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Star species

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.


Watch out for breeding-plumaged dunlins with black bellies during spring. Later in the year, the birds will look more scruffy as they moult their feathers, and you'll see young birds making their way south from the Arctic breeding grounds where they hatched.

Dunlin - breeding plumage (illustration)


Watch out for flocks of lapwings on the muddy banks of the river during autumn. If they take to the air, you'll hear their squealing calls and see their strikingly black-and-white wings.



You can see oystercatchers at the Adur Estuary at any time of year. They feed by probing their long, orange bills into the soft mud to find invertebrate food beneath the surface, or, as their name suggests, hammer open shellfish.



Redshanks can also be seen during any season - they are one of the most numerous wading birds here. You'll notice their bright orangey-red legs and bill and hear their piping alarm calls.

Redshank - non-breeding plumage

Ringed plover

Ringed plovers have a short, orange bill with a black tip, and adult birds have a smart black breast-band. They also feed on invertebrates, but they find theirs on the surface of the mud.

Ringed plover - breeding plumage

Contact us

  • Tel: 01273 775333

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 50.828782,-0.285419
  • Grid reference: TQ215049
  • Nearest town: Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
  • County: West Sussex
  • Country: England

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