Find out what happens during a typical day for Bird Aware Solent’s lead ranger, Ranger Karima.
Our busy winter season comes to a close at the end of March as the vast majority of our winter migratory birds have headed off on their journey north to the arctic.
As a result, our full schedule of patrols on the Solent coast comes to an end and I say farewell to our winter seasonal rangers who have been a massive credit to the team for our busiest months of the year.
One of my first jobs in the spring is to take down posters around the Solent coast that highlight the important feeding and resting areas used by the birds during the winter.
A series of long spring walks around Chichester Harbour is an absolute delight and I am rewarded with views of flocks of black-tailed godwits with their stunning red brown breasts, who seem to be departing a little later this year.
All the posters will be cleaned and updated ready to go up afresh in the autumn when the winter birds return.
Black-tailed godwit return to Iceland after spending the winter on the Solent
Whilst out and about it’s a good opportunity to meet up and collaborate with other local groups too.
I have an on-site meeting with the Slipper Mill Pond Preservation Association in Emsworth who are keen to show me the wildlife on the pond and ask for advice on how they can reduce disturbance to the birds from the many visitors who enjoy walks along the pond.
Slipper Mill Pond
A few days later I’m back out meeting the Secrets of the Solent team, a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust project, at Farlington Marshes to swap notes and I’m now looking forward to collaborating with them further.
A kestrel hovers over Farlington Marshes
Away from the coast and back at my desk I have to report on the successes and challenges of the winter season and, before you know it, start planning for the next winter. The recruitment for our winter seasonal rangers begins as early as June!
I still get a regular dose of public engagement as I attend a series of events during the summer, including meeting lots of people at the St Albans Primary School Nature Roadshow in Havant.
My monthly series of online talks also keeps me busy as I prepare each month to look at different birds with you, if you haven’t joined me for one yet, take a look at our events page and sign up for my next talk. It will be great to see you there and share some of the joy of the birds of the Solent with you.