Eastbourne Group Walk Report - The Cuckoo Trail from Horam
On 22nd March 2016 on a sunny and relatively warm morning 26 of us set off from Horam for a walk south along the Cuckoo Trail “looking for signs of spring” but we soon discovered from the lack of plants in flower that “spring had not yet sprung”.
The birds however were in good voice and throughout the walk we were surrounded by birdsong with robins, blue tits, great tits and wrens providing most of a great sounding backdrop for us.
On one field to the east of the Cuckoo Trail, we were very lucky to see two mistle thrushes (see photo) and as we turned to retrace our steps we looked up and saw 5 buzzards overhead. In total we recorded 20 species of birds on the walk although not everyone would have seen or heard them all and those heard included one chiffchaff, a green woodpecker and great-spotted woodpeckers.
As far as plants are concerned, we did see quite a lot of primroses in flower, lesser celandine, hart’s-tongue fern, lords and ladies (not in flower) and some violets which we had expected to be in flower but which only had very small leaves and looked quite stunted. We passed by areas where we could see that in a few weeks there would be carpets of bluebells and then to our delight we found our first bluebell actually in flower and scanning the rest of this bluebell patch we found several more that were just beginning to flower.
As we left the Cuckoo Trail to return to our cars were rewarded with a final flourish of birdsong from a song thrush which could clearly be seen towards the top of a nearby tree.
During the walk, Sue and Geoff Cook pointed out a number of features along the Cuckoo Trail which all added to our enjoyment of the morning and I would like to thank them very much for leading this walk for the Group.