It has been a strange year; a cold spring, an unusually hot and dry summer, followed by a mild and dry autumn. Catkins have appeared a whole season early and butterflies were still being seen on the wing at the end of November. Temperatures have finally started to come down and birds and animals are now on the hunt for extra sustenance to keep them warm.
Many birds are on the move driven away by freezing weather in Northern and Eastern Europe. Last year there was a particularly large invasion of hawfinch, a bird that is usually only seen occasionally, so we’ll have to see what this winter brings. Already, redwing and fieldfare can still be seen in flocks roving around the countryside. Why not leave some old apples out, to see what you can attract. Being situated by the coast, means we never know what might turn up. Putting out bird seed can also be a great way to encourage wildlife into your garden, or try leaving out some pet food and a dish of water ready for any local hedgehogs still feeding up before hibernation.
What to spot this month includes
- Mistle thrush
- Holly bursting with berries
- Teasel seed heads
- Jelly ear fungus
- Common seals
- Flocks of long tailed, blue and great tits
Tell us what you've seen
There are many more species to be spotted this month. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to fill in our species recording form, so we can submit your sightings to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre.
Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserve to visit this month
Filsham Reedbed is a wonderful reserve that offers visitors the chance to experience life in one of the largest reedbeds in Sussex. There is a lot to see here at any time of year, but in winter the bird watching is particularly good. Starlings, pied wagtails and linnets all roost here, whilst wildfowl and waders such as shoveler, gadwall, redshank and snipe all feed in the shallows. Use the raised boardwalk to enter the heart of the reserve and you may even be lucky enough to hear the elusive call of a bittern or a Cettis warbler coming from the depths of the reedbed or see a marsh harrier flying overhead.
Sussex Wildlife Trust Courses
Take part in a festive beach clean or perhaps a winter wander. Find out what events and courses Sussex Wildlife Trust are running this December.