RSPB Pulborough Brooks 11-11-13

 A week or so ago I made plans to visit Pulborough Brooks today. After the beautiful Sunday we experienced yesterday, I was optimistic about today and what might be about. However there was non-stop drizzle today and occasionally the wind got up as well. Not ideal for the mid to long range photography that I would be undertaking at the wetlands, but the plans were made. Most of the wetlands photos are at a distance of 100 to 200 yards or more and in mist and drizzle, so they are far from the quality which I might have achieved in the sunshine of Sunday afternoon. However, I am quite pleased with some of them. I did have a tub of live mealies for any robins that I might encounter and the one robin that I did see was more than happy to pose once he had his fill of mealies. I left the remainder of the mealies for the robin outside the RSPB shop. No doubt they were well received once they were spotted! LOADS of photos in this thread, but hopefully they are a good advertisement for this reserve. Had a toasted sarnie in the café afterwards and made a few purchases in the RSPB shop including a discounted copy of the Andrew Lack book 'The Robin In Life and Literature' and a few RSPB Christmas badges (all robins). All in all a very pleasant day.

Plenty of Canada Geese

One that came a tad closer

Teal out in the water

More Canada Geese. The water was quite choppy at times.

Greylag Goose

...and friend

More Teal trying to ignore the weather.

A larger group of Greylag off in the distance

A pair of Shovelers

A brief moment where the heads were above water level

Dozing Teal and a windswept Lapwing

Way, way off in the distance I spotted a small group of birds that were scurrying around very quickly. They reminded me of Pied Wagtails, only rather bigger.

Here they are again. Shame it was so overcast. Anybody got an idea what they might be?

A lone Shelduck popped up

This was a pretty large bird. I'm assuming it's a Rook? Not a species with which I am acquainted.

There were lots of Wigeon to be seen from the next hide.


It's probably just perspective but the two birds nearest the camera look tiny compared to the Wigeon at the back.

Wigeon trying to blend in with the Mallards

Female, but of which species? It might be a Wigeon, but the head colour is confusing me. I guess it could be a Teal.

Slightly better photo of another Lapwing

Male and female Wigeon

Wigeon and Teal

Teal and an oddly coloured female Wigeon

More Wigeon

Rook time

Another Lapwing

How many species here? They might all be Wigeon, but the one at the back seems different to the one nearest the camera.

I think these are female Teal

This very happy Robin had just snacked on several live mealies and gave me a good photo op in return.

Lovely black legs too...

The view across the wetlands

Once again, way off in the distance, more Geese with a rather oddly coloured individual in their midst. Too big to be a Ross's Goose.

Which way to go? Left or right?

Right it shall be! The goose seems to be pretty much the same size as the Canada Goose just ahead, but maybe a bit 'chunkier'.

A rather handsome Mallard

Not exactly ducks, but I thought I'd photograph them anyway.

Landing gear down! Mallards?

Another Shelduck, or maybe it's the same one as before?

There was a group of about a dozen adult deer that hurried away as we approached. This youngster carried on chewing and just glanced up to see who was intruding!

I even had time to zoom in for a nice close up

Are those Shovelers off in the distance?

As ever, these guys are all off in the distance, any ideas what the tiny one at the front might be?

Female Teal

Lapwing and...?

These might be Lapwing, but the one in the middle seems rather more bulky.



Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

(One bush does not shelter two Robins)

Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • Great set of photos MC. Think your first distant birds may be Starlings but I could be wrong. Agree with you on the Rook but don't know enough about Ducks or Geese for any further comment. Looks like you still had a great day regardless of the weather. Cracking photos of the Robin.


    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    Thanks Paul. I don't think they were starlings by the way they moved. I was glad that at least one robin came out from the bushes to say hello. I rewarded it with some mealies and in turn I got the photos I was after.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    Morning MC,  sry only just catching up with the threads.   Looks like you had a good day despite the weather and saw a lot of waterfowl.    I agree with your ID of Raven although I'm no expert, it looks like the one we had in our garden a few months back with a slightly paler beak than a Raven.   You did very well to get photos with all the rain and the Robin in particular is just lovely, such gorgeous red/brown colouring :)


    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • In reply to bob's_retired_now:

    bob's_retired_now said:

    Starlings for your distant scurriers to me.

    The odd goose is probably some kind of Greylag cross.

    After the deer the ducks in the distance ar, as you suspect, Shoveler I believe.

    The tiny one at the front is a Teal and the three behind are Gadwall I believe.

    Its a nice reserve though I have only been there once myself, but was lucky enough to see a Barn Owl there.

    Thanks Bob. I saw a Barn Owl in flight when I was at Pulborough back in May.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    Hi MC

    Glad you had a good day at Pulborough Brooks despite the weather.  

    The "odd goose" has been around for a while; I remember it there last winter, maybe even two winters ago. I think the general view is that it's some kind of hybrid, maybe greylag/feral domestic goose.  

  • In reply to Sue C:

    The White Goose was with a group of Canada Geese when I was watching it but as you can see from the photos it was quite some distance away from the hide.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)