Here is Tuesday's report from volunteer Gary.
At Pulborough Brooks today the expected waders were in short supply, just a single green and common sandpiper, but the raptors made up for it. The first was a red kite slowly making its way over the south brooks this was closely followed by a peregrine carrying some hapless prey item. A sparrowhawk then scattered some wood pigeons as it cruised a hedgeline looking for something smaller to tackle. This siting was quickly followed up with a dashing hobby making its way to the north brooks. Once we got there the hobby was putting on a dragonfly catching display, and later I saw two making repeated stoops at a large flock of goldfinches. Kestrel and buzzards were seen on several occasions and some lucky visitors saw a marsh harrier.
This has certainly been my best year at Pulborough for redstarts; they were once again at the corner that is named after them. A party of four spotted flycatchers were also good value behind adder alley. An elusive lesser whitethroat gave all of a 2 second view in the same area.
Gadwall and shoveler can now be picked out among the mallard and teal, but I missed a pintail that had been seen earlier. Yellow and grey wagtails were heard flying over but were only silhouettes.
Non avian sightings were a rather worn silver washed fritillary just past the junction to Nettleys, an elephant hawkmoth caterpillar near Winpenny, and many common darters that seemed reluctant to get out the way. A dark bush cricket was lurking in the bramble near the centre.
Around a quarter of all our mammal species are bats and they are fascinating creatures!
Find out why bats are so brilliant and try to track some down on the reserve with the help of our friendly leaders and our bat detectors!
Laurie, who will be running this great event, helps out at a Sussex bat rescue hospital and she will be bringing along one of the residents to give you a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with one of these incredible creatures!
You'll then head out onto the reserve and use our bat detectors to try and locate and identify some of the bat species that we find here. Pulborough Brooks is a good place for bats - the combination of woodland, hedgerows and wetlands means that they can find places for roost and there are plenty of insects for them to dine on!
Perhaps the most readily found are the tiny pipistrelles who flit in and out of the canopy of the large oaks, hunting for the midges who would otherwise be biting you. But we also see the larger serotine bats, who feed on moths and beetles and when heard on a bat detector sound like they are tap dancing!
Brown long-eared bats are trickier to track down - they are much stealthier and make less noise when echo-locating. Laurie (who has bat license) took this photo of some when helping with a roost survey.
We still have some places on our evening walk on Tuesday 01 September which starts at 7 pm . Adults and families are very welcome - give us a call at the visitor centre on 01798 875851 to book your place.
Gary reports on his day out in the rain!
At Pulborough Brooks today before the rain – several parasol mushrooms are pushing skywards through the grass near the pond at the bottom of the zigzag path. Also, two very active spotted flycatchers, a whitethroat and a male and female redstart were on show behind West Mead hide; a little further on at the appropriately named redstart corner, yes you've guessed it – three more redstarts and a willow warbler. Before diverting into Winpenny hide to avoid the rain, there were two more redstarts along the hedge line behind adder alley. The driving rain made the viewing difficult from the hide, but two snipe were briefly seen in flight before we decided to brave the rain and make a dash to Nettleys.
Redstart - taken through scope with phone.
At Nettleys at least four common sandpipers and two green sandpipers were visible through the grey blur of rain. With nothing better to do we stuck it out, and thankfully it paid off with a good view of a whinchat and some yellow wagtails, including a cracking proper yellow one. With the extra water, wildfowl numbers are rising with perhaps 50 teal among the mallard, plus a single shoveler. The rain had driven down many hirundines with perhaps as many as 300; at one point I counted 72 house martins next to one another on the fence wires. To finish, a rather grey looking tatty buzzard flew past which summed up the weather rather well I thought, but not the quality of the birds.