1999-2024 Celebrating 25 years of Birding

25th Anniversary Logo

This is a significant year for Henfield Birdwatch as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. We are looking forward to an exciting year of activities – all of which are free for members!

There are walks and talks going on all year. Keep an eye on the Events for Members section, join the Facebook Group and look out for the Newsletters for more information.


Henfield is a great place for birds and people!

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.

We aim to ensure that Henfield remains a great place for birds and some of our members like to become more involved by

  • regularly surveying and monitoring the local bird population and species
  • helping Henfield residents to be aware of our local birds and how to help them flourish

If this sounds interesting and you would like to join us you would be warmly welcomed.

Latest Sightings

Nightingale on the Downslink

I heard and then saw a Nightingale this morning low in the bushes by the side of the downslink three hundred yards or so south of Betley Bridge. Very loud and practising all the riffs!
Tony Fitzgerald, 11th April 2024

  11th April 2024
Latest Sightings

Black-necked Grebes

Thanks to an earlier report from Dave Buckingham, Mike and I are standing at the wooden gate on the Downslink (past the first viewing bench) overlooking the Levels and Rye Farm, watching a pair of Black-necked Grebes in summer plumage. According to Paul, this is a first record for Henfield. They're slowly drifting
Latest Sightings

Black-necked Grebes

Two Black-necked Grebes on the Levels, last noted at TQ204147.

David Buckingham, 11th April 2024 11th April 2024
Latest Sightings

Willow Warbler

A Willow Warbler at Swains Farm Shop! Not shopping and definitely not stopping!

Will Green, 10th April 2024 10th April 2024
Latest Sightings


We heard our first Cuckoo of the year here in Furners Lane yesterday afternoon, in the fields behind Field House

Alan and Ann Burnage, 10th April 2024 10th April 2024
Latest Sightings


While letting Ziggy out for his pre-bed pee and to put food out for the old vixen I was delighted to hear a Nightingale singing loud and clear here at Oreham Common.

John Pointing, 10th April 2024 10th April 2024
Latest Sightings

Another migrant arrival

Hardly any wildfowl around now, though didn’t go as far south as the heronry this morning. Could only find Coots, Mallards, 9 Tufted Ducks about 20 Shoveler, a lone Gadwall, a handful of Canada & Greylag Geese, one Egyptian Goose, a few Lapwings and 50 or so Herring Gulls. There were a pair of Teal asleep
Latest Sightings

Woods Mill and Mill Stream

Woods Mill, 08:30-10:15. On the reserve a Reed Warbler was singing alongside a Cetti’s Warbler. No sound here of the Nightingale reported three days ago, nor the Cuckoo reported this morning. However, over the road, along the Mill Stream three Nightingales were in full, bubbling song and a Cuckoo too, over
Latest Sightings


Towards the end of Ziggy's walk we sat beside the lakes. At last the Canada Geese have made a nest and the goose was sitting while her mate was is close attendance. I've been nagging them for weeks to get a move on! Last year for the first time in over 30 years the Canadas didn't nest. So I was very pleased to sit and watch
Latest Sightings

And a Great Crested Grebe

Forgot to mention the solitary Great Crested Grebe on the water seen earlier. Didn't see a partner.

Tony Fitzgerald, 7th April 2024 9th April 2024
Latest Sightings


Walked over a windy Rye Farm this morning. I was just enjoying the acrobatics being performed by the crows when in came four Swallows - the first I've seen this spring - soaring and skimming over the water. Beautiful in the binos, then from stage right a Kestrel hovering and high above a Buzzard. Nice morning!

Tony Fitzgerald,
Latest Sightings

Singing Nightingale

Really good to hear a Nightingale singing it's head off in the hedge along the Mill Stream this morning. What was quite odd was a Reed Warbler singing quietly in a thin stretch of Reeds along the floodline at Rye Farm. Apparently there was a big influx of Reed Warblers into the country overnight. Six White-fronted
Latest Sightings

Our first spring chick

We've had a very tame Blackbird over the last few weeks or so. He's rather partial to raisins and is there first thing in the morning demanding his treats. He's also been brilliant at finding worms on the lawn and flying off with them and this afternoon, a very speckled chubby fledgeling appeared in the garden.
Latest Sightings

Tuesday potter

With weekend visitors having departed and a pleasant sunny morning, there was time for a wander down the railway line and back through the fields.
Most of the wildfowl seems to have departed, but there were still about 50 Shoveler, roughly the same number of Teal, a handful of Wigeon and a pair of Tufted Ducks. Difficult
Latest Sightings

Saturday walk

We walked through Broadmere Common, or rather battled our way through the mud where we saw a Nuthatch on the ground and heard a Goldfinch (thanks to Merlin), then we walked through the fields beside that farmhouse whose name I can never remember and along the river where we saw a Kestrel on the pylon wires,  a Lapwing
Latest Sightings

Finch feast

Looking out at the feeders first thing this morning, a blaze of colour greeted me to brighten up the grey start to the day. A Nuthatch was busily hacking away at the suet bar while three species of finch were feasting on the sunflower seeds, Goldfinches and Greenfinches, the males looking resplendent in their full breeding
Latest Sightings


For the second morning I heard the familiar calls of the above, only a quarter of a mile from where I saw some last winter. However they seem to be spring visitors, so I'm holding my breath for them to stay with definite sightings on the long field between my house and Bilsborough. My fear is that soon  the return of farm
Latest Sightings

Nest prospecting

Unexpected visit of a pair of Pied Wagtails to our just-lopped front garden cordyline. We saw them from our bedroom window, so they were only a few feet away and a little below us. They were attracted by a freshly cut dead branch, whose inner root looked like a possible nest cup. The lining of the trunk and branches
Latest Sightings

Spring in the Garden

Yesterday we spent a lovely few hours in the sunshine.

Two Robins and a Blackbird gobbled up the meal worms and another male Blackbird pulled worms from the grass, added a few meal worms and flew off to its nest and back for more. A Blue Tit continued pecking in the Tit box, poking its head out occasionally
Latest Sightings

Recent sightings

Singing Greenfinch along Staples Barn and a Chiffchaff by the Railway pub car park gave some hope that spring might arrive soon; there was also a Red-legged Partridge sprinting across Furners Lane north of Park Farm.

Paul Cole, 26th March 2024 28th March 2024
Latest Sightings

Early morning start

I had a very early start this morning as my body clock is clearly getting ready for the clocks going forward at the weekend. So I decided to go down the Millstream. Of course what used to be a nice little path at the side of the stream is now turned into a wide swathe, but the mud has pretty well gone,
Latest Sightings

Great White Egret

Far fewer wildfowl around this morning, but Dave Buckingham was in his customary spot overlooking the Brooks!  Also caught up with the Great White Egret which I’d missed previously. It was doing its best to look inconspicuous among some Little Egrets, but not succeeding!
Val Bentley, 25th March 2024 28th March
Latest Sightings

More Swallows... and Cattle Egrets

I saw Dave B scanning the Brooks this morning.  He reported two Swallows heading north – no chance of me seeing them!  However I did see three Shelducks and he pointed out that two of the 14 or so white blobs were Cattle Egrets.  Also directed me to a Peregrine in a distant field, though again, I
Latest Sightings

The 1st Swallow

While walking Ziggy this morning on the land adjoining Woods Mill my first Swallow of the year flew over, poor thing it didn't choose a very good day to arrive back as we seem to have returned to Winter.  A fine looking Chiffchaff serenaded me from just above my head as it flitted from branch to branch.

John Pointing,
Latest Sightings

Singing Blackcap

Today I heard it singing in our hedge, looked out of the window and there it was, proudly proclaiming itself. Lovely!

Debbie Colgate, 22nd March 2024 28th March 2024
Latest Sightings

Snipe on the Common!

Had a message from Libby Morris on the sightings email address to say that she and Graham Lyons had been searching for invertebrates on the Common and had put up nine Snipe from the reedbed, plus had a yellowhammer fly over and a Skylark singing.

And at the SDOS meeting on Thursday Sally H told me there had
Latest Sightings

Spoonbill on the Levels

A Spoonbill was present on Rye Farm Levels this morning.

Angela Thyer, 21st March 2024

  21st March 2024
Latest Sightings

Snipe on the Common!

I ad a message from Libby Morris on the sightings email address to say that she and Graham Lyons had been searching for invertebrates on the Common and had put up nine Snipe from the reedbed, plus had a Yellowhammer fly over and a Skylark singing.

Val Bentley, 19th March 2024 19th March 2024
Latest Sightings


I was down the Downslink this morning  and saw Little Egrets but there was also a Great White Egret which was at the back of the field that adjoins the heronry. Also a couple of Grey Herons on nests. A pair of Lapwings were territorial displaying near the Downslink in the field next to the Mill Stream, while there were also
Latest Sightings


A pair of Ravens honking at each other over Bishops Park this morning.

Les Cheeseman, 14th March 2024 15th March 2024
Latest Sightings


At last they've arrived. Two males were singing down the path earlier and another was in the garden this afternoon. First Brimstone as well!

Will Green, 14th March 2024 15th March 2024
Latest Sightings

Today's walk

Angela and I were able to welcome new member Rikki on the walk this morning – a very dull morning, which made it tricky to see any colour at all on the birds high up in the trees, and the wildfowl were a bit monochrome too!

All the usual stuff along the first part of the walk, plenty of Robins & Wrens, and a couple