On Thursday the sun was shining and I decided on the spur of the moment to go to RSPB Pulborough Brooks in Sussex, so as a result of the last minute decision, I arrived rather late in the morning about 11.00.
It was breezy but the sun was shining and although the temperatures were cool, when the sun really got going it was very warm again.
I walked in an anti-clockwise direction initially and saw more butterflies than birds. A couple of Chiff Chaffs were singing in different directions, heard but not seen! And the same for a Green Woodie and a Robin!
Next sightings were of crows (of which many over the fields) and then a Speckled Wood. A Wren and a couple of Nuthatches called from the trees and a few Goldfinches flew overhead.
As I wandered down the path, this cow was dozing in the sun!!
At one spot, a school party was moving away from a clump of brambles - they'd discovered some Grasshoppers. Now I'm still learning to ID birds, cutting my teeth on flutters and dragons and damsels, know a bit about plants but not so much about wildflowers but - grasshoppers? no chance for the moment!
But I hope someone will be along to help me out as usual :D (Don't know where I'd be without fellow bloggers and all their knowledge!)
..and a spider was spinning its web
while a hover fly - stopped hovering..
I walked past an open clearing where blackberries were ripening - and nicely sweet and juicy they were too. I wasn't alone in enjoying them as several butterflies dined there!
Commas - (one with closed wings on the right)
Sloe berries (I believe)
A rabbit was munching away oblivious to my presence
I arrived at one of the view points overlooking a small amount of water - this was Jupps View. Several Canada Geese and Greylags and some ducks (couldn't see their markings for an ID) much further out. A flock of about 30 Lapwings then flew in to swell the numbers. Over 100 teal had arrived the previous day but, due to lack of water had left again. I walked the few yards to Netley Hide but apart from a few Mallards - nothing! Neither was their any water - it's been a dry summer!
On my walk back -
Further indications of Autumn's mellow fruitfulness
A view over and beyond the reserve
So by now, hunger pangs headed me back to the visitor centre where I had a freshly made Brie and Bacon sandwich - which I can thoroughly recommend. Whilst I sat outside enjoying this, Blue and Great Tits kept me company at the feeders as did a quick moving Dunnock.
So now I headed off in the opposite direction to Westmead Hide - zilch! Three Emperor Dragonflies darted about tantalisingly in front of the hide but wouldn't settle down for a photo shoot!. Overhead a Bird of Prey wheeled about - pretty certain it wasn't a kestrel - not sure what it was and the best I could manage was a rather dodgy silhouette shot!
As I walked on a Painted Lady landed on the path in front of me and I reached Winpenny Hide - again nothing!
another path visitor was this flutter - which wouldn't open its wings so I'm unsure as to its name!
Masses of the pretty lilac-coloured plant
I walked up a slight slope; on my left thick bushes and to my right - again bushes with a barbed wire fence on the other side and from there open fields. BUT as I approached I noticed one of the RSPB volunteer wardens and another person with binoculars focused intently! Three Spotted Flycatchers and, as we stood and watched for a while, a Redstart joined them. They were all moving up and down along the barbed wire fencing and dashing out - if only we could have stood the other side in the field and seen them from there. These were then joined by a Chiff Chaff - things were looking up! Pity I was shooting straight into the sun and the birds would insist on posing where grass and shubs got in the way but.....
Spotted Flycatchers - not as good as I would have liked but nonetheless, I got some pictures!
and finally, a Green-Veined White settled as I neared my walk's end.
We were there for just under an hour and in that time: several House Martins overhead, a Green Woodpecker on the far side of the field feeding on the ground. A Kestrel circled and then hovered but didn't spot anything for his meal at that time!
So not a very high number of birds at all, but the Spotted Flycatchers were great to see and the Redstart was a lifer for me :D
Then a quick apple juice in the cafe (and an eccles cake) before starting the drive home!
Mr and Mrs Stonechat
2 hours ago