If you don't feel like the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in town but are starting to feel in the mood for something a little festive then perhaps we can help...
On the nature trails...
Enjoy a bracing walk, listen to the gentle whistling of wigeon, spot a pretty pink bullfinch and count the black-tailed godwits. And we have our winter wildlife watch coming up at the weekend with guided walks, hot ginger wine and hot chocolate.
In the cafe...
Mel and her team have now started serving their Christmas lunches and you can enjoy turkey, roast potatoes and all the trimmings every day (up until Christmas) between 12 noon and 2.30 pm.
In the shop...
Alongside our bestselling racing penguin crackers, we now have racing robin crackers too! What's more they are now in the sale and cost just £9.99 (full price £12.99)
It has been noticeably chillier today and lots more woolly hats are appearing atop the heads of people exploring the trails. And a lovely December collection of wintery wildlife can be seen on the reserve.
Black-tailed godwit numbers are in excess of 350, up to 400 we think, although counting this ever moving, continually squabbling mass of long legs and long beaks is rather tricky. Particularly interesting is the presence of a number of colour-ringed individuals; plastic rings (usually 4) in a unique combination of colours are attached to the bird's legs. Spotting and reporting these birds enables scientists to gather information on where they are going and what they're up to. Some of the godwits have become regular visitors and have appeared at Pulborough Brooks for several winters on the trot. They also seem to be spreading the word and bringing their friends as this must be one of the highest counts.
Also present in good numbers are sneaky snipe, although I must admit that spotting them is a little harder - there is less bickering than with the godwits and they tend to be hunkered down amongst the rushy tussocks. Nevertheless there have been daily sightings of these wonderfully camouflaged waders. On Saturday more than 80 were reported on the North Brooks, some spotted feeding on the edges of the pools and others flying around when disturbed by a passing bird of prey.
On that note, you've a good chance of seeing peregrine, marsh harrier, kestrel and buzzard, the former two in particular keeping the many wigeon, teal, pintail, shoveler on their toes.
Around the hedgerows my favourites are fieldfare, redwings, bullfinches and goldcrests.
If you'd like to get out and about and see some of these brilliant birds, come along to our winter wildlife watch over the weekend (Saturday 06 & Sunday 07 December) and join our friendly helpers on a guided walk. We'll even warm you up with a hot ginger wine or hot chocolate afterwards. There's no need to book, just come along to the visitor centre - the guided walks start at 1.30 pm on both days.
This Sunday (23 November) we'll be playing host to local artists Kerry Vaughan and Paul Wharmby.
Between 9.30 and 5 pm you can meet the artists and view their work in the visitor centre. Entry to the visitor centre and exhibition is free.
Wildlife and Aviation Art Exhibition and Sale at RSPB Pulborough Brooks
On show will be a selection of original artwork, prints, cards, jewellery and gift packs for pet portrait commissions – an ideal present at Christmas!
Kerry Vaughan is a professional artist specializing in wildlife and pet portraits. Working mostly in pastels now, she produces wildlife paintings for sale at exhibitions throughout the summer and also teaches drypoint printmaking classes locally. There will also be a selection of fine silver jewellery based on themes found in the natural world. Her love of nature and wildlife is reflected in her work. Please contact her for details on pet portrait commissions or upcoming printmaking workshops.
facebook: Kerry Vaughan Art
tel: 01798 873792
Paul Wharmby is a serving RAF pilot whose enthusiasm for flying is often reflected within his oil painting commissions and other original pieces of work. With an equally keen interest in wildlife, animals also feature strongly in his work either depicting them within their natural habitat or by taking a more light-hearted approach to more comical caricatures. Please contact him for information about commissions.