Saturday, 27 July 2019

Adur Estuary and Pulborough Brooks RSPB

In the drizzle early this morning, just before high tide, I had another quick look at the Adur from the toll bridge. A group of five Common Sandpipers were feeding on the bank, along with two adult Dunlin. An Oystercatcher flew over and 17 adult Mute Swans completed the scene. A Sand Martin flew over, while a Swallow hawked low over the adjacent airfield. (Calling in again briefly in the evening, Common Sandpipers increased to seven, and six Little Egrets were fishing.)

Common Sandpipers on the Adur Estuary

It was meant to be the annual butterfly walk back at my old patch in Surrey but this was clearly not going ahead, given the constant rain, so I made for Pulborough Brooks in the hope that the rain may have deposited from new waders. Some 13 Green Sandpipers shared the North Brooks with a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, three Black-tailed Godwits, two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers and 26 Lapwings. Skimming the water's surface were 30 or so hirundines, mainly Sand Martins, but with a few House Martins and one or two Swallows mixed in. Ducks included four Gadwall, 18 Teal, two Mandarins and 11 Shovelers. Two Stonechats stationed themselves on tall vegetation further back and seven Pied Wagtails flicked around the edges.

The conditions were far from ideal for looking for small birds but I spent a few minutes watching a lovely family of Bullfinches, both parents and three juveniles. Other passerines included a Willow Warbler, three of both Whitethroat and Blackcap, two Goldcrests, five Chiffchaffs and singles of Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Coal Tit. From their posts, a Buzzard and a Kestrel watched over the meadows. Two Green Woodpeckers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker announced themselves noisily.