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Every Monday we will be visiting one of our nature reserves in the south-east of England to find out which species of birds live there or visit during the spring and summer months.

Our chosen reserve this week is the RSPB Pulborough Reserve, West Sussex

Pulborough Brooks is set in the sheltered Arun Valley within the South Downs National Park.

Walks lead through hedge-lined paths to viewing areas and hides where volunteers are often on hand to help point out the wildlife. If you're new to nature, introductory events, guided walks and courses are held throughout the year.

In winter, the flooded meadows teem with ducks, geese and swans, whilst in spring, wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks, breed amongst the pools and ditches, and nightingales sing from the hedgerows.

Popular species you see on the reserve in the summer include:

teal 2tealBewick's swans often roost on the reserve overnight. Occasionally, we run dusk and dawn events with the hope of seeing them. There have been sightings of over 50 individuals in previous years.

Linger until dusk to watch the ghostly form of barn owls hunting over the grassland. You can even watch them from the visitor centre.

Large flocks of teals pack onto the flooded grassland. The hides will provide close views and you can listen to their piping calls as they fly round in dense flocks.

Nightingales breed in the hedgerows and scrub. Listen for their incredibly rich, musical song in late April and May. If you are lucky, you may spot one sitting among the foliage, its body almost shaking with the effort!

Uppper left: Bewick Span       Lower right: Common Teal

RSPB Pulborough Brook website