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Pullborough Brooks - November 2011

Well, the weekend really flew by! Saturday was spent at Pullburough Brooks RSPB Reserve and Petworth House. Sunday was a trip up to London. So, here I am Monday night; finally having five minutes to sit down and catch up with my notes. An early-ish start to Saturday got us down to Pullborough for just after 09:00am; though we did have a broken sleep (Tawny Owl calling at 04:00am outside our bedroom window), we were all in good spirits and happy to be out on a road trip. The weather stayed nice the whole day, which made it all the more pleasurable for us all. Plenty of wildfowl seen from Netley's hide including Gadwall, Mallard, Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shoveler and Shelduck. Other species of interest were Ruff (4), Golden Plover (12), Snipe (3), Black-tailed Godwit (5) and 100's of Lapwing. 

Lapwing spooked by Peregrine Falcon

While I was scanning through the waders and waterfowl, Lori and Nolan went into the hide where they discovered two Water Voles feeding below the hide windows! These scarce and endangered aquatic specialists were a most welcome surprise.

Water Vole (Lori Mooney)

We continued along the trails for a while then split up as Lori and Nolan wanted to look for mushrooms. I made a few stops along the way and found a Bar-headed Goose in amongst the Canada Geese. Though a nice bird, it has obviously escaped from a private collection and not strayed off course from the Himalayas:)

Photo by Nolan

En-route back to the main entrance I finally got to see the Peregrine Falcon that had been reported. It was circling high over the wetlands, sending Lapwings into a panic before leisurely gliding away. Other raptors showing with the warmer afternoon temperatures were Buzzard (3), Kestrel (1) and Sparrowhawk (2). total species seen at Pullburough today-38

Pied Wagtail

I met up with Lori and Nolan at the restaurant and soon after headed up to Petworth House where we met our good friends Abbi, Jason and their daughter Poppy. We spent a couple of hours walking through the beautiful grounds of this large estate and extra special to spend time with Poppy (9), who has a real passion for birds. Though the birds were a little thin on the ground, we did spot a Buzzard and Poppy got a lifer: Egyptian Goose! It is so great to see someone so young with a real interest in birds and natural history. Watch this space...this little girl is going to be a great birder!

Jason, Poppy, Abbi, Rich and Nolan


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