A return Trip to Pulborough Brooks gave me my first Orange Tip of the year. So it looks as though Spring really has arrived. However looking at my records I would expect to see Dingy and Grizzled Skippers, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, and Duke of Burgundy over the next week. The first two look possible but the promised cold spell could delay the other two.
|Orange Tip Butterfly|
Nightingale numbers at Pulburough also look a bit low. I could still only see two or possibly three in adder alley and they were singing even less than on Monday. The one below gave a couple of short bursts of song but he stayed low down and deep in cover.
So again the best shots were whilst the birds were feeding.
The best find in adder alley was a group of Grass Snakes with one large female and at least three males. They were forming a mating ball but I could not get a picture of this without risking disturbing them. However, here is another male on his way to join the action.
I also paid a return visit to Pagham North Wall in the hope of getting a better picture of the Cattle Egret. It is in full breeding plumage so would take a great photograph.
Unfortunately it was clear, as soon as I got out of the car, that the wind was much stronger down on the coast and there was very little flying. There were Egrets in the roost but they had all descended into deeper cover and were mostly out of sight.
Interestingly there have been no reports of where the Cattle Egret is feeding. The one time I saw it leave the roost it headed out over the harbour rather than towards the fields holding the cattle.
On the positive side, it was good to see increased numbers of Black-tailed Godwits on the Breech Pool. I counted just over seventy although there was very little else of interest on the pool. Wader numbers in general have been low around the area this winter but the Breech Pool seems to have suffered more than most.
|Black-tailed Godwits - part of the flock|
Other birds of interest. A showy Sedge Warbler in the reeds to the west of the Breech Pool. It was very difficult to photograph in the strong winds. It was only coming about two thirds of the way up the reeds which were swaying through about forty five degrees. The only option was to manually focus on the bird and then take lots of pictures in the hope that you got one where most of the reeds had blown out of the way.
And in the slightly more sheltered stables area a Green Woodpecker and Barn Swallows. The Swallows were already gathering mud to build their nests.
|Barn Swallow in flight|
Nothing much new today but an interesting time wandering around the sites.