I woke up this morning to what looked like a thick sea mist. I live close to the coast so there was always the hope that by the time I got to the top of the road I would be back in sunshine. No such luck this time and when I got to Pulborough Brooks I found myself sitting in a hide looking out at a bank of colourless grey fog.
It's probably appropriate then, that the first bird that appeared was a Grey Heron. The shots of the Heron below are far better than I saw on the day, its amazing what you can do in Photoshop to recover a picture.
Why does it look surprised? Well it had strayed too close to a Lapwings nest and it was under attack.
|a warning pass|
|Followed by an exhibition of high speed precision flying -|
a few inches lower and it would be impaled on the Heron's bill
|Still defiant but moving away|
|and the Lapwing still intent on protecting it's territory|
I was surprised that the Heron made no attempt to use its bill to defend itself. I would have thought that a quick stab would have brought the Lapwing down. But then I am thinking like a human and not like a bird. These territorial disputes probably have an etiquette that ensures that neither party gets injured.
With the fog gradually lifting I went to have a look at the Nightingales. An hour listening and watching these raised the spirits but did not give me many picture opportunities. They seem to have an uncanny ability to always perch with small branches in front of them.
|In full song|
From a distance the North Brooks did not look very promising but I decided to walk round to Nettley's Hide for a closer look. I am glad I did. There were distant views of a couple of Greenshanks and also a Green Sandpiper.
Linnets, Sedge Warblers, and Whitethroats were also showing well in front of the hide.
The best find of the day, for me, was a Garden Warbler. This is a bird that always gives me problems but this time I managed to locate it from its song.
Sometimes you can walk around Pulborough Brooks and not see anything but today it was well worth the effort.
In the afternoon I went down to Selsey, mainly to look for the Sandpipers that have been reported on the Ferry Pool. There were none there on the way through but on returning later I found a Common at the back of the pool, a first for me this year.
I found the local Kestrel on the ground in the pumping station and in the process of devouring what ever it had caught. I grabbed my camera but I was stuck on the wrong side of the road, unable to cross because of the amount of traffic going by. I had to settle for a flight shot later.
A visit to the North Wall was equally disappointing. Last week it was flooded, this week it has the lowest water levels I have ever seen. Whoever controls the sluice gates seems to be doing their best to destroy the habitat.
|Little Ringed Plover on the drying up bed of the Breech Pool. It should be under a couple of feet of water.|
A great day out spoilt by what seems to be the wanton destruction of one of my favourite birding spots.