Thanks to volunteer Graham for his sightings review and wonderful photos.

A breezy day at Pulborough Brooks did not deter either the wildlife or a reasonable number of visitors from putting in an appearance.

 I had walked no more than about 75 metres from the VC when I came across a female beautiful demoiselle perched by the side of the path.

At the the zigzag path a male kestrel provided a hovering display to a number of visitors.

Nearer ground level there were plenty of butterflies, including several marbled whites and a few large skippers. Ringlets outnumbered the meadow browns, and small skipper numbers had also increased. I managed to find a mating pair of the latter who were soon interrupted by a second male. 

 

At Fattengates Courtyard I spoke to a pair of visitors who told me they had seen the spoonbill on the North Brooks, so I decided to head directly there to see it for myself. There was no sign of it from Hanger View, but a Mediterranean gull gave a good view as it flew off towards the South Brooks. I decided to go to Jupp’s View in case the spoonbill was hiding at the east end of the N. Brooks. I had no luck there, so after lunch I started back, and by the time I reached Corner View the spoonbill was showing nicely.

At one stage it climbed onto a small semi-submerged tree and appeared to be using the branches to clean its bill.

Also on the North Brooks were two black-tailed godwits, whilst a single green sandpiper gave the briefest of views in flight before disappearing into cover.

 I relocated to the ditch dipping ponds where I saw two brown hawkers and two hairy dragonflies. There was also a fleeting visit by an emperor. All of these were very mobile, and as usual, damselflies proved to be more accessible photographically, particularly the blue-tailed damselflies. These images show the two stages of the rufescens female colour variant of this species (respectively immature and mature [rufescens-obsoleta]). The third shows a newly emerged male.

 

Heading back via Winpenny and West Mead resulted in brief views of at least one, possibly two of the juvenile stonechats at Redstart Corner, and for a while the adult male perched on a bulrush in the pond.

After a short visit to the newly re-opened West Mead Hide I returned to the VC to finish another good day at Pulborough Brooks.

Anonymous