Pulborough Brooks, Hails View, and Amberley Wildbrooks

I hurried excitedly to Pulborough this morning to see the flooding and it was quite a sight. I've never seen it flooded. From the visitor centre water stretched from the brooks all the way to Coldwaltham, with the banks of  the Arun just poking through, the culprit revealing itself like a naughty child. It was an unusual trip as the normal features where birds frequent had dissappeared under water and the brooks was now almost a single habitat. Everything was distant, huddled around areas where some solid ground was still above water, such as the river banks. At West Mead I noted Tufted Duck, not a common species at Pulborough unless the water level gets high.  From Winpenny, I saw the 2 White-fronted Geese and 3 Ruff amongst numerous Lapwing, Canada Geese, Wigeon and Pintail. As I sat scanning the water from Little Hanger a Cetti's Warbler burst out its song, again not a regular bird at Pulborough. A Water Rail was also heard screeching. From the hanger, ducks were everywhere, bobbing about like debris lifted up from the ground by the rising water. Distantly, with some Tufted Ducks, 2 Pochard, a site first for me, were regularly diving for food. A total of 49 species for the trip, with Black-tailed Godwit being noticably absent.

South Brooks

North Brooks

I popped over to Hails View, ignoring the road closure signs which presumably are out of date as the road is now fully passable. Black Wood was deadly quiet, and I didn't record a single species until I arrived at the viewpoint. Notables from here were Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Geese and a Little Grebe.

Hails View

Final stop was Rackham Planation to see Amberley Wildbrooks. Here was a hive of bird activity, with thousands of ducks on the water. The Wey South Path is completely submerged, and there is just an island in the middle packed full of wildfowl and patrolled by numerous raptors. I spotted at least 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 ringtail Hen Harriers, a Red Kite and a Buzzard. Other notables were a large flock of Greylag Geese, 2 Shelduck, and many Starling.

Greylag Geese

Amberley Wildbrooks

Amberley Wildbrooks 21/12/2018

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