With thanks to volunteer Graham for his account and stunning photos.

Although it was windy at PB yesterday, the sun was out and the wildlife did not disappoint. Whilst the singing nightingales continue to hide from my lens, there were plenty of other species on show around the reserve.

West Mead Hide continues to be a hotspot for visitors, particularly because of our breeding waders. At least two young lapwing broods were in evidence, the chick pictured being one of a brood of four.

A smart male mandarin flew in for a short stay. 

 

A little ringed plover was too distant for a photo, as was a whimbrel that Neil spotted flying in and landing in a field.

At Adder Alley a common whitethroat perched high in a hawthorn proved to be a satisfactory subject despite strong backlighting, and I was very pleased to find my first small copper of the year.

 

At Hanger View a singing sedge warbler was too elusive to photograph, but a male blackcap was more obliging.

 

On return to the South Brooks the male stonechat currently resident between Winpenny Hide and Redstart Corner posed for a few shots.

 

Back at West Mead the avocet nesting closer to the hide left the nest for a few minutes, and there still appeared to be only two eggs in the clutch. As well as a greenshank there were now two little ringed plovers on the pool, one of which flew close enough for a photo. 

 

Arguably the two most notable records of the day involved species at opposite extremes in terms of size. I managed to miss the white-tailed eagle that Martin saw from West Mead Hide before Neil and I got there. However, we were fortunate that Rob was at the Welcome Hut when we returned. He kindly offered to show us where he had seen two green hairstreaks on the Heathland. No sooner had we reached the spot than Rob was pointing out a green hairstreak perched conveniently on a gorse spike. Thank you Rob for providing what was surely my shot of the day.

This was followed by a view of a protracted aerial battle when a second green hairstreak (presumably another male) showed up. An excellent finale to another satisfying day at Pulborough Brooks.

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