we have also seen a older chick on its own. The young moorhens will now [...]

By |September 17th, 2015|A Place to Think, Birds, Life cycles|0 Comments

Secret life of rabbits on the reserve

A mammal that is very common on the reserve is the European Rabbit. Not a native to the UK the rabbit was introduced to Great Britain by the Romans and also by the Normans. Today, rabbits are among our commonest and most widespread mammals. They live underground in a system of burrows called a warren. Rabbits [...]

By |September 17th, 2015|A Place to Think|0 Comments

Juvenile robin and other young birds

We have observed many young birds on the reserve the last few months. Through the webcams we have seen mallard and moorhen with chicks. Much older and more independent, we are still catching sight of the moorhen family through ditch cam. We have watched blackbirds collecting nesting materials on the pond edge and later collecting [...]

By |August 17th, 2015|A Place to Think|0 Comments

Disappearing Wetlands

It’s sometime difficult to appreciate, but much of the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve is man-made. Some of this has resulted due to the former use of the site, as railway sidings. Other parts of the reserve have been constructed more recently, such as the Heat of Reeds. However, this relatively small patch of green [...]

By |August 12th, 2015|A Place to Think|0 Comments


The teasels around the Heart of Reeds are now beginning to flower. Teasels have long tough stems with spines and the rib of the leaf is also protected by spines. This helps to protect the plant again grazing animals. The head of the teasel plant is cone-shaped and this is where the flowers appear, the [...]

By |August 4th, 2015|A Place to Think|0 Comments