East Sussex

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus ©George McCarthy
Birding East Sussex

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.

This page is sponsored by Exploring the Wild with Simon Ginnaw

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

    WebsiteSatellite 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

  • Bird Watching in Sussex

    | By Rob Yarham | Snake River Press | 2009 | Hardback | 96 pages, B/w illustrations | ISBN: 9781906022129 Buy 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: 9781857703542 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Sussex Bird Reports and other Publications 1948-2010

    | Sussex Ornithological Society | DVD-ROM | 2015 | #227112 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The 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: 9781908581310 Buy 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: 9781408105856 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Museums & Universities
  • 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.
  • 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 Brighton & District Local Group

    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 Eastbourne & District Local Group

    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 Hastings & St Leonards Local Group

    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

    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 has over 30,000 members who are helping us to protect the rich natural heritage of East and West Sussex, and Brighton and Hove.

Abbreviations Key

  • Forewood

    WebsiteSatellite 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

    WebpageSatellite View
    A wide range of woodland birds breed including nightingales, spotted flycatchers and great and lesser spotted woodpeckers…
  • SWT Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

    WebsiteSatellite 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

    WebsiteSatellite View
    This site provides information about the wildlife at Weir Wood Reservoir in East Sussex – news of recent sightings, photographs, and information about the reservoir itself.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Rye Bay Wildlife

    A forum for discussing wildlife observations and news in Rye Bay, East Sussex, UK
Guides & Tour Operators
  • 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
Places to Stay

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Rye Windmill

    Rye Nature reserve, a five minute drive from The Windmill, is a great attraction for bird watchers. Species such as the Common Sandwich and Little Tern as well as the Ringed Plover and Red Shank are just some of the regular nesting birds. And why not enjoy watching other species from the comfort of one of the Windmill's bedrooms. A Kingfisher can often be seen flying up and down the River Tillingham.
Other Links
  • Bird Watching in Pett Level, East Sussex

    Below are listings for bird watching in Pett Level and the surrounding area. You can add your listing to this category here.
  • Birding Walks in RXLand

    I started watching birds 55 years ago in SE London, where I grew up. I’ve lived in East Sussex for more than thirty-five years, working as a teacher until my retirement . All through my career I took my classes out into the countryside to learn about history, farming and wildlife.
  • 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
  • East Sussex Falconry

    Head Falconer: My name is Gerard Sulter and have been a raptor enthusiast from a very young age. My passion for Raptors began when I was just ten years of age when I notified our neighbours I was building an aviary for a golden eagle!
  • Rye Harbour Wildlife Sightings

    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
  • Beachy Birder

    Looking for birds on Beachy Head, East Sussex.
  • Cecropis - The Pevensey Leveller

    Birds, Moths, Natural History in and around Hailsham and the Pevensey Levels - Dedicated to the harsh drudgery of trawling the levels in search of white herons - and whatever else turns up in the Hailsham area and further afield...
  • Charlie Peverett - Cuckmere Ouse Bird Blog

    This blog is no longer updated. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Cuckmere Ouse Bird Blog, especially Les Bird, whose cracking photos (such as this Arlington Red-rumped Swallow below) you can still browse in the archive
  • Charlie Peverett - Firle Birds

    Last updated 2016 - This blog is devoted to the birds of Firle, a small village on the slopes of the Sussex Downs…
  • JFC - Beachy Head Birding

  • JFC's Birding

  • Matt Eade - Matt Eade's Blog

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

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Skip to content