Saturday, 15 June 2019

13th June 2019

What a strange year it's been. Several new additions to my Pulborough list (which now stands at 165) and yet I'm languishing a clear ten species behind on the year list compared to this time in 2018.

With a relatively quiet spring seemingly coming to an unexpectedly grand finale with the two Black-winged Stilts the other week I'd naturally assumed we were now well into the doldrum days of summer and that there wouldn't be much in the way of surprises for a few weeks yet. I was a little taken aback, therefore, to see various notifications pop up on my phone on Thursday morning alerting me to a Phalarope 'spinning around' on the North Brooks. Alan Kitson got there impressively quickly and confirmed the ID - a Red-necked, a first for Pulborough!

Photo: Dave Carlsson

Photo: Dave Carlsson

There then commenced a rather nerve-wracking few hours as I had to leave work in Guildford early anyway for an appointment in Bognor before I could get back to Pulborough late afternoon. Thankfully the bird stuck around long enough and, indeed, stayed overnight and for the duration of Friday, enabling many birders to connect with it - a great bird for the Brooks and Sussex in general.

In a pretty extraordinary twist of fate, Alan K had posted a tweet just the day before reminiscing about a RN Phalarope at Amberley Wildbrooks on 12th June 1965 (plus 33 pairs of Yellow Wagtail and 15 pairs of Tree Sparrow at Pulborough!!). His notebook sketches (below) are a wonderful slice of birding nostalgia.