Rare Arctic bird spotted in Tide Mills

NEWHAVEN: Tide Mills. 20-12-11
NEWHAVEN: Tide Mills. 20-12-11

A rare bird which is more common in the Arctic has been spotted at Tide Mills in Newhaven.

Snow buntings have striking snowy plumages, but in autumn and winter the birds develop a sandy wash to their plumage and males have more mottled upper parts.

Globally they breed around the Arctic from Scandinavia to Alaska, Canada and Greenland and migrate south in winter.

They are a scarce breeding species in the UK, making them Amber Listed as a species of conservation concern.

Snow buntings are more widespread in winter in the north of the UK and east along coastal sites in Scotland and eastern England, as far south as Kent.

They are most commonly seen in winter, arriving from late September and leaving in February and March.

Friends of Tide Mills chairman Jim Skinner said: “One of our birding experts reported the sighting of a snow bunting, a winter visitor, which is very unusual we believe - it’s nice to think this little bird is feeling at home down at this special place. Long may it stay around.”

The Friends of Tide Mills collected a total of 23 sacks of rubbish from the beauty spot during its last monthly meeting on November 18, as well as a few heavy and bulky items.

Jim added: “As always we want to thank all visitors for their help in trying to keep Tide Mills as it is by taking home, not just their litter, but additional items as well - we sincerely thank you all.”

The next meeting is on Sunday December 16.

Volunteers meet for around two hours from 10am. This meeting will conclude with the annual Christmas picnic.

New members welcome. Email brian.skinner2@btinternet.com or visit or at www.tidemills.webs.com/