Brighton & Hove Golf Club

Birds On and Around the Golf Course

By Birding Ninja

(aka Club Member Alex Rosenfeld)

June 2024

There is a wide variety of bird life on and around the golf course which itself falls within a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The mosaic of grassland and farmland surrounding it makes it awesome with so many cool and interesting species present.

All of the birds have been singing relentlessly across the course and this shows there are territories in these areas. 

Some of the highlights and most threatened and fastest declining birds are listed below.

By the 1st/ 10th tee is at least one singing Corn Bunting: 

I have heard a couple of Yellowhammers calling and singing: 

The Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer are farmland birds which rely heavily on cereal crops for food in the winter and then switch to insects in summer. 

Down the left-hand hedgerow of the 2nd fairway are numerous Common Whitethroats:

and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats: 

Both Whitethroat species rely on dense scrub for habitat and feed on insects. These species are migratory and go to sub-Saharan Africa in the winter.

Flying over the fairways are at least three Skylarks which is pretty good. There are numerous Skylarks in the surrounding fields and these can be both seen and heard:

The Skylark is another farmland bird and has been heavily affected by cropping regimes as the timing of crop cutting often coincides with when they are nesting resulting in failed nests. 

I heard a Tawny Owl calling from the small copse of trees by the 9th tee. This would be the best spot on the course for a pair nesting and I wouldn't be surprised if they were doing so: 

Tawny owls are relatively common but the conversion of grasslands to arable fields leads to a loss of foraging areas as they eat voles, mice and other small mammals.

There are Chiffchaffs singing away:

Chiffchaffs are a migratory species which winter in southern Europe and North Africa though some hardy souls winter here. 

All of the common species such as Blue Tit and Great Tit are also going strong. 

There is also a pair of Kestrels in the valley. I'm not sure where they nest but have seen one carrying food which shows there are young nearby:

The last one I will mention is the Swift which migrates to sub-Saharan Africa (and only ever lands to nest!!) Around 5000 were seen off the shore the other week!! 

Course manager Jason Sarna adds that they also see and/or hear the Barn Owl, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker and Red Kite among other species.

That's most of the cool stuff!!


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Brighton & Hove Golf Club
Devils Dyke Road

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Tel: 01273 556482
Pro Shop: 01273 556482

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