Wednesday, 4 February 2015


As far as waders and wildfowl are concerned I am not a great fan of Pulborough Brooks. There are great expanses of water, but the birds are usually too distant even for record shots. The place is actually better for the smaller birds with Bullfinches, Goldcrests, and later in the year Nightingales being relatively easy to capture.

Today, however, with the brooks and scrapes likely to be frozen over and with the possibility of finding birds out on the ice looking for open water, it seemed worth another visit. It was worth the try but it was nearly a wasted trip. There were birds on the ice, as we had expected, but they were all the common ducks. We managed to find a group of ten Snipe foraging near West Mead Hide but other than those and a few Lapwing I did not see a single wader all day.


Fortunately the visit was rescued by the Bullfinches and a few good looking Fieldfares we spotted as we walked around.


We found a small flock of six Bullfinches close by West Mead hide, a couple at Fattengates and another three or four at the top of the zigzags. They were all very mobile and it was difficult to get shots of them but it did occupy us for an interesting hour or so.


Keen to improve on our Bullfinch shots we then headed off to the Arundel Wetland Centre where Dave had photographed a couple of females the previous week.  They were still where he had left them, feeding on the buddleia bushes just outside the Sand Martin hide. These were a little tamer than the Pulborough birds and had no intention of leaving their food source even when people passed within a few feet of them. Unfortunately though, there was no male to photograph.

Female Bullfinch

A quick look from the Sand Martin hide gave us the unexpected bonus of a Grey Wagtail actively feeding on the waters edge and the interesting challenge of could you get a shot that was not a complete blur as it raced up and down

Grey Wagtail

I had one final opportunity for a photograph as we headed back for the car. One of my favourite birds the Dunnock, almost too close to get him in the frame.


Overall, not a bad day. A few decent pictures of the Bullfinches, sightings of Water Rail, Treecreeper and Goldcrest and a few year ticks and I went home happy.

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