Visit To RSPB Pulborough Brooks Monday May 12th 2014

Having left the Blue Tits to repel the GSW back in Lingfield (see previous threads), we headed to Pulborough Brooks. At about 10-50 it began to rain and that was to be the pattern for the rest of the day. 10 minutes of sunshine and 20 minutes of rain. We had hoped to see or even hear the Nightingales, but were unsuccessful. However, there were a few faces around, including two firsts for me, namely a Sedge Warbler and a Linnet, both of which were in the same spot near Nettleys Hide.

At the end of the main pathway down from the Visitors Centre, near to the Fattengates Courtyard, we spotted a small bird flitting back and forth. It stayed still long enough for one reasonable photo. My spies tell me this is a Willow Warbler.

We decided to go counter-clockwise for a change and thus the first stop was Nettleys Hide. A very loud Sedge Warbler was over to the left and despite being a great distance away, it was perched in an ideal spot for photography.

Cropped to show slightly more detail

Shelduck chicks exploring

Lapwing strutting around

Back to the Shelduck family

Female Mallard and very young Ducklings

The RSPB Volunteer and one other person in the hide said there was a Linnet in the same area as the SW. I assume this is it?

A crop of the previous photo

Some soggy Deer

The Wood Pigeons were undeterred by the frequent showers and continued to forage in the grass, no matter what.

A rather fetching Female Mallard

A solitary Black Headed Gull alongside an equally lonely Coot

Shelduck family and some Canada Geese. There's a Coot in there too.

A very loud Blackbird

A couple of young deer stepped out from the cover of the nearby trees and began to forage. I think this was near Hanger View, but I'm not sure.

On the way to Little Hanger Hide

And another...

A fluffed up and rather soggy Dunnock

I almost missed this Little Egret as we arrived at the Little Hanger Hide

A lone female Mallard was keeping an eye on her brood (there were 8 ducklings hidden from view)

Mrs Mallard and her brood make a break for it across the open water to the reeds on the far side. These Ducklings are a little older than the last brood which we saw. I assume these waters contain fewer predators than some areas and that is why so many have reached this age? The Thames broods near Kingston seldom seem to be more than two or three after the first week to ten days.

A slightly better view of Mrs Mallard as she kept a watchful eye on her brood

On the way from Little Hanger to Winpenny, the sun came out and with the warmth, a few young rabbits were lured out onto the path

At the Winpenny Hide end of 'Adder Alley'

Just outside the Winpenny Hide

We arrived at the West Mead Hide just as the heavens opened once again. All we could see was a lone Lapwing

A pair of Mallards arrived during the downpour and even they appeared less than impressed with the prevailing conditions!

The rain was getting worse by the minute, but the Lapwing remained unflustered

From the pathway between the West Mead Hide to the Fattengates Courtyard. Once again, several Rabbits had hopped out into the brief sunlight and were drying off in the warmth.

On the pathway leading to the Fattengates Courtyard, we heard a very vocal male Blackcap. I managed to get a photo and then realised I had decapitated it (in the photo!). I finished the visit with a toasted sandwich in the café and then purchased a Narrow Mesh Ground Feeding Sanctuary from the RSPB shop. I specifically asked if it would keep out Starlings and was assured by two staff that it would. The photo below would suggest otherwise...

Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

(One bush does not shelter two Robins)

Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • Wow, you did have a good day with sightings MC, lovely to see all your photos and very well spotted, there are some brilliant birds in that group.   I'll guess at a Mistle for your Thrush bird but I stand to be corrected, it seems to have splodges rather than arrows and has more white and grey on it  lol  


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to doggie:

    Thanks Hazy & Alan. It was a good day and I always enjoy the setup at PB. The café food is good too. I was surprised about the Linnet and the fact that it was within a few feet of the Sedge Warbler was a bonus. Had the pair of them been closer it would have helped, but given the prevailing weather conditions I was lucky that any small birds were out and about at all.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    Hi MC, Seems I missed this thread--sounds like you had a good day despite the weather. Hope you see the adders next time.  Pulborough Brooks is a lovely place and we hope to go again soon.

    Kind regards, Ann