Although I have lived in Henfield for 20 odd years, I only joined the Birdwatch in 2015 after I met Mike on the SWT Introduction to Birds and Birdwatching course.  I still feel very much a beginner compared to my fellow committee members!  My role is that of Minutes Secretary however my primary activity is to create and run the website.

I enjoy all bird watching although my particular love is for ‘garden birds’ – I’m lucky enough to have 17 species regularly visiting my garden.

Paul Cole

I have had an interest in birds and wildlife since I was a young child and love nothing more than being out in the great outdoors. My family and I moved to Henfield in the summer of 2017 and I was delighted to discover that there was a thriving birdwatching club in the village.

I have a passion for local birding and find it fascinating to build up a picture of what can be seen on your doorstep. It never fails to amaze me what you can find within just a mile of your own home. I feel lucky to live somewhere where we are surrounded by such a wealth of wildlife, and I can hopefully do my part to spread this enthusiasm to the residents of Henfield.

Lesley Milward

I’ve always been curious about birds and wildlife. I still have my Young Ornithologists badge from when I was 10, the ladybird books I frequently thumbed through as a child, and many vivid memories of spending the long summer holidays down on my grandad’s farm in North Devon. My connection with the outdoors has remained strong and I’m well aware of the therapeutic power that nature can have on our health and wellbeing. I love the idea of citizen science and try to take part in as many surveys as I can for the BTO, SOS, and RSPB. I’m also a member of the Perching Manor Survey team. We really do live in a very special village and I feel passionate about protecting the habitats and birds that also like to call our parish their home.

My main impression of the first month of the survey in our garden in Lower Station Road is how consistent the species and numbers have been, there has been very little variation. There has been a good variety of species, 30 in total, with perhaps a brief visit by 12 lesser redpolls being the most unusual. I’m presuming the male and female great spotted woodpeckers are the same birds as are the 2 jackdaws. Blue tit numbers range have ranged between 8 to 14 while long-tailed tits have been 4-6. I’ve no idea if the single coal tit that has visited every week is the same bird, the same can apply to the one goldfinch.

4 blackbirds have co-existed without too much friction, unlike the couple of robins that have occasionally been joined by a third. There have been just a couple of starlings every week while house sparrows have reached the dizzy heights of 14. Talking to Brian and Karen Lang up the road, just about 100 metres away, it is interesting to compare species and they never record house sparrows or starlings. They have got up to half dozen reed buntings whereas we have just recorded 2.

Weather can have an impact on what birds visit the garden and this winter we haven’t had any long spells of very cold weather, just the odd days here and there which have been interspersed with warmer days which means that birds haven’t had to range far and wide for food. The bird food which you put out in your gardens plus, because of the relatively warm winter, means there is still quite a lot of natural food available to them.

Whatever, comes to the garden though is always interesting, how they behave, pecking order at the feeders, and how different species relate to each other is good to watch. Looking forward to the next 11 months!

Mike Russell & Lesley Milward