Well over 100 bird species can be found within the park during the year, with about 60 of them being UK residents and the rest being seasonal migrants. A list of our birds can be found at the end of this page.
The two raptors most likely to be seen in the valley are Buzzards and Kestrels, both of which are residents that nest in the valley, along with Sparrowhawks. You may also see migrants, especially Hobbies or the occasional Marsh Harrier.
Often seen wheeling high in the sky, singly or in groups, or perched on a tree or fence post
Smaller than the buzzard, kestrels can often be seen hovering, almost motionless, as they hunt for mice or voles.
Some of the water birds are the largest birds in the valley and the easiest to spot. Most of those shown below can be seen in the valley throughout the year. The last three are sea birds that are frequently found on inland waters.
Lots of swans can be found on the lakes and streams and several pairs raise broods of cygnets.
Parties of Greylag Geese fly into the valley for the winter and some stay all year round. Often seen on the flood meadows.
A few Canada Geese are usually found associating with the Greylag Geese
Herons can be found in the valley all year and can often be seen patiently fishing at the edge of pools.
Slightly smaller than a heron and with pure white plumage, the Little Egret is now a fairly common sight in the valley.
The most familiar of our ducks, the Mallard is to be found throughout the park.
These are very common on all the lakes in the valley.
Not so numerous as the Coot in the valley, but often seen around the margins of open water.
These distinctive little ducks are more frequently seen during the winter months.
Flocks of these are often found on the larger lakes. In winter their heads turn white with just a black spot either side.
Flocks of Herring Gulls are also a common sight on the lakes throughout the year.
This large seabird can often be seen on the larger lakes in the park. Many Cormorants roost in a tree by the Pebsham lake.
Many of this group of birds are hard to spot, unless you can recognise their call, as they tend to skulk around in trees or undergrowth. A few are shown below.
A familiar garden bird, the Blackbird can be found in woods and hedgerows.
Another familiar garden bird. The Great Tit is also fairly common.
Often seen in the fields or perched on fence posts.
The Chaffinch is fairly common and the male is brightly coloured
These are not seen so often in the valley but are unmistakable with their red face and yellow wing flashes.
These are mainly winter visitors when up to a hundred can be seen on the flood meadows. A few stay and breed.
A gregarious bird that is usually seen in small flocks.
A conspicuous member of the crow family that can be seen all over the valley.
Often heard calling, there are quite a lot of Pheasant resident in the valley.
A wetland bird, these are usually found along the rivers or in the reedbeds.
Probably our most recognisable bird, the Robin is common throughout the park.
Often heard in the reeds, but less often seen, the Sedge Warbler is a summer visitor.
The male has an orange breast and distinctive black head. Resident but more often seen in the summer.
A summer visitor, often seen skimming over the lakes or reeds feeding on insects.
A woodland bird that can sometimes be seen hunting insects on tree trunks.
Another summer visitor whose insistant warbling can be heard in the reeds.
One of our smallest birds, the wren is very shy and flits around in the undergrowth.
The male yellowhammer is unmistakable and likes to sing from the top of a bush.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Crested Grebe
Black Headed Gull
Greater Black-backed Gull
Birds of the seashore
The commonly seen gulls are listed above. Of the birds listed below only the Turnstone and Oystercatcher are residents. The others are only occasionally seen.
The RSPB website has a wealth of information about British birds.
The Sussex Ornithological Society has information about birds in Sussex
Photos on this page by Peter Hunnisett