Pulborough Brooks

It was errily quiet over Pulborough Brooks this evening, with just the warden team and one couple seen on the reserve. Birding is a chance for me to regain a bit of normality in these unprecedented times; the birds are still going about their normal business - migrating, singing, displaying. The Redshanks could be heard from the church, and Chiffchaff song was heard all about the reserve. At West Mead were 2 Little Egrets, 3 or so Redshanks patroling the edges of the pool, and Lapwings in full display mode. Distantly the usual cast of wildfowl was present along with the familiar sound of Skylark song. A Bullfinch was singing in a tree as I passed redstart corner and Winpenny afforded closer views of the wildfowl and Redshanks. From little hanger I added Cormorant to list, with a group of six perched on a clump, one of which raised an eyebrow as it appeared to have a green gloss to its plumage, but i couldn't get good enough views to convince myself it wasn't just my eyes! Matt says Shag isn't on the Pulborough list so that would be a great record. A Buzzard was perched on the deck under the Buzzard Tree. I wandered around to Jupps and Nettleys bypassing the currently out of service Hangar, and from the hide I found a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, a sleeping Great Crested Grebe and, eventually, the 2 Avocets Matt reported this morning (and perhaps the same ones that were at Amberley at the weekend), which were hidden behind some grass. All of sudden the wildfowl took to the air and I noticed a raptor gliding fast and low across the water, and a flash of white on the tail identified it as a ringtail Hen Harrier. Finally, just as I was leaving and having thought myself I hadn't heard a Water Rail for a while at Pulborough, one appeared foraging close to the hide. It was giving great views just until I got my camera ready when it dissappered into hiding. That didn't dampen my delight as I think this was only the second time I've seen this ever elusive species.

View from Nettleys

Cormorants

Bullfinch

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