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Thursday 22nd November 2007
Pulborough Brooks

A very wet night and a drizzly morning didn't put us off getting to the brooks for dawn. Once there, the skies cleared for us and it turned into a beautiful day. The Arun had burst its banks a bit and had spread out on the flood plain, which is no problem, as that is just what it is supposed to do, unfortunately it also prevented us from crossing the bridge on the public footpath. That just meant we had to walk further to get to the reserve, which didn't really bother us too much, especially as it involved going via a particularly muddy route.
A really good days birding today with nearly 50 species seen, including sparrowhawk, bullfinch, black-tailed godwit and our first kingfisher at Nettley's. We had just finished saying that we had never seen one there before, despite lots of people doing so! We immediately started talking about the fact that we hadn't ever seen an osprey. Well, you can hope, can't you.
Gill had a very allergic reaction to a horse when she was a child and so has always given them a wide berth. Lately however we have been carrying latex gloves with us so that she can stroke them too when we come across them on our walks. Today she impetuously decided upon a very brave and very risky scientific experiment. She stroked two horses whilst remaining entirely gloveless! I patiently waited camera in hand for her to start coming out in horrible skin swellings, but nothing happened. Nothing continued to happen and it is still happening.

The river Arun has flooded a bit and we couldn't get over the bridge

The alternative route allowed Gill to do some much needed wallowing