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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Saturday 22nd April 2004
Coldwaltham Brooks and Pulborough Brooks

Well today was the hottest day of the year so far and we had a fantastic days birding firstly at Coldwaltham Brooks and later in the day at Pulborough Brooks.
Coldwaltham was brilliant. It was quiet and peaceful except for loads of birdsong from chaffinches, wrens and meadow pipits plus sedge, reed and grasshopper warblers. We even heard a cuckoo in the distance. We made our camp by a small wooden bridge, where I tried in vain to catch a glimpse of a grasshopper warbler with the telescope and Gill dozed in the sun.

This was our camp spot. It was idyllic and we got very dozy. That may explain why I am now sunburned.

I didn't take too many pictures today, but I did get this one of a reed bunting.

Today was a great day for raptors. Before we had even arrived at the place by bike we had spotted a Sparrowhawk, we very soon spied another one. There were also a large number of Kestrels hunting all over the brooks as well. High up above us there was a Buzzard being mobbed by a gang of crows, but all of this activity was put into the shade by two Hobbies hunting flying insects above us. We could see them grabbing them with their talons and putting them into their beaks. These birds are a favourite of ours and the shape of them in flight resembles a giant swift. Swifts are another of our favourite birds and we are eagerly waiting for them to appear again very soon. 
There were also a lot of butterflies around. We spotted an Orange Tip, a Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell.

Later in the afternoon we paid a visit to Pulborough, which is just a few miles down the road. There we were lucky enough to have a Hen harrier fly straight towards us, giving us a great view. A Peacock Butterfly also came and settled just in front of us and sat in the sun with it's wings held open: a fantastically colourful sight. Of course, as soon as I reached for the camera it was off! 
The Nightingales are singing all over the reserve now, if you have never heard one then go to Pulborough and keep your ears open. The sound really is something else.

At Pulborough we spotted our first bluebell of the year. Loads more were in bud but this was the only one in flower.