Winter Solstice

22 December 2015 | Posted in Nature Reserves , Wildlife
Winter Solstice
winter sunrise

At 4:49am today (22nd December) we turned into another six months of lengthening days. It’s all too easy to wish the Winter away and look forward to Spring, especially as today seems so grey and wet and windy. But STOP. Enjoy these very short days. There is still so much wildlife to see. All you need is to wrap up against the rain and the wind and get out to experience some Sussex wildlife.

  • In some towns there will be large roosts of starlings or pied wagtails.
  • On grassland and in woods there are still so many different fungi to find.
  • Walk along the shore and see what the storms have washed up.
  • Wetlands and lakes should have many ducks that are now in their finest colours, try and get close views of the plumage.
  • At Rye Harbour watch the daytime roosts of thousands of golden plover and lapwing as they get chased by peregrines. Or from 3pm watch the curlew fly in to roost from their daytime feeding on nearby grassland.
  • At Pett Level watch from your car and in among the coots feeding on the grass there may still be the glossy ibis and at high tide the turnstones will be with them.
  • If you feed the birds near your window you can watch their antics while you keep warm and enjoy a hot drink.

Although daylight starts getting longer from today we have yet to feel the cold of Winter. January and February are the coldest months. Cold weather will bring great change for our wildlife and I think it’s observing these changes that made us all interested in wildlife. How does each species survive our changing weather, find food and avoid predators and disease. It’s an amazing web of wildlife out there and some species are doing well and some are not.

Sussex Wildlife Trust is helping some of these declining species within our nature reserves, but we also advise and encourage better land management across whole Living Landscapes. But we couldn’t do it without our supporters, so thank you all and have a wildlife filled mid-winter celebration.

Wigeon at a snowy Rye Harbour