About us

Dave Pankhurst and Ralph Hobbs created this website in September 2011 for use by the residents of Westfield to log their wildlife sightings.  By sheer coincidence we both moved into Westfield in 1979, and for the last 32 years have both kept a record of all the bird species seen in or heard flying over our gardens.  Some of these may surprise you (as much as they surprised us), and will be the subject of a new post or two when topical news is sparse.  To give a flavour – Osprey, Peregrine, Hobby, Ravens, Mediterranean Gulls, Bee-eater, and Waxwings have all been positively identified by one or both of us in Westfield!  For a full list of all birds seen in our gardens (and elsewhere in Westfield) click on the tab above the Westfield Wildlife banner.
Our backgrounds
Dave helped create an important local private nature reserve in the 1980s that later became a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and worked for many years on the reserve and farm.  Dave has been interested in birds since his school days, and until a few years ago was also a fully qualified and experienced bird ringer.  Dave helped organise and run a major bird ringing expedition to Senegal in the 1990s to track our migrant birds on their travels to and from West Africa. He was also a founder member of the Rye Bay Ringing Group, and the Wetland Trust of which he was a Trustee, also member of council for the Hastings and East Sussex Natural History Society ,
Ralph has been a professional land management and conservation adviser / ecologist for over 30 years, visiting reserves, farms, and landowners all over Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.  Ralph has had a life-long interest in all wildlife including birds, mammals, insects, and plants, and their habitats, which has taken him to many parts of Europe, Africa, India, Australia, Canada, and the US in pursuit of exciting observations and photo opportunities.  He is a Trustee for three local land-owning conservation Trusts, and also a Council member, Conservation Committee member, and Trustee of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society (AES). 

Convolvulus Hawkmoth at Tobacco plants Westfield RH 4 Sep 2009

It is hoped that ‘Westfield Wildlife’ will be used by anyone living in and around Westfield – whatever their level of interest or knowledge – to report their mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, insect, flower, or any other sightings.  We look forward to hearing about anything usual or unusual found in your garden, or seen on your travels in and around the village.  Go to the ‘Your Sightings’ tab (at top of screen) for our contact details and how to send in your comments and photos.

Blue Star Creeper ‘Pratia pedunculata’ on a Westfield lawn RH 17 Aug 2011

We will also be pleased to help with species identification and information, and look forward to some tricky challenges!  All observations within Westfield Parish boundary are welcome, but please, please provide a date and location as accurately as possible.  A map showing the Parish boundary is viewable here http://www.westfieldvillage.co.uk/maps

Photos are particularly welcome, and especially from children (with help from mum or dad). 
Happy wildlife watching,
Ralph and Dave
updated Dec 2014
Leave a comment


  1. Dear Dave & Ralph (and everyone else),
    Would just like to say I was very happy to find “Westfield Wildlife” this afternoon (although I should have been marking!), having spent my youth in the village walking the fields and woods looking for badgers, hares, birds etc. I am now a lecturer in ecology and mammalogy at Reading University, but as my family still lives in Westfield, and I run a field course based at Mallydams RSPCA centre, I do still get to visit every now and then. Although it is a little depressing as to how much has disappeared in the last 20 years: my dad used to work at Wheel Farm, and it’s sad to see that the flocks of starlings & sparrows, and the hares in the surrounding fields, aren’t there any more. Keep up the good work.
    Phil Baker

  2. Thank you Phil for your kind words. Good to know Westfield has spawned yet another wildlife enthusiast! Yes it’s sad about the apparent decline of hares, though there seems to be less arable around now than there used to be, which might be part of the reason (same for sparrows perhaps). I’m glad to say that sparrows and starlings are still quite common inside the village, in fact I think the House Sparrow has actually increased in Greenacres over the last two or three years!
    Ralph and Dave

  3. Many Thanks for the follow at naturestimeline, much appreciated.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell


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    WESTFIELD WILDLIFE has been created for Westfield residents and visitors to submit news and photos of any wildlife observed in the Parish. We also aim to post our own sightings and topical wildlife news as often as time allows.

    WESTFIELD PARISH lies just to the north of the coastal town of HASTINGS in E. Sussex (south east UK), and a MAP of the area covered by the Parish is here http://www.westfieldvillage.co.uk/maps

    To REPORT A SIGHTING, with or without photo, click on the tab 'Post your sighting' just below the Westfield Wildlife banner to see how.

    To COMMENT on an existing posting, or to read others' comments, just click on 'LEAVE A COMMENT' or 'COMMENT(S)' below that post. Clicking on a post title will also reveal the comments box below the text, as well as any existing comments.

    To return to the latest postings at any time, just click on the Westfield Wildlife banner at the top of the page. And remember - nearly all PHOTOS can be clicked on to enlarge.

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