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East Sussex

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus ©George McCarthy Website

East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent to the north and east, Surrey to the north west and West Sussex to the west, and to the south by the English Channel.

From a geological point of view East Sussex is part of southern anticline of the Weald: the South Downs, a range of moderate chalk hills which run across the southern part of the county from west to east and mirrored in Kent by the North Downs. To the north lie parallel valleys and ridges, the highest of which is the Weald itself (the Hastings beds and Wealden Clay). The sandstones and clays meet the sea at Hastings; the Downs, at Beachy Head.

Top Sites

Ashdown Forest

Satellite View

Ashdown Forest 2,560 ha of heathland and woodland on the High Weald, is home to substantial populations of Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata.

Beachy Head

Satellite View

Beachy Head where the chalk hills of the South Downs meet the sea, is famous for its migrating birds. Nearby sites of interest include the Cuckmere Haven (TV 519995); Lullington Heath (TQ 545018) and Seaford Head (TV 505980).

Rye Harbour


Satellite View

Rye Harbour is part of the bird-rich length of soft coast running from Pett Levels, east of Hastings, to Dungeness in Kent.

County Recorder

Mark Mallalieu

29 Cobbetts Mead, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3TQ

01444 441425 or 07736 788077


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 384

(Old Vice-County - both East & West Sussex)

Useful Reading

Best Birdwatching Sites in Sussex

Adrian Thomas & Peter Francis (2003). 192 pages, 57 sites, and includes sections on The Sussex Birding Year, Seawatching in Sussex, Best Sites for Wheelchair Users and Public Transport, and the Sussex Bird List. £14.50 from Buckingham Press. buck.press@btinternet.com, 01733 561739.

ISBN: 0953384063

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Sussex

Paul James (1996) (Sussex Ornithological Society). Price ?23.50 including p.& p. from Mrs I.M. Simpson, Hardanger, Littleworth, Partridge Green, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 8JE

ISBN: 0952846608

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Sussex

Michael Shrubb Hardcover - 366 pages (1979) Phillimore & Co Ltd

ISBN: 0850333261

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Sussex Bird Report

Sussex Bird Reports are published each year by the Sussex Ornithological Society and copies are available from John Trowell, Lorrimer, Main Road, Icklesham, Nr. Winchelsea, Sussex TN36 4BS. (01424 813722)

Where to Watch Birds in Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Don Taylor, Jeffrey Wheatley and Paul James - 432 pages, 35 line illus, 54 maps. Christopher Helm 2009

ISBN: 9781408105856

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Forums & Mailing Lists

Rye Bay Wildlife

Mailing List

To post to list: Rye_Bay_Wildlife@yahoogroups.com

List contact: Rye_Bay_Wildlife-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: Rye_Bay_Wildlife-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Mailing List – Discussion Group - A forum for discussing wildlife observations and news in Rye Bay, East Sussex, UK

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Plovers - Romney Marsh Birdwatching Breaks

Tour Operator

This website is designed to allow you to see the services available at 'Plovers', Lydd-on-Sea. Pat & Paul Trodd, Plovers, 1 Toby Road, Lydd-on-Sea, Romney Marsh, Kent TN29 9PG Phone 01797 366935 & 07920 197535 Email: troddy@plovers.co.uk

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.


Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve


The Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (registered charity no. 269535) was founded in 1973 to raise money in order to improve and enlarge the nature reserve and to do so by encouraging interest in the conservation of wildlife and scenic beauty within the area.

RSPB Local Group - Brighton & District


This is the website of the Brighton & District Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife

RSPB Local Group - Eastbourne & District


This is the website of the Eastbourne & District Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.

RSPB Local Group - Hastings & St Leonards


This is the website of the Hastings & St Leonards Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.

Sussex Ornithological Society


All enquiries to the Sussex Ornithological Society to be sent to secretary@sos.org.uk

Sussex Wildlife Trust


Sussex Wildlife Trust was formed in 1961 and now has more than 10,000 members. They manage some of the finest sites in Sussex as nature reserves and have 38 reserves covering some of the finest ancient woodlands in Western Europe, spectacular chalk downland, heathlands, grazing marsh and wild flower meadows.


Sussex University - Centre for the Study of Evolution


The Booth Museum


The Booth Museum is all about birds, butterflies, fossils, and bones. Founded as a Victorian collector's private museum, the Booth Museum now brings natural history to life with interactive displays and hands on activities.




Satellite View

The Forewood is a substantial block of woodland situated in the Parish of Crowhurst, which lies between Hastings and Battle in East Sussex. I was born and brought up in Crowhurst, and for much of my early life lived at the housing estate which backs onto the South-East corner of the wood. It was one vast playground and adventure park combined, and my knowledge and love of natural history comes mostly from my childhood spent there. The purchase of the wood in the early 1970s by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds secured it's future, and led me to join this excellent organisation…

RSPB - Fore Wood


Satellite View

A wide range of woodland birds breed including nightingales, spotted flycatchers and great and lesser spotted woodpeckers…

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve


Satellite View

The Nature Reserve is in the Rother District in the County of East Sussex, England. It lies on the coast to the south of the Cinque Port town of Rye, to the west of the River Rother. Within the wider area of ROMNEY MARSH the land has several national and international designations of its wildlife interest. There are eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); a candidate Special Protection Area (SPA); a candidate Ramsar wetland site, a potential Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and an Important Bird Area (IBA). Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has all these designations.

Weir Wood Reservoir & Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Weir Wood Reservoir Nature Reserve…


Birding Walks in RXLand


Within a short distance of Hastings, East Sussex, there is a varied and ancient countryside comprising coast, marsh, river valleys, woodlands and historic settlements, much of which is little visited by bird-watchers. “RX” is a designation borrowed from the fishing fleet, to denote the stretch of coast between Hastings and Hythe and its hinterland…

Firle Birds


This blog is devoted to the birds of Firle, a small village on the slopes of the Sussex Downs…

Matt Eade's Blog


Bird sightings, mainly from East Sussex but also elsewhere around the world, also other interesting wildlife noted…

Other Links

Birds of Sussex


This site is dedicated to Birds seen in the County of Sussex. It contains information on local sites and Pictures of the birds seen in Sussex. There is also a section for Pictures of some of the National rarities that I have seen. A link is provided to a page that is updated regularly with the sightings from Ovingdean and Roedean, which is my Local patch. It will obviously be updated more regularly at times of migration….

Romney Marsh Countryside Project


The Romney Marsh Countryside Project was set up in June 1996, a sister project to the White Cliffs Countryside Project. The project aims to care for the special landscape and wildlife of the Romney Marsh and Dungeness…

Rye Harbour Wildlife News


Wildlife sightings from Romney Marshes Living Landscape - All the latest wildlife news & events from Hastings, Rye Bay, Dungeness & Romney Marsh…

Sussex Scrapbook


Nature walks throughout the year…

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Basil Ede


BASIL EDE - MASTER BIRD PAINTER, born in Surrey, England, in 1931, is a classic bird portraitist. Following in the footsteps of MARK CATESBY (1683-1749) and JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1785-1851) he travelled to Virginia in 1962 to see the birds of the New World. Nevertheless it was the British painter, ARCHIBALD THORBURN whose work influenced the young artist most of all.