Amberley Wildbrooks

It was a walk along the Wey South Path at Amberley this afternoon for my daily exercise. The water levels are much reduced over Amberley Wildbroosk now. There's still a lot of ducks and Coots under the castle, but the Common Gull flock appears to have moved off. Accompanying the ducks, which were comprised mainly of Wigeon and Teal, but also included 8 Gadwall, was a group of 30+ Black-tailed Godwits and a few Lapwing. 44 Coot were counted, down from 50 last week, but there could have been a few hidden away. There's still a noticeable absence of Fieldfare with just a couple noted plus the odd Redwing. The highlight of the trip, however, was a fantastic sighting on the river where 7 Goosanders were revealed to me as I climbed the river bank. Two lucky males were courting five females fairly close in. This is a new species for my Amberley list, and a high count for an inland sight by all accounts. It was fascinating to learn that in 1985 there was a bit of an invasion of this species into Sussex following a cold snap, with flocks of 50 and 33 seen on the Arun and Adur respectively, as well as an incredible 47 Smew on the Adur. It appears to be a good winter for them locally with them being spotted regularly at Pulborough Brooks, and one on the lake at Old Place near St Mary's Church in Pulborough. The only other sighting of note today was a single Snipe that was flushed from the flooded field as I walked along the straight path up to the wet wood. Sadly along here also was a disturbing sight of a dead fox that had evidently got itself tangled up in some barbed wire. It was disappointing to see that the RSPB have been installing barbed wire fencing along here, given the dangers it poses to birds and other wildlife. It must have been a difficult end for this poor fox.  



Male Goosander


Wigeon and Teal




  1. Matt reported the 7 Goosanders had turned up on the river in Pulborough this morning.


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