My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Friday, 11 September 2009

RSPB Pulborough Brooks & Spots..

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)

Red Admiral


Small Copper

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!


Lynmiranda said...

Hi Tricia, lovely set of pictures, especially the ones of the Spotted Flycatcher. Your 'Masses of the lilac-coloured plant' looks like Water Mint. Next time you see these flowers, pick a leaf of one and crush it between your fingers and sniff, you should smell the mint:-) Water Mint are late flowering plants, flowers from late August, along with the Fleabane and Devil's Bit Scabious.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Tricia,
You bird of prey looks like a Hobby. What a packed day you had!

oldcrow61 said...

Wow, wonderful pictures. Love the grasshoppers and the black berries are enough to make my mouth water. What a great day you had.

holdingmoments said...

Enjoyed the virtual walk round Pulborough Reserve Tricia. It sounds like a great place to visit.
Interesting you mention hearing the Robin, but not seeing him. I've found them very secretive at the moment, for some reason.
No idea on the grasshopper, but what long antennae!
Good way to end, on Spotted Flycatchers. I'd love to see these.

Anonymous said...

Nice trip Tricia, lots of variety.
I think the bird is a Kestrel, it can be deceiving sometimes as it fans its tail on occasions and on others its closed up straight, but I think the wings give it away.
The Grasshopper is a Cricket, Roesel's Bush-Cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)
Dont know about the cow though/ {:)

karen said...

Another fantastic post Tricia! Love the flycatcher pics! and the little bunny! Looks like you had a lovely day x

Tricia said...

Lyn - thank you. I found some more Water Mint today and crushed the leaves - def scent of mint!

Warren - it could well be a Hobby as one had been seen earlier that day. Thanks!

OC - thank you. I understand now that they are crickets and not grasshoppers. More learning for me. The Blackberries were great - sweet and juicy!

Keith - Yeah - it was a good visit. It can be good or you can see nothing!

My garden robin is hiding too but calls from near the house in the evenings!

Roy - yes a good trip. It could be a Kestrel or as Warren suggests a Hobby - it's not the best of pics for an ID I know.

Thanks for the ID on the Cricket!

Karen - thanks - was pleased to get the Flycatcher but just wish they could have been more out in the open.

The Early Birder said...

Lovely mixture of wildlife Tricia. Good to see things picked up between the Brie & Bacon sandwich and the Eccles! Pity about the water levels...WE will have to go back in the winter for wildfowl & winter thrushes etc. FAB

ShySongbird said...

A day full of variety Tricia, the flutter with closed wings looks like it could be a Speckled Wood to me. I'm envious of the Small Copper, I don't think I have ever seen one. Yes they are definitely Sloes, the fruit of the Blackthorn. Apparently Sloe Gin is rather nice although I have never made or tried it!

Needless to say I am very envious of the Spotted Flycatcher ;)

Tricia said...

Frank - a return winter visit would be great - look forward to it!

Jan - I did wonder about Specked Wood; I need to get a more comprehensive book! I've never had Sloe Gin - if it's anything like the "other" gin I probably wouldn't like it! I was rather chuffed with the Spot Flycatcher.

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