The recent rain has put some water back on the brooks which in turn has attracted some waders. On the north brooks, at least seven green sandpiper, one common sandpiper, two dunlin and four little-ringed plover. They were sometimes difficult to spot and would disappear for long periods, no doubt caused by a marauding juvenile peregrine and sparrowhawk. However, with a little bit of patience and perseverance they did show themselves to people willing to wait.
A young moorhen got a little too close to a heron, which after some difficulty and dipping it in water swallowed it whole. All the time this was going on the frantic protestations of the adults were totally ignored by the heron.
Still the odd bit of song from chiffchaff and blackcap, but the whitethroats were silent although still quite showy below the hanger. A steady stream of swifts were popping in for a drink on the wing before going west and there were many more swallows and martins than of late.
Even though it was quite windy there were a lot of butterflies in sheltered spots. The bank on the way to nettleys and the zigzag are particularly good at the moment. The buddleia and other flowers near the children's playground are also worth a look.
Thanks to volunteer Gary for this post.
We're starting to get excited about our Big Wild Sleepout events that take place in a couple of weeks time...I've got my tent out of the loft and sleeping bag at the ready!
We're holding events on both the Friday and Saturday night (7th & 8th August) and I'm looking forward to meeting some of our great night creatures. Whilst the Saturday night event is now fully booked, we do still have some spaces left on the Friday night.
Here is just a little taster of what you could be doing:
We'll be setting up camp in the meadow...
Enjoying an evening pond dip...
As the light fades we'll be going on an after dark adventure to look for birds, bats, beasts and bugs before enjoying a mug of hot chocolate before bed.
In the morning we'll enjoy tea, coffee and pastries before 'unpacking' the moth trap...
Once we've packed up our tents we'll finish off our Big Wild Sleepout adventure with a short walk to look for reptiles..
If you would like to join us on the Friday night please contact us to book your place - Telephone 01798 875851.
Follow the link below for more info including times and costs.
Volunteer Gary reports on his 'rounds' on Tuesday...
Pulborough Brooks rarely disappoints, and it didn't disappoint today either. It helped being a beautiful day with plenty of warm sunshine and a nice cooling breeze. Butterflies were everywhere, perhaps they knew it was The Big Butterfly Count that runs until the 9th August.
My own tally today being – meadow brown, gatekeeper, small skipper, large skipper, large white, small white, comma, red admiral, painted lady, speckled wood, peacock, ringlet and holly blue. Meadow browns and gatekeepers were especially numerous on the bramble, and when the fleabane on the zigzag comes fully into flower, I'm sure it will be even better (if that's possible).
In flower at the moment is one of my favourites the beautiful delicate pink centaury which can be seen on Adder Alley. If you want to see it, make sure its not late in the day, as the flowers start to close in the afternoon.
Two peregrines livened things up on the North Brooks, sending the lapwings into the air. They buzzed backwards and forwards unsuccessfully for some time, perhaps it was the constant pursuit by kestrel and hobby that put them off. Also on view were two green sandpipers and five little-ringed plover, and a large group of pied wagtails amongst the highland cattle. Try as I might I couldn't turn one into a yellow wagtail – perhaps in a week or two.
I must admit that I love seeing something new, and today it was a cricket. I've probably walked past one a hundred times without taking any notice but this time it was in the middle of the path; a rather handsome roesel’s bush-cricket.
Another of our volunteers, Graham, sent through this photo of a cuckoo seen in the field in front of the visitor centre over the weekend.