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White-crowned Sparrow in Sussex

On Saturday, Sussex's first White-crowned Sparrow was discovered on Seaford Head in the South Downs National Park.

White-crowned Sparrow at Seaford Head in Sussex

The bird proved very elusive over the first few days but by Wednesday afternoon it had been tempted to a seeded area and was performing well for the crowds.

This follows the amazing record of a White-throated Sparrow at Barcombe Cross in 2021.

White-crowned Sparrow at Seaford Head in Sussex

The pale lores and bright orange bill makes the Seaford bird makes the White-crowned Sparrow an individual of the form gambelii. This subspecies breeds from Alaska to Hudson Bay and spends the winter as far south as central Mexico.

American sparrows are often dismissed as unlikely to make the Atlantic crossing under their own steam, but migrating birds in America have been tracked covering 300 miles in one night. Whether the bird arrived this spring or ended up out of range last autumn is anyone's guess.


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