• The return of the eagles - white-tailed eagle visits Amberley Wildbrooks

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos

    In 2010 on an annual holiday to the Scottish Highlands I was walking with friends near the coast of Wester Ross when we saw a very large bird of prey drifting into to land in a conifer tree.  The bird was head on in silhouette and left a powerful impression on my memory.  We wondered what this could be, with discussion centring on golden eagle and osprey, but without more…

    • 3 May 2021
  • When gorse is in bloom, kissing’s in fashion…

    Our Visitor Experience Officer Paula introduces you to gorse; one of the key plant species on our heathland.

    This green, spiny, evergreen densely packed shrub from the pea family thrives well on the sandy soils of our heath. Its bright yellow flowers appear early in the year, but there is normally some gorse in bloom every month of the year, hence the saying ‘when gorse is in bloom, kissing’s in fashion’.…

    • 20 Apr 2021
  • Meet the bravest creature on the heath...the spider hunting wasp

     I must admit to being a little bit scared of spiders, so finding out that there was a creature who actively seeks them out filled me with awe. I was keen to see one of these brave and fearless insects so took to the sunny, sandy slopes on the heath.

    The spider-hunting wasp is a long-legged restless insect that spends much of the time running over the sand, antennae constantly twitching as they explore any holes and…

    • 20 Apr 2021
  • Tramper mobility vehicles now available - pre-booking only

    Our two 'tramper' mobility vehicles have been fully serviced and are now ready for use again!

    Pre-booking is essential - this is to ensure that a member of our team is available to sanitise the vehicle and get everything prepared for you.

    To book one of our vehicles, please get in touch by email to pulborough.brooks@b.org.uk at least couple of days in advance, and let us know when you would like to borrow the…

    • 17 Apr 2021
  • Dawn Chorus Weekends - find out about our early opening to celebrate magical birdsong.

    Listening to the dawn chorus is a truly incredible experience and we'll be opening up early over two weekends to help you enjoy it.

    Saturday 24 April & Sunday 25 April from 5 am

    Saturday 1 May & Sunday 2 May from 5 am

    Come along and enjoy the dawn chorus at Pulborough Brooks. We’ll be hoping that our premier songster, the nightingale, will be joined by a choir of brilliant birds as the sun rises.  Whilst…

    • 12 Apr 2021
  • Highlight of the Easter Week - the pied flycatcher

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his report and photos.

    In days gone by on summer family holidays in Wales I sometimes came across pied flycatchers in the woodlands where they breed but I have never seen one since. And yet in most years there is at least one report at Pulborough Brooks and all the ones I’ve heard about have been in the autumn when birds are more likely to linger as there is no imperative to find a mate and…

    • 10 Apr 2021
  • Spring arrivals and facilities update

    Blackcap by Gareth Hughes

    It has been lovely to see and hear some new arrivals on the reserve this last week; blackcaps are now singing from every blackthorn bush on the reserve, swallows and sand martins have been seen dashing overhead and our first nightingale has been heard.

    Our lapwings are on nests and we have 6 avocets on the North Brooks. The avocets bred here for the first time in 2020 so we are hoping for a…

    • 8 Apr 2021
  • Meet the emperor

    Photo by Anna Allum

    Heathland is one of the important habitats for the Emperor moth – one of our largest and most spectacular moths, who has peacock-like spots on its wings.

    Female Emperor moths are large, with a wingspan up to 10cm, and are fluffy grey-brown moths with big peacock-like eyespots on all four wings and pinky-red markings at the wingtips. The females are active at night, but rest low-down in vegetation…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • The Nuthacker

    Photo by Chris Prince

    The nuthatch is a particularly noisy character; his song is a loud series of piping notes; a rapid ‘twit-twit-twit-twit’. His call has been likened to the sound of a typewriter with an uneven rhythm, or morse code.

    He is a handsome fellow with his lovely slate blue-grey back and a black eye stripe that elongates the appearance of his already long bill. The long beak is ideal for prising…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • The woodlark...January's joy

    The woodlark can be seen all year round. It is a similar size to a robin, streaky brown above, pale below with a long pale stripe that runs above each eye.       

            

    Woodlark by Gareth Hughes

    The real joy of this bird is how early breeding starts, with territories being established as early as January. During these drab months, this unassuming bird fills the air with its melodious fluting song, often delivered during flight…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Meet one of the fastest animals on earth…the Green Tiger Beetle

    Tiger beetles are fierce and active predators who will hunt by sight, helped by their large eyes, and then run down their quarry on their long legs. At full pelt, a tiger beetle has been clocked at 5 miles per hour. Now that might not sound super speedy, but scaled up, it would be one of the fastest animals on earth!

    Not only is this beetle fast, it’s fierce too and armed with impressive secateur-like jaws that can…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Like the Minotaur of Greek legends, the Minotaur beetle spends much of its time underground in a maze of tunnels!

    Photo: Adrian Holloway

    Your beetle appears to be hauling its ‘victim’ back to its lair, but on closer inspection, its prey is in fact a rabbit dropping…

    This creature is not a monster, far from it, he is an incredibly helpful recycler of dung!

    You may see one, or its close relative the Dor beetle, lumbering into sight on one of the sandy heathland paths. Both share a glossy black dome of a body and…

    • 19 Mar 2021
  • Signs of spring - search for the fallen stars of lesser celandine

    Did you know that today is ‘Celandine Day’? The brilliant yellow star-shaped flowers of lesser celandine brighten up the woodland floor and certainly deserve to be celebrated.

    One of the folk names is ‘spring messenger’ and as the bright flowers, surrounded by glossy dark-green, heart-shaped leaves are one of the first flowers to appear after winter that certainly seems fitting. They are a sign of hope, but…

    • 21 Feb 2021
  • Signs of spring - look out for lamb's tails

    The first few flowers of spring are blooming and one of the easiest to find are hazel catkins, which I’ve always known as ‘lamb’s tails’. I have never before seen the female flower of the hazel tree so I set out on my walk this morning determined to take a closer look...

    My first task was to find a hazel tree; luckily they are distinctive at this time of year with their dangling catkins. Mission…

    • 19 Feb 2021
  • The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - woodpeckers in the garden

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his article, photos and videos...

    Big Garden Birdwatch - Woodpeckers in the Garden?

    Certainly you can see woodpeckers in the garden but they probably won’t be pecking wood unless you have some dead trees or logs. All birds will go where they can find food and gardens can provide suitable resources for all sorts of birds including some larger ones too. I don’t routinely see woodpeckers in my…

    • 27 Jan 2021
  • The build up to Big Garden Birdwatch - winter blackcaps

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his article on changes in blackcap behaviour which explains why you may now see a blackcap during your Big Garden Birdwatch.

    The blackcap is a relatively common bird in Britain during the summer when many migrate here from Africa to breed. There are estimated to be 1.2 million territories during the breeding season and several can be found at Pulborough Brooks. However blackcaps are also becomingly…

    • 25 Jan 2021
  • The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - flummoxed by finches?

    With thanks to volunteer Phil for this focus on finches and for his photos.

    With the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch coming up on 29th to 31st January this article discusses some of the finches you might see. Finches are a class of small birds with notched tails and triangular shaped bills well adapted to breaking open seed cases. Some of these species are very likely to be found on or near bird feeders or in gardens and may…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • The build up to #BigGardenBirdWatch - robin redbreast

     Anne Harwood

    As I wander down the nature trail I pause to scan for winter visitors and then I spot movement on the branch just next to me and up pops a robin eyeing me hopefully; perhaps I have some tasty mealworms to offer him?

    You will all be familiar with this little character, indeed you could scarcely avoid him at this time of year as he is probably following you around the garden! I say him, but the robin could…

    • 19 Jan 2021
  • Update on visitor facilities during lockdown 3

    In line with Government guidance for #lockdown, the following facilities are OPEN for local, essential, daily exercise only

    Car park: dawn-dusk

    Trails: dawn-dusk

    w/c 18 January - Toilets CLOSED due to changes in staff availability

    The following facilities are CLOSED:

    Visitor Centre

    Hides

    Playground

    Café / Refreshments

    Shop 

    We strongly urge you to follow the legislation around non-essential travel and please…

    • 16 Jan 2021
  • A special sighting during wildlife survey work

    Volunteer Phil has written about a sighting of a rather special bird, seen and photographed whilst helping with essential wildlife monitoring work on the reserve.

    Recent Sightings Thursday 7th January – A Marsh Tit in Fattengates Courtyard

    Having been invited to help with the annual brown hairstreak egg survey I took advantage of free time on what may now become a rare visit to Pulborough Brooks in Lockdown 3 to…

    • 12 Jan 2021
  • 2020 at Pulborough Brooks – The Strangest of Years

    2020 at Pulborough Brooks – The Strangest of Years - a review of the year from volunteer Phil.

    It is that traditional time of year when the media and bloggers throughout the world write reviews of the year, something I’ve never thought of doing before. The reason I have decided to write this review is of course because of the unusual situation we have all found ourselves in. But it is not just that.  As well…

    • 1 Jan 2021
  • Update on Information for visitors over the Christmas period and Tier 4 restrictions

    All of our visitor centre facilities (outdoor welcome point, toilets, takeaway cafe and shop) will be closed on 24, 25 & 26 Dec and again on 4 & 5 Jan. The car park & reserve will remain open.

     

    As Sussex will go into Tier 4 on Boxing Day the hides and tea terrace have been closed and we will not be able to re-open the shop after the Christmas break.

     

    On 27 Dec and thereafter (with the exception of 4 & 5 Jan…

    • 23 Dec 2020
  • Wildlife sightings update

    The wetlands are certainly busy with geese, ducks and waders at the moment, the meadow feeding station is popular and bullfinches are showing well around the hedgerows.

    This sightings list was provided by a lovely group of our regular visitors (thanks Chris, Juliet, Alan & Warren), supplemented by some goodies from volunteer Phil and some photos from our library!

    Black-headed gull

    Black-tailed godwit

    Photo by Graham…

    • 19 Dec 2020
  • Information for visitors over the Christmas period

    Robin by Chris Prince
    Information for visitors over the Christmas period.
    We are currently open daily with the visitor facilities being available 10 - 4. Our welcome point, shop, cafe and toilets will be closed on 24, 25 & 26 Dec and again on 4 & 5 Jan. The car park & trails will remain open.
    Other than the closure dates above, our outdoor welcome point is staffed daily, our shop and toilets are open…
    • 19 Dec 2020
  • 'In the trenches' - a guest blog from our wardening intern

    In The Trenches - thanks to Mark McManus, one of our wardening interns, for his update on the habitat management work that's been undertaken over the past month.

     

    Over the last few weeks the reserve wardens have been busy completing a number of varied tasks. First up was the job of moving the herd of eleven remaining highland cattle on to the heath, which will be their home for a few more weeks until the new year.…

    • 18 Dec 2020