West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering East Sussex (with Brighton and Hove) to the east, Hampshire to the west and Surrey to the north, and to the south the English Channel. Chichester in the southwest is the county town and only city in West Sussex, with the largest towns being Crawley, Worthing and Horsham.
West Sussex has a range of scenery, including weald, downs and coast. The highest point of the county is Blackdown, at 280 metres (919 ft). Over half the county is protected countryside.
West Sussex, being blessed with numerous different habitats, from chalky downland to the great woodland of the Weald; and from the rare sandy heathland of the Greensand Belt through to the bird-friendly harbours and river valleys nearer the coast, has many reserves. They range in habitat from estuarine (Rye Harbour), wetlands & woods (Woods Mill), scrub (Ebernoe Common), grassland (Ditchling Beacon), chalk grassland of the south downs (Malling Down) to lowland heath (Old Lodge).
Chichester Harbour over 3,700 ha of saltmarsh, mudflats and open water, is of critical importance to migrating and wintering wildfowl and waders. These include up to 4% of the world population of Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta b. bernicla. Nearly a third of the site is in Hampshire.
Pagham Harbour although only a sixth of the area of Chichester Harbour, is deservedly one of the top birdwatching sites in England.
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)
Best Birdwatching Sites in Sussex
by Adrian Thomas & Peter Francis | Buckingham Press | 2003 | Paperback | 192 pages, 57 sites |
ISBN: 0953384063Buy this book from NHBS.com
Bird Watching in Sussex
by Rob Yarham | Snake River Press | 2009 | Hardback | 96 pages, B/w illus |
ISBN: 9781906022129Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Sussex
by Sussex Ornithological Society Edited by Adrian L R Thomas | British Trust for Ornithology | 2014 | Hardback | 608 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps, colour tables |
ISBN: 9781908581310Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birdwatching at Pulborough Brooks Through the Seasons
(A Guide to the West Sussex RSPB Nature Reserve) | by David Golds | SB Publications | 2010 | Paperback | 132 pages, colour photos throughout |
ISBN: 9781857703542Buy this book from NHBS.com
Sussex Bird Reports and other Publications 1948-2010
by Sussex Ornithological Society | 2015 | DVD-ROM |
ISBN: #227112Buy this book from NHBS.com
Where to Watch Birds in Kent, Surrey and Sussex
by Don Taylor, Jeffrey Wheatley & Paul James | Christopher Helm | 2009 | Paperback | 432 pages, 35 line illus, 54 maps |
ISBN: 9781408105856Buy this book from NHBS.com
County Bird: Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Welcome to the Henfield Birdwatch website. We are a group with an interest in birds and wildlife in general. We welcome people whatever their birding knowledge. We have group walks, talks, meet regularly for lunch and some people like to share their sightings online.
RSPB Chichester Local Group
This is the website of the Chichester 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 Crawley & Horsham Local Group
This is the website of the Crawley & Horsham 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 East Grinstead RSPB Wildlife Explorers
This is the website of the East Grinstead RSPB Wildlife Explorers. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife
Shoreham District Ornithological Society
Welcome to SDOS - for everyone interested in birds in and around Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex.
Sussex Ornithological Society
Formed in 1962 by a small group of young people, the Sussex Ornithological Society has grown to become one of the largest county bird clubs in Great Britain with a current membership of around 2000.
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.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy
Chichester Harbour Conservancy is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty comprising 11 square miles of water and 11 square miles of land with 17 miles of well marked and lighted channels which, with its easy access to the Solent, makes it an ideal water recreation centre. There are many inter-related activities such as sailing, fishing, walking and wildfowling as well as nearly 9,000 vessels over 3 metres in length, 3,200 moorings, 2,000 berths in four marinas and 14 sailing clubs…
RSPB Pulborough Brooks
Pulborough Brooks is set in the sheltered Arun Valley within the South Downs National Park. The Visitor Centre and reserve is open all year and boasts a great variety of habitats including wetlands, woodland, and heathland. Pulborough Brooks is a haven for a wide range of wildlife, and a fantastic day out for people of all ages.
SWT Nature Reserves
Across Sussex, the Trust owns a number of wonderful but tiny nature reserves that for a number of reasons are difficult to access. Some are also home to species that are particularly sensitive to disturbance.
WWT Arundel Wetland Centre
Spot water voles from the boat safari, hand feed rare geese at World Wetlands and stroll gentle pathways to quiet spots to watch Sussex wildlife. Stunning views from the café make it perfect for relaxing, and kids will love the play areas and pond dipping.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Adur Valley eForum
Forum for discussion about the Adur Valley, Sussex, England. In the lower valley the geographical area includes all of the Adur District, including Shoreham-by-Sea, Sompting, Lancing, Coombes, and also towns not covered by Adur Council including Botolphs, Upper Beeding, Bramber, Steyning, Small Dole, Shermanbury etc.
@SussexBirding This is the place to share all your news,sightings and photos of birds in and around the sussex area.
Guides & Tour Operators
Chichester Harbour Water Tours
2 hours bird watching trips. Visit this area of outstanding beauty on the Sussex coast. A boat trip with Chichester Harbour Water Tours enables you to see much of this unspoilt area from the water, from the narrow harbour mouth between Sandy Point Hayling Island and East Head to the Dell Quay, Bosham, Thorny Island and Emsworth channels. once afloat you will be able to appreciate that the indented harbour shoreline of which there is 48 miles, includes a wide variety of habitats these are sand dunes, mudflats, shingle banks and woods all valuable refuges for seabirds and other interesting wildlife…
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.
Places to Stay
Living Elements - Sidlesham, Chichester
Sussex has a World-wide reputation with keen birdwatchers as being one of the best places in the UK to see such a variety of birds of all sorts.
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.
Birding the Selsey Peninsula
Current birding news from Selsey Bill and other important Peninsula sites including Pagham Harbour and Medmerry nature reserves. Visiting birders are always welcome
Bola Akinola - The Birds of Climping Gap & Lower Arun Valley
The Climping Gap remains one of the last undeveloped sites along the coast in West Sussex. This site is dedicated to Birds seen in and around the Climping Gap area by myself and a few die hard friends, that live in the area and have been birding the local patch for decades. (Please email your sighting's to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @BirdsofClimping).
Martin Peacock - Martin's Sussex Birding
Welcome to my blog. I am a keen birder and nature photographer from Worthing in West Sussex. This is an online diary of my sightings, both the interesting and the not so interesting, hopefully supported by a few decent photographs. I am not a twitcher or competitive lister but, if the bird is still around once the crowds have gone away, I might go and have a look. Comments are always welcome.
Tricia Ryder - Tricia's Tales
A lover of wildlife and birds in particular and a keen photographer who's learning all the time! For me there's nothing better than the great outdoors and escaping into it as often as I can; even if it's only a walk very locally. I love the sea and water in any form. There's something magical about reflections in very still water.
Adur Valley Wildlife
From the turn of the century the creeping permanent development and re-development of the natural fringing beach at Shoreham has gradually covered the main shingle bank, leaving a narrow strip, squeezed between houses and sea. This flat strip of seemingly lifeless pebbles that has once more held out against a winter sea, is set to surprise and delight us, as seeds and roots of last years flowering respond to longer days, and find nourishment and moisture. In April and early May they burst upon us with a brilliant flowering border adapted to the harsh conditions…
Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust
Brent Lodge Bird & Wildlife Trust is a wildlife hospital based in West Sussex. We are a voluntary organisation that has been treating and rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife for over 40 years. We receive over 3,000 patients each year.
Garry Bagnell's Birding World
Diary, trip reports, photographs & my birding stats…
Loder Valley Reserve
Wakehurst Place Gardens and the Loder Valley Reserve occupy nearly 200 hectares (500 acres) and offer a wide range of habitats to breeding and visiting birds…
Squirrel Ban, GardenXtras, Chartwell House, Chartwell Road, Lancing Industrial Estate, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 8TY - 01903 761222 - First and foremost squirrel ban is a high-quality, highly nutritional mix of bird feed containing kibbled maize, red dari, wheat, black sunflower, small striped sunflower, white millet, chopped peanuts, red millet, naked oats and Cillimega™…
The Birds of Sussex
West Sussex Birding
Whitby's Imaging Centre
Photographic supplier and processor in Chichester West Sussex.
Photographers & Artists
Photographer - George McCarthy
George McCarthy is recognised as one of the UK's leading professional nature photographers. He is also an author, a lecturer, a tour leader and a consultant specialising in British wildlife and the countryside…
Photographer - Roger Wilmhurst
Wildlife has fascinated me from early childhood. My mother used to say I watched birds from the pram…