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West Sussex Winter Wonders

During the month of November, a spell of cold weather enticed a nice selection of unusual winter visitors to our area. The blast from Storm Arwen and very cold weather in Scandinavia has really brought us some birds which have shown well enough to keep birders and photographers alike happy, something that has been much welcomed after a unusually quiet autumn.

I managed to get out and visit some of these birds and detail my encounters below. Winter in Sussex is one of my favourite seasons for birdwatching.

Snow Bunting - Worthing

News filtered through of a Snow Bunting on 'our' local beach here in Worthing, this gem of a bird stayed for just under a week and delighted many with its character and tameness. We are fortunate to host Snow Buntings fairly regularly in these parts and they always prove popular. There has been a good number of birds scattered around the South East so far this winter so it was no surprise one decided to visit us!

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Long-tailed Duck - Southwick Canal

Around the time the Snow Bunting was found, so was this Long-tailed Duck, which showed really well and allowed close approach. This winter duck is normally seen offshore but we do occasionally get birds inland on open stretches of water, I recall seeing this species on Hove and Widewater lagoons previously in the local area. The bird is still present as I write this in December so will hopefully overwinter.

Long-tailed Duck

Goosander - Widewater Lagoon

There has been a few Goosanders around locally so far this winter and this bird turned up on Widewater for a couple of days. The River Adur nearby is usually a good place to catch up with this species, but when they turn up on the lagoon you can get some fantastic views as they feed.


East Sussex was not to be outdone with Red-throated and Black-throated and Great Northern Diver all showing well at Sovereign Harbour, where close views of Guillemots and Razorbills were also on offer. There really have been some great birds on offer in Sussex so far this winter.

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