2 Bewick's swans were on the north brooks for most of yesterday morning, and another single Bewick's was present at 08.00 today - we'd expect a few more parties of these birds to arrive in the next few days as the weather has turned distinctly chilly. The short-eared owl is still being seen most afternoons on the riverbank or the fields in front of little hanger hide (about 14.30 -15.00 seems best time). Amongst the wigeon, teal and lapwing, there are still many black-tailed godwits (over 300 last weekend, at least 140 yesterday) and careful searching should also pick out a few dunlin, 1 or 2 ruff and a little stint.
There are conractors on site installing sluices - please note that there are two short sections of trail that may be muddy/uneven due to machinery crossing.
Finally, after having to suffer the gleeful radio messages from some of my volunteers over the last few days, I managed to get out onto the reserve to see the short-eared owl. Patience was required - an initial visit to Little Hange Hide resulted in the worst news you can get 'you've just missed it'... but a little later on, having abandoned hope and consoled myself with some cracking views of redwing, fieldfare and goldcrest the elusive bird appeared again hunting over the river bank.
Down to Nettley's hide to admire the black-tailed godwits and keep an eye on the number for our annual 'godwit sweepstake', I reached the hundred mark only to be distracted by another owl, this time the barn owl hunting along the ditches. Before the light levels dropped too far and you could only hear the gentle whistling of wigeon, just managed to pick out a few dunlin and snipe probing the mud around the pool edges. Must get out more often.....
Operating for a trial period from Sunday 28 November until Monday 3 January 2011, Compass Bus Company is introducing a new Sunday and Bank Holiday service to their Pulborough to Horsham 100 service - this service will start and finish at RSPB Pulborough Brooks’ car park.
This is a fantastic time of year to visit the reserve - with the brooks teeming with ducks, geese and swans and the occasional raptor sweeping through the flocks of waders!
Then, after enjoying a walk around the nature trail, there is no better way to warm up than lunch in the café, or a browse around the shop for a spot of Christmas shopping, which is stocked full of our extensive range of gifts, binoculars, books and wildlife care products.
As an extra incentive to ditch your car and make use of this trial service, the reserve is offering a free tea or coffee to those who present their valid bus ticket in the café.
If the service proves popular, the Sunday timetable may continue beyond the trial period.
For full timetable details please visit www.compass-travel.co.uk; Further details about RSPB Pulborough Brooks can be gained from the Visitor Centre by calling 01798 875851 or email email@example.com.
Missed the short-eared owl again this moring - one of our visitors reported it near little hanger hide. Black-tailed godwit numbers have rocketed over the weekend, with around 330 on site yesterday. As far as I know Pulborough Brooks has never seen this numbers of bl-t godwits. Will be interesting to see whether the numbers keep building...In amongst the other wildfowl, a single Bewick's swan was on the north brooks this morning - slightly odd in that are usually arrive in family groups or small flocks.
In the last few days, a few dunlin, 2 little stints, a few golden plover and a couple of ruff have been amongst the several hundred lapwing present on site.
Female peregrine in her usual spot nr. the hanger viewpoint at 14.00 today. A small flock (9 or 10) dunlin on the north brooks, plus ca.80 black-tailed godwits (the numbers continue to climb). Needless to say, plenty wigeon, teal, pintal and shoveler present too. Earlier this week, a female merlin and short-eared owl were seen - I managed to catch up the merlin, the short-eared owl eludes me still. The hedgerows are looking very wintry now, with redwings, song thrushes, fieldfares, goldcrests and bullfinches to be found anywhere around the trail.
Please note: over the next few weeks we are installing new water control structures on site, and this may cause some disturbance to the wildfowl. Due to machinery access/movements there are also very short sections of the trail that may be muddy and/or uneven. Apologies for any inconvenience.