Hobby, RSPB Pulborough Brooks


The swifts were in, so this handsome little falcon couldn’t be far behind. Most years I pick hobby up before swifts but this time I had to wait before Saturday’s bird, perched distantly by the River Arun. In some previous visits several hobbies have entertained me at once, hawking insects above my head. The reserve is something of a hotspot for the species.

It’s also a nightingale hotspot but not a single one called during this brief stop. I’ll give it a longer go on my way back from Steyning, where little bro has had his 50th birthday party. One’s own 50th is bad enough but when the baby of the family reaches that milestone… it’s all downhill from here.

Back at Pulborough, I did find an unusual garden warbler. It sang in the open to give cracking views. Such a plain bird but almost homely in its simplicity.

I’d stopped earlier at South Downs Natural Burial Site, where mum is. Many warblers there too, including my first wood warbler for the year. And for Hampshire. I was trying to find it when I was almost sent flying by yet another out-of-fucking-control dog. Leaping over me and barking with no reason. What a shock!

And the owner… I’d started to remonstrate before I got a good look at him. Then I stopped. 100% pure thug. I worried what he was training the dog for. When he threatened to start kicking me, I had no doubt. I didn’t care to tangle with the sub-human moron.

Jesus, I don’t half bang on about dogs and their owners. Well, I’ll tackle them later. For now, I’ll just add two red kites: one on the way to the Site; and the second directly overhead. They’re spreading south and that’s a good thing.

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