We have recorded 52 priority bird species in Sussex, from a range of habitats including reedbeds, farmland and heathland.


Photo: Dave Kilbey/Sussex Wildlife Trust

Biodiversity Action Plan bird species recorded in Sussex

This includes…

Song Thrush Decreasing resident and partial migrant; common passage migrant and winter visitor. A species which is declining throughout the UK with an estimated reduction of 73% in farmland and 49% in woodland habitats. Still widespread in Sussex. It has a spotted breast and a repetitive song and feeds on worms, snails and fruits.

Skylark In Sussex a fairly common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. This lark has a brown back and white front and a small crest. Can be found in open countryside such as lowland farmland where it feeds on seeds and insects, and is recognised by its distinctive song flight which can last for many hours. A species of high conservation concern.

Spotted Flycatcher A scarce summer visitor and fairly common passage migrant which prefers open woodland with ample clearings and prominent perches, but can adapt well to gardens and parks which provide similar feeding opportunities. It feeds on insects, which it catches by flying from a perch. This species has suffered recent dramatic population declines.

Tree Sparrow A bird that has had large fluctuations in population in the past, but which has been in decline in the British Isles for some time. In Sussex it is a scarce resident, passage migrant and winter visitor more abundant in East Sussex than in the West. It is mainly a bird of open farmland with hedgerows and free-standing trees where it feeds on insects and seeds.

Text: Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre

More information about birds

British Trust for Ornithology
Sussex Ornithological Society
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds