• Autumn colour

    The second in our series of blogs on our fascinating fungi.

    With thousands of species of fungi in the UK there is a huge variety of weird and wonderful shapes and whilst there are of course plenty of ‘little brown jobs’ (as there are whatever branch of wildlife you specialise in) you really can find a fungi for every colour of the rainbow.

     

    We’ll begin with red and the classic fairy tale fungi – Fly Agaric…

    • 20 Oct 2020
  • Recent wildlife sightings 19 October

    A good selection of wildlife spotted over the past few days. Highlights include great white egret, merlin and these white-fronted geese.

    Photo by Graham Osborne.

    The meadow feeding station is now back in action and is popular with great-spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, greenfinch, great tits, blue tits, coal tits, house sparrows and, I suspect, grey squirrels.

    The fungi trail is up and running around the wooded heath …

    • 19 Oct 2020
  • Fungi Trail - Get to know your parasols and puffballs this autumn

    Our fungi trail is now up and running. we've marked up a suggested route around the wooded-heath and labelled some of the fungi to get you started....

    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 difference between the two), associating…

    • 15 Oct 2020
  • Recent Sightings Friday 9th October – Autumn Hobbies

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his latest sightings update....

    Sometime in the morning of this day a visitor asked if she might see a hobby. I thought about this, having not seen one for a few weeks and replied that these birds were most likely to have set off for winter quarters in Africa. This is perhaps strictly correct but does not really tell the whole story, and later that day I learned something about hobbies that…

    • 14 Oct 2020
  • Last Hurrah of the Strangest Summer

    Thanks to our volunteer Phil for his report and photos. 

    I am writing this with another very warm spell of weather at an end and an autumnal chill in the air and while out walking earlier in the week I couldn’t help noticing that some seasonal colour was starting to appear in the trees. Visiting Pulborough Brooks earlier today (Friday 25th September) strong north westerly wind made it impossible to stay too long at the Hanger …

    • 1 Oct 2020
  • Wiggonholt Cricket

    Discover the historical tales and hidden gems of the South Downs heaths while exploring the Secrets of The Heath sculpture trail. The trail links seven heathland sites in the National Park and one of the sculptures is the Wiggonholt Cricket based here at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. 

    The field cricket is an extremely rare, declining and threatened insect in the UK which depends solely on heathland habitat. It is classified as…

    • 4 Sep 2020
  • Introduction to Photography Part 2: Camera modes and metering

    Thanks to wildlife and landscape photographer John Dominick for his lesson and photos. 

    In the previous article I touched on what are generally accepted to be the more advanced modes on a camera. In many respects and situations, they will certainly give you more control over the look of the final image and therefore offer more creative control.

    The three modes are shutter priority, aperture priority and manual, often represented…

    • 27 Aug 2020
  • Moths and ditches

    Thank you to our assistant warden intern Mark for his update.  

    The pasts few weeks we have been concentrating on our regular weekly moth trapping and also completing the 'ditch scoring' of the whole of the Pulborough and Amberley Brooks reserves. One evening each week our moth trap lamp is positioned overnight in the visitors centre courtyard and the following morning at 08.00 we carefully unplug it and pour through…

    • 18 Aug 2020
  • Butteflies Part 3

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his wonderful report and photos featuring just some of our lovely butterflies.

    This is the final article in a series about butterflies to be seen on the reserve. Part 1 gives some summary information about where to see butterflies on the reserve and the types of flowers used.

    When starting this series I hadn’t intended to feature our resident hairstreaks but they are starting to emerge for…

    • 7 Aug 2020
  • Introduction to Photography Part 1: Understanding the Exposure Triangle

    Thanks to wildlife and landscape photographer John Dominick for his lesson and photos. 

    Along with volunteer warden Andy Jones I have been co-leading photography workshops at Pulborough Brooks for four years. They have proved to be very popular with all levels of photographers, especially because of the abundance of subject matter that the surrounding habitats have to offer. They are founded on a desire to bring participants…

    • 5 Aug 2020
  • Cattle Egrets at Pulborough Brooks

    Thanks to our volunteer Phil for his report and photos. 

    During the last year I’ve been predicting to colleagues and visitors that within the next 5 years we would be seeing cattle egrets regularly at Pulborough Brooks. These are the latest white herons to be colonising the UK, following little egrets form about 30 years ago which are now widespread, and more latterly great white egrets which are still very scarce but…

    • 5 Aug 2020
  • Butterflies Part 2: Whites, Blues and a day flying moths

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his wonderful report and photos featuring just some of our lovely butterflies. 

    This is the 2nd of a series of  articles about butterflies to be seen on the reserve in July. Part 1 gives some summary information about where to see butterflies on the reserve and the types of flowers used.

    White butterflies can be seen almost anywhere on the reserve. These include large, small and green veined…

    • 27 Jul 2020
  • Marvellous Moths!

    Thanks to volunteer Robert King for his wonderful report and photos  

    It’s National Moth Week - a chance to celebrate the fantastic diversity of native moths.

    Many people think of moths as small, drab and boring – insects that eat the clothes in your wardrobe. Whilst there are a couple of species whose caterpillars are partial to a woolly jumper (their niche in the wild would be living in birds’ nests and such), the…

    • 24 Jul 2020
  • Butterflies Part 1: Oranges, Browns and a special White

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his wonderful report and photos featuring just some of our lovely butterflies.

    This is the first of a series of articles to highlight the butterflies currently being seen on the reserve and to help less experienced readers to identify the various species.

    The timing coincides with Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count, now started and running through to 9th August. This period…

    • 18 Jul 2020
  • Big Butterfly Count

    On a sunny and warm summer day there is plenty to see when making your way around the nature trail. At this time of year it is the insects that take centre stage. You can find 31 out of the 58 butterfly species in the UK on our reserve, so we are with no doubt the right place to come to admire them and test your identification skills.

    Skipper (Frank Prince-Iles)

    Butterflies are not only pretty and important pollinators…

    • 16 Jul 2020
  • Longhorns!

    Thanks to volunteer Robert King for his report and photos

    Summer is a great time to seek some of our most colourful and incredible insects – the longhorn beetles. Approximately 1 in 3 of all the animal species on Earth is a beetle and the longhorns comprise some of the most attractive and distinctive. Britain has about 70 longhorn species, though a few are thought to be extinct, and a couple are accidental imports with…

    • 12 Jul 2020
  • Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers

    Thanks to Site Manager Julianne Evans for her words

    Today would have been our annual Volunteer BBQ, a day to say thank you to our amazing volunteers for everything they do. I usually do a presentation of our achievements during the year but sadly can’t do so today. So, here is a summary. 

    Despite the strange circumstances of the past few months, our volunteers should be really proud of all they have achieved. Wiggonholt…

    • 8 Jul 2020
  • Pigs might fly?

    Thanks to volunteer Robert King for his report, recording and photos

    Spring and summer 2020 have been a strange time for many reasons. On nights when it has not been raining, just as the twilight fades away, a strange sound can be heard over the wooded heath at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. It starts as a low grunting, “warp – warp – warp” then a high pitched squeak, “piz’p!” It repeats, again and again. A flying pig? Not quite…

    • 7 Jul 2020
  • Heathland and its mysterious inhabitants

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report

    Many casual visitors to Pulborough Brooks are entirely unaware of the heathland and its surrounding woodland on the South side of the reserve. It is more natural to report to the Visitor Centre and then take the Wetland Trail. When the reserve was acquired by the RSPB most of this area had been planted with conifers but since then much of it has been gradually restored to its original…

    • 7 Jul 2020
  • Behind the scenes update from the reserve

    Thanks to Site Manager Julianne Evans for her report

    A couple of days of rain have meant that the vegetation has suddenly shot up all over the site, particularly rush on the wet grassland. Controlling rush is really important because otherwise it would dominate the site and make it unsuitable for breeding waders. Each year, we try to mow the whole area of wet grassland at both Pulborough and Amberley as part of our rush…

    • 19 Jun 2020
  • Avocets Breeding at Pulborough Brooks – a first for the reserve

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos

    On Tuesday 2nd June I attended the reserve for the first time since the 10 week lockdown and duly found a pair of avocets on the North Brooks with at least 2 chicks. This was not a surprise as I’d already been told about them 3 days earlier by a friend and colleague who lives in Pulborough. That news however was a great surprise. As far as anyone knows avocets have never…

    • 15 Jun 2020
  • The Missing Season for Lapwing Monitoring

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos

    Every Spring since 2015 I have been involved with a team of volunteers who regular monitor our breeding lapwings. For me this involves a weekly visit in-depth survey of the main areas of the reserve where lapwings like to nest and feed. This starts in mid-March and runs through to mid-June. Unfortunately, the strange events of 2020 have caused this activity to be largely…

    • 4 Jun 2020
  • Return to Pulborough Brooks after the Big Lockdown

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos 

    On June 1st the car park and nature trails opened for the first time since March 20th and on June 2nd I was able to spend the whole day there, welcoming visitors back and seeing lots of wildlife. For anyone wishing to visit however please note that the Visitor Centre is still closed so there is no shop, café or toilets, although planning is taking place for how to open…

    • 4 Jun 2020
  • Nature trail and car park reopened

    Our visitor centre, shop, café, toilets and hides remain closed. We have opened our trails and car park, but please be mindful that it has limited capacity and that in the first week the car park will only be open from 10 till 4. We urge our visitors to please stay local to your nearest reserves and greenspaces. Anyone choosing to visit should observe all current government advice around social distancing and hygiene…

    • 1 Jun 2020
  • Spring Butterflies

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos

    During the lockdown, I’ve been out on my daily exercise photographing these lively and colourful insects. Several people with little knowledge of butterflies have stopped and asked what I’ve seen, and this article is written with similar readers in mind.

    Spring butterflies are largely ones that favour gardens and sunny areas where there are nearby shrubs, trees…

    • 26 May 2020