A quick walk around Pulborough Brooks

Time for a proper walk!

In an attempt to boost the on-foot bird list I left the house at 0320 yesterday morning and walked over the Downs to Amberley Wild Brooks, Waltham Brooks and Pulborough Brooks and back.

Plans of a picture of sunrise over the Downs were scuppered by the fact that visibility was only about 30 yards, but it cleared up a bit as I approached Amberley and it was a cold but pleasant morning on the Wild Brooks.  3 Nightingales were singing, and I eventually dug up a Garden Warbler that was singing invisibly from a tree.  The Grasshopper Warbler heard there on Wednesday was silent and the Hobbies hadn’t got up yet.  On to Waltham, where the Grasshopper Warbler and a Barn Owl were active at 0830 two days earlier.  Plenty of time: I got there at 0730.  No owl was a disappointment, and other than a few 5 s bursts of distant reeling, no Grasshopper Warbler either.  (It’s on the list, but not very satisfying.)  Pulborough was absolutely freezing, and the birds reflected this.  I heard a second’s worth of Nightingale song, a great start to their bank holiday Nightingale festival.  The straggling winter ducks had heard me coming and left, and still no hobbies, but Little Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit boosted the list (Whimbrel was more unusual, but I’ve had plenty on the sea).

It was turning into a sunny afternoon, so in search of Hobbies, I diverted back via Amberley, but despite an intensive scan there was no sign of any.  No sign of the birder who had five there later in the afternoon either, curse him.

After that it was a nice walk up and over the Downs to finish an epic 38 mile walk.  A great day, but not one I’ll do every week.

(Not many pictures: I don’t carry a large camera on a walk like that.)