The ruins of a tidal mill and scrubby coastal shingle make this a good local migrant trap with a decent run of past rarities


From the A259 between Seaford and Newhaven, there is a car park handily positioned right by the side of the road. You can follow a small road 200 yards further up, towards the railway line, as there is a smaller car park closer to Tide Mills. If you're travelling on foot, you can either follow the cycle paths from Newhaven and Seaford, or walk along the beach from Seaford.


the Mill Creek is a tidal inlet (part of the old course of the River Ouse, and more recently a flour mill until the early 20th century), which attracts waders. Redshank is invariably present throughout the winter months, with Dunlin, Curlew and Lapwing often joining them. More unusual species like Black-tailed Godwit and Knot are sometimes seen. Avocet is a scarce visitor, mostly seen in spring or autumn. Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit are frequently seen in spring. The area has never produced many rare waders, though a Grey Phalarope was seen in September 2008. a Barn Owl hunts the grassy fields to the south of the Mill Creek.

The wasteland and scrubby shingle is particularly good for migrant Wheatears and Whinchats, and Warblers are often present. It looks very suitable for Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike! Rarities have included Barred Warbler and Short-toed Lark. Whitethroat and Stonechat breed, and the area has the potential for migrant birds of prey, such as MerlinHobby and Short-eared owl

Purple Sandpipers sometimes gather along the smaller East Pier, but are more often on the inaccessible Western Breakwater, where they can sometimes be picked out with a telescope. Typically 9-11 appear every winter. 

The ploughed fields on the opposite side of the railway line attract wintering flocks of Lapwing and Curlew, and often hold Dunlin. small groups Brent Geese are sometimes seen, and it is worthwhile checking the gull flocks that often congregate here for CaspianYellow-legged and Mediterranean Gulls. Iceland and Glaucous Gulls have both been seen in recent winters, but are typically seen on the sandy beach on the other side of the river mouth, which can be viewed from the East Pier at Low Tide.