Take part in national Look Up At The Sky day over the South Downs

The national Look Up At The Sky day takes place on Sunday (April 14) and is a chance to stop for a moment and take in the natural beauty around us.

The South Downs National Park is a haven for birds so ranger Tim Squire has shared his top five birds to look out for:

Buzzards have spread west across the National Park in the last decade. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Buzzards have spread west across the National Park in the last decade. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Wheatear – one of the early spring migrants. These handsome birds can be spotted passing through the National Park on their migration. Look for them on the cliff tops and on the tops of the Downs perching on fence posts. Look for the distinctive white rump visible when they flit away.

Swallow – The saying goes that “one swallow doesn’t make a summer” but it is always nice to see the first one of the year to know that the warmer days are coming. The long-forked streamers on their tails distinguish them from House Martins and Sand Martins which have a shorter forked tail.

Skylark – the loudest songster of the Downs, their flight song can be heard as they fly up to 1000ft in the air when the bird itself looks like a tiny speck.

Buzzard – these birds have spread west across the National Park in the last decade or so and are now a common site floating majestically on their broad wings, making the use of the thermals on a warm spring day.

Wheatears are one of the early spring migrants. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Wheatears are one of the early spring migrants. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Chiffchaff – a tiny summer warbler which doesn’t really warble but makes a repetitive song “chiff, chaff, chaff, chiff”. Small and green and active in the tree tops with a noticeable dipping of its tail as it feeds on tiny insects in the twigs.

Wherever you go in the South Downs this week, enjoy seeing the world from a different perspective.

READ MORE: Most commonly seen bird in Sussex was once thought of as an omen of death

Swallows have long-forked streamers on their tails which distinguish them from other birds. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Swallows have long-forked streamers on their tails which distinguish them from other birds. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Skylark is the loudest songster of the Downs. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Skylark is the loudest songster of the Downs. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Chiffchaff are small and green and active in the tree tops. Pic credit: Tim Squire

Chiffchaff are small and green and active in the tree tops. Pic credit: Tim Squire