• A is for Avocet, B is for Blackcap, C is for Cuckoo - wildlife sightings from RSPB Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham Jacobs for his report on yesterday's sightings:

    On a lovely dry day (it seems that Graham's regular Thursday slot is usually characterised by rain) visitors were welcomed to the reserve by a Nightingale singing away in the car park, and several more were in full voice at the Zig Zags, Fattengates courtyard and Adder Alley.  Blackcaps were also serenading us all over the reserve and…

  • Wildflowers and Whitethroats - recent wildlife sightings at Pulborough Brooks

    Thanks to volunteer Graham Osborne for his report and photographs.

    There was fine weather at Pulborough Brooks on Sunday, and a lot of visitors were on the wetland trail.

     As I got out of my car I heard my first Nightingale of the day. An Adder showed briefly from the top of the zigzag path, and as I reached the bottom of the path I heard the scratchy song of a Whitethroat. There was plenty of birdsong to be heard at Fattengates…

  • Camouflage patterns

    With thanks to volunteer Phil for his article and photos

    Over the course of the winter and early spring we have become very used to admiring the beautifully camouflaged plumage of Snipe in front of West Mead Hide. Now I am pleased to say there is another camouflage pattern to celebrate and it couldn’t be more different.  This belongs to my favourite butterfly – the Orange Tip.

    Orange Tips emerge in early April…

  • Stitchwort, Speckled Woods and songbirds - wildlife sightings from Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his report and photos.

    Although it was windy at Pulborough Brooks on Sunday it stayed dry, and there were plenty of visitors on the wetland trail throughout the day.  At the top of the zigzag path at least two Adders could be seen, and I shared scoped views with some visitors.

     As I approached Pipe Pond I heard my first brief burst of Nightingale song of the year. A little further on I…

  • Brimstones, Blackcaps and Bee-flies - recent wildlife sightings at Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his report and photos.

    After missing the previous two Sundays at Pulborough Brooks the reserve looked a lot drier than during my last Hides & Trails visit.

     A quick visit to Upperton’s Pond revealed that all three newt species were readily viewable, and I made a mental note to allow enough time to attempt a few photos on my return in the afternoon. As I left the pond area I met a…

  • A habitat management update from our wardens – creating a niche for Nightingales

    Update 8 April

    Our wardens conducted a survey on Monday ahead of work commencing and as this showed an influx of spring migrants in the area overnight we have decided to delay this work until after the breeding season.

    Back in February I wrote about some upcoming habitat management work to be carried out in front of Hanger View. The second phase of this work – installing the deer fence – will be starting next week.…

  • Swapping winter for spring - it's changeover time and we're saying goodbye to our winter visitors and welcoming in spring arrivals.

    With thanks to volunteer Graham Jacobs for his report from last Thursday.

    It is amazing how much the water level has dropped in the last week or so. Once again the Adder was curled up in the wildlife area at the top of the Zig Zags which was a little surprising as the sun did not really break through all day - peer over the gate and scan the hedge line at the end of the gully with your binoculars.

    At the Pipe Pond (next…

  • Could Spring be on the way? Wildlife sightings at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham Jacobs for his report.

    Could Spring be on the way?  A warm dry day, plenty of visitors, and butterflies made a welcome return. Apart from a number of very smart looking Great-spotted Woodpeckers there was nothing much to report from the yurt, but a large Adder was sunning itself in the wildlife area at the top of the ZigZags.

    Adder by Anne Harwood

    Fattengates Courtyard was also rather quiet…

  • Pipits at Pulborough - wildlife sightings at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his report and photographs.

    With heavy rain forecast for the afternoon I was grateful for some cool dry weather in the morning at PB on Sunday. Distant mist provided an atmospheric view from the Visitor Centre.


    A cock Pheasant posed near the top of Upperton’s Field.

    On the way down the zigzag path groups of Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll proved to be too elusive for…

  • Wildlife at the weekend - recent sightings at Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his wildlife sightings report and photos.

    Although a fair amount of rain was forecast for the morning I was pleased to find that it stayed dry for almost the whole of Sunday. 

     I soon reached Fattengates Courtyard where I put out some seed. The only companions I had during my short stay there were some hungry birds, including a smart male Chaffinch and a Great Tit. 



    Great …

  • Recent Sightings – Going round in small circles

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his article and photos.

    The Shoveler is one of the duck species that frequent Pulborough Brooks in winter and  being fairly common at this time of year is not one to which we pay a great deal of attention.   However, I have started to think it is the most fascinating of our wintering wildfowl species.

    The Shoveler drakes do draw attention to themselves by their bright colours with green head…

  • An update from the wardens - Heathland management and improving the view

    Habitat management update mid February

     Heathland management

    Woodlark by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com). Listen to the Woodlark's song here

    A contractor will be working on the heathland next week (w/c Monday 19 February). They will be working in the central fenced area of the heath so there will be no path closures. They will be doing Birch clearance and bare ground creation.

    Birch clearance

    Birch trees rapidly colonise…

  • Water, water, everywhere...wildlife sightings from a flooded Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his wildlife sightings report and photos.

    It was a bit of a shock to see the reserve completely flooded again.

     After retrieving a lens hood from outside West Mead Hide for a regular visitor, and apologising to the other visitors in the hide for putting up the nearby Snipe (9 of them as counted by Mike, another regular visitor), I briefly enjoyed a distant view of one of the resident…

  • The alternative egg hunt – monitoring our population of Brown Hairstreak butterflies

    Brown Hairstreak (Photo by Rob King)

    Hedgerows for hairstreaks

    You have a chance of seeing more than half of all the 58 species of British butterfly here at RSPB Pulborough Brooks (although not all in one visit!). The number of butterfly species found on the nature reserve is a reflection on the variety of habitats and in particular the range of plants that are present on site.

    Caterpillars often have very specific foodplants;…

  • Sneaky Snipe and other sightings - wildlife update from Pulborough Brooks

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his wildlife sightings report and photographs.

    It was fairly quiet as I went down the zigzag path, and I soon found myself at West Mead. As I entered the hide a regular visitor pointed out our resident White-tailed Eagles in two different trees on the far side of the Arun. There were a lot of wildfowl on the pond and in the air, including Teal,

    and I counted five Snipe on the nearest…

  • Happy World Wetlands Day - managing the wetland habitat at Pulborough Brooks

    Wigeon by Graham Osborne

    Tomorrow (Friday 2 February) is World Wetlands Day so it’s the perfect time to tell you about some of the upcoming work that our wardens and work party will be carrying out on the wetlands. Our volunteer work parties join us on Tuesdays and Fridays, so if you’re planning a visit in the next week or so you may see them out on the North Brooks.

    One of the main tasks ahead of the breeding…

  • When the Brooks freeze over...

    With thanks to volunteer Phil for his article and photos.

    Five years ago I wrote an article for the blog entitled “When the water freezes”. This followed a spectacular early morning at the reserve doing the monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) following a clear and very frosty January night. The article can be found at this link.

    When the water freezes... - Pulborough Brooks - Pulborough Brooks - The RSPB C…

  • Wildlife sightings from Pulborough Brooks - late January

    With thanks to volunteer John for his lovely report from Saturday 27 January.

    It was too nice a morning to stay at home and count the garden birds, that can wait until tomorrow. With the temperature still at zero I set off for Pulborough and couldn't help noticing the large number of Woodpigeons clinging to wires and perching in trees trying to keep warm. I passed a Red Kite scavenging on the roadside and felt that it…

  • Wildlife sightings update 15 Jan 2024

    Thankfully, the water levels have been dropping and all of our hides are now open and can be reached without waders!

    In the cold weather the small birds have been enjoying the treats that we've been putting out at our feeding stations. The Long-tailed Tits quickly found the suet balls and half a dozen Robins eyed each other up, seemingly wondering whether to quarrel with one another or adopt a feeder each.  A Marsh…

  • Upcoming habitat management work on the trails and on the wooded heath

    Upcoming habitat management work on the trails and on the wooded heath

    The wooded heath photo by David Andrews

    You may notice a few changes when you next visit us at Pulborough Brooks – here’s some information on upcoming habitat management work around the wetland trail and especially on the wooded heath.

    Tree safety work

     A recent tree safety inspection, along with the recent storms, has identified a number…

  • Happy New Year and our first sightings board of 2024

    Happy New Year!
    A lovely busy day at the reserve with plenty of wintery wildlife to spot.
    Here's our first sightings board of 2024 featuring Marsh Harriers, Redpoll, Firecrest and a lovely set of thrushes - Redwing, Fieldfare, Song Thrush & Mistle Thrush all showing well on the zig zags this morning.
    A nice selection of wading birds out on the brooks with the winter 'regulars' Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit,…
  • A blizzard of Black-tailed Godwits

    Thanks to volunteer John for leading our special guests around on Tuesday and for his lovely sightings report.

    Our three guests chose the right day for their guided walk - not a cloud in the sky and no cold wind. What was on their wish list? A Firecrest would be nice and perhaps a Bullfinch in the sun.  The previous day's list included a Firecrest seen at the Hanger and there was always the chance of seeing Bullfinch so…

  • Get to know your parasols and puffballs this autumn

    Appearing mysteriously overnight in the dank and dark places of the earth, it’s no wonder that there are so many magical tales about fungi. In Britain we’ve always been a bit suspicious of mushrooms and toadstools (there is no real difference between the two), associating them with malevolent magic – there are Devil’s Fingers, Witches’ Eggs, Green Elfcups and Fairy Bonnets.

    Green Elf Cup…

  • Wildlife sightings from the weekend - 23 and 24 September

    With thanks to volunteer Graham for his report and photos.

    I visited PB on both days of this particular weekend. On Saturday I was with the Pulborough Brooks Dragonfly Survey Team, while on Sunday I carried out my usual Hides and Trails duties. 

     Saturday 23 Sept

    The dragonfly survey started on the heathland on Saturday morning. As the team finished surveying the first pond a Kestrel flew into a nearby Pine tree to provide a…

  • A fish supper - recent wildlife sightings from Pulborough Brooks

    Thanks to volunteer Graham for his sightings report and photos from Sunday 17 September

    With thundery showers forecast for later I made the most of the dry start with a brief stop at Upperton’s Pond. I barely had time to spot several Swallows feeding low over the field before a Merlin came swooping in and flew down the slope, dispersing the Swallows before disappearing from view. It took several minutes before the…