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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

RSPB Pulborough Brooks . White Storks; nesting Lapwings & Avocets; Sedge Warblers. 19.04.22 (pm)

I went to RSPB Pulborough Brooks by train. I typically get the train from Brighton to Pulborough, changing at Barham, and walk across the brooks from the train station and town. However, as in the morning I had been visiting Newdigate Brickworks Nature Reserve near Crawley, I took the train from Crawley to Pulborough. If you travel to Pulborough by a train from London Victoria (getting at Victoria, Clapham Junction, East Cordon, Three Bridges, or Crawley, make sure you get in the right section of the train. These trains often divide at Horsham with only the Bogner part of the train stopping at Pulborough.

From the station a footpath is signed to the reserve. I follow this route; as you can often see some great sights before you get to the reserve proper, as I did on 19.04.22.

Across the Brooks (river Around)

View toward the reserve


Cuckopflowers across the marshy fields of the brooks

Crane Fly

River Arun

Marsh Marigold, a plant that likes marshy gorund

And I looked up and saw thee magnificent White Storks; reintroduced at the Knepp Estate, flying over the brooks. See: White Storks — Knepp Wildland

In the Reserve

Around the Little Hanger Hide

A Speckled Wood on Common Mouse-Ear


From the Little Hanger Hide

Canada Geese, Mallards, Teal, Shelduck and an Avocet



From Hanger View - a Buzzard

Fattengates Courtyard - a Dunnock

A House Sparrow

A Phaesant

A Wren, near the visitor centre

The view from the visitors centre over West Mead scrape

A Rabbit on the way to the West Mead Hide

A female Mallard on the way to the hide

A Blackcap near the hide

From the West Mead Hide

A Canada Goose on an island

On an island, a Lapwing, an Avocet, and a Canada Goose, all sitting on eggs. What was amazing was the feistiness of the Lapwing and the Avocet in defending their eggs. Every time the Canada Goose's mate got too close to the Lapwing nest or Avocet nest, the respective bird chased the Goose off, even though Lapwings and Avocets are much smaller than Canada Geese. I didn't manage to capture the Avocet-Goose encounter, but I did manage to capture the Lapwing chase the Goose into the water.

Lapwing taking off to challenge the Canada Goose

Lapwing chasing the Cnanada Goose into the water

The Avocet by its nest

Lapwing and Canada Goose

Avocet on its nest

Lapwing approaching its nest

Lapwings Vanellus vanellus are ground-nesting waders and they protect their nests by aggressively attacking predators near their nests. We investigated the response of parents to natural predators .... First, we investigated whether the presumed value of offspring influenced defence behaviour. We found no evidence that clutch volume or the number of days the clutch had been incubated for influenced either the frequency of attacks or the time spent on attacks. The density of nests decreased over the breeding season, and both the frequency of attacks and the time spent on attacks decreased with nest density. Second, we found that male Lapwings were more active in defence than females. In particular, male Lapwings attacked natural predators more often than females and they spent more time on attacks than females. These results were corroborated by the dummy experiment. Kis, J., Liker, A., & Szekely, T. (2000). Nest defence by Lapwings: Observations on natural behaviour and an experiment. Ardea, 88(2), 155-163.

Sign in the West Mead hide

Lapwing on its nest directly in front of the hide where this sign is posted


Redshank - Warden on the Marsh

Avocet on its nest

New electric fence round the scrape to protect Lapwing and Avocets chicks from predation by foxes etc.

A wicker Heron

A Jackdaw, its grey neck showing well in the setting sun

A Blackcap

The West Mead scrape seen from vied from the north

A Carrion Crow

The Little Hanger Hide

Pulborough Church

Cattle conservation grazing on the brooks

A pair of Sedge Warblers

A bat sculpture on the art trail, walking back into Pulborough town



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