Birds

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 most of our birds can be found at the end of this page.

Raptors

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, such as Hobbies or the occasional Marsh Harrier.

Buzzard
Buzzard

Often seen wheeling high in the sky, singly or in groups, or perched on a tree or fence post.

Kestrel
Kestrel

Smaller than the buzzard, kestrels can often be seen hovering, almost motionless, as they hunt for mice or voles.

Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier

Flood meadows and reedbeds are ideal habitat for this fairly frequent winter visitor.

Water Birds

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.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

Lots of swans can be found on the lakes and streams and several pairs raise broods of cygnets.

Greylag Goose
Greylag Goose

Parties of Greylag Geese fly into the valley for the winter and some stay all year round and breed. Often seen on the flood meadows.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose

A few Canada Geese are usually found associating with the Greylag Geese, although lately there have been large flocks.

Grey Heron
Grey Heron

Herons can be found in the valley all year and can often be seen patiently fishing at the edge of pools.

Little Egret
Little Egret

Slightly smaller than a heron and with pure white plumage, the Little Egret is now a fairly common sight in the valley.

Mallard
Mallard

The most familiar of our ducks, the Mallard is to be found throughout the park.

Coot
Coot

These are very common on all the lakes in the valley.

Moorhen
Moorhen

Not so numerous as the Coot in the valley, but often seen around the margins of open water.

Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck

These distinctive little ducks are more frequently seen during the winter months.

Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull

Flocks of these are often found on the larger lakes. In winter their heads turn white with just a black spot either side.

Herring Gull
Herring Gull

Flocks of Herring Gulls are also a common sight on the lakes throughout the year.

Cormorant
Cormorant

This large seabird can often be seen on the larger lakes in the park. Many Cormorants roost in a tree by the Pebsham lake.

Land Birds

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.

Blackbird
Blackbird

A familiar garden bird, the Blackbird can be found in woods and hedgerows.

Blue Tit
Blue Tit

Another familiar garden bird. The Great Tit is also fairly common.

Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow

Often seen in the fields or perched on fence posts.

Chaffinch
Chaffinch

The Chaffinch is fairly common and the male is brightly coloured.

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

Flocks of Goldfinches are seen in the valley and are unmistakable with their red face and yellow wing flashes.

Lapwing
Lapwing

These are mainly winter visitors when more than a hundred can be seen on the flood meadows. Very few stay and attempt to breed.

Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit

A gregarious bird that is usually seen in small flocks.

Magpie
Magpie

A conspicuous member of the crow family that can be seen all over the valley.

Pheasant
Pheasant

Often heard calling, there are quite a lot of Pheasant resident in the valley.

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting

A wetland bird, these are usually found along the rivers or in the reedbeds.

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler

Another summer visitor whose insistant warbling can be heard in the reeds.

Robin
Robin

Probably our most recognisable bird, the Robin is common throughout the park.

Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler

Often heard in the reeds, but less often seen, the Sedge Warbler is a summer visitor.

Stonechat
Stonechat

The male has an orange breast and distinctive black head. Resident but more often seen in the summer.

Swallow
Swallow

A summer visitor, often seen skimming over the lakes or reeds feeding on insects.

Treecreeper
Treecreeper

A woodland bird that can sometimes be seen hunting insects on tree trunks.

Wren
Wren

One of our smallest birds, the wren is very shy and flits around in the undergrowth.

Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer

The male yellowhammer is unmistakable and likes to sing from the top of a bush.

Bird Lists

Resident Species

Goldcrest

Firecrest

Wren

Dunnock

House Sparrow

Coal Tit

Marsh Tit

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Treecreeper

Robin

Linnet

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

Greenfinch

Bullfinch

Cettiā€™s Warbler

Stonechat

Yellowhammer

Reed Bunting

Skylark

Grey Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Song Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Blackbird

Starling

Kingfisher

Collared Dove

Feral Pigeon

Wood Pigeon

Nuthatch

Green Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Magpie

Jay

Jackdaw

Common Crow

Rook

Pheasant

Kestrel

Sparrowhawk

Buzzard

Grey Heron

Little Egret

Great Crested Grebe

Little Grebe

Water Rail

Coot

Moorhen

Gadwall

Mallard

Tufted Duck

Greylag Goose

Mute Swan

Herring Gull

Black Headed Gull

Cormorant

Regular migrants

Siskin

Lesser Redpoll

Reed Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Garden Warbler

Blackcap

Chiffchaff

Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Whinchat

Wheatear

Spotted Flycatcher

Meadow Pipit

Water Pipit

Yellow Wagtail

Redwing

Fieldfare

House Martin

Sand Martin

Swallow

Swift

Raven

Cuckoo

Hobby

Dunlin

Snipe

Lapwing

Wigeon

Teal

Shoveler

Pochard

Shelduck

Canada Goose

Common Gull

Greater Black-backed Gull

Occasional migrants

Redstart

Snow Bunting

Marsh Harrier

Red Kite

Ruff

Green Sandpiper

Greenshank

Pintail

Mediterranean Gull

Garganey

Birds of the seashore

The commonly seen gulls are listed above as they are often seen inland. Of the birds listed below only the Turnstone and Oystercatcher are residents. The others are only occasionally seen.

Turnstone

Redshank

Black-tailed Godwit

Oystercatcher

Curlew

Red-throated Diver

Common Scoter

Common Tern

Sandwich Tern

Gannet

More Information

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

Footpaths - 1 July

All paths are dry now, but some are getting overgrown in places.

Report overgrown rights of way to East Sussex and other paths to the Friends of Combe Valley.

Latest News

Rare Spider Found

The rare Fen Raft Spider, has recently been found in the Park; a very important discovery

New on this website

April 2022 - A new section, "Nature's Calendar", has been added giving details of what to look out for around the Countryside Park at different times of the year.