A Focus On Nature

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar: Cuckmere Haven by Liam Curson

Welcome to our AFON Advent Calendar! Each day leading up to Christmas you will find a wonderful new post by a different member. This years theme is your favourite nature reserve; where do you go to escape from the world and connect with nature? Enjoy!

I’ve got thousands of memories to choose from, spanning over a decade of my favourite location, Cuckmere Haven. So I’ll write a short piece about one of the best, from a frosty midwinter day two years ago. Snow in Sussex is rare, so any cold weather brings birds flocking to the coast. Today was such a day, Fieldfares, Skylarks and Redwings were everywhere, seeking refuge among the relative mildness of the coastal marshes. Four Pintail hunkered down among the local Wigeon flock, and Snipe hurried to and fro across the saltmarsh, awkwardly screeching at one another. It was a stunning day, improved exponentially when a vision of grey and white flashed over the riverbank in front of me. I raised my bins, and could scarcely believe it, so I had to get it in the scope to confirm I really was seeing what I was seeing! An adult male Hen Harrier, at this point now disappearing behind the far riverbank, and then never seen again. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen on my patch, and easily among the most exhilarating 15 seconds of my life. I’ve got thousands of memories to choose from, but that must surely be the finest.