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The Great Solent Birdwatch – take part this half-term

18 October 2021

Bird Aware Solent is inviting local residents to take part in this year’s Great Solent Birdwatch which starts on Saturday 23 October and runs through to Sunday 31 October.

This annual event marks the arrival of migratory birds which spend the winter on the Solent and provides valuable data about different bird species in the area. In previous years, more than 70 different species have been counted with brent geese topping the chart for numbers.

To take part in this year’s birdwatch, participants should spend one hour counting the number of birds seen from any spot on the Solent coast: from Lymington in the West, to West Wittering in the East, and the northern side of the Isle of Wight. They can then share their results on the Bird Aware Solent website.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, the body that oversees Bird Aware, said: ‘The Great Solent Birdwatch helps raise awareness of the important birds which make our area their home in the winter and it’s a great way get children involved in local wildlife projects at half-term.’

Those taking part in the annual Great Solent Birdwatch range from wildlife experts to absolute beginners who are inspired to try birdwatching for the very first time.

Bird Aware Solent are asking people to report their birdwatching findings through its website at www.birdaware.org where full details about the citizen science project can be found. The organisation also encourages participants to take care to share our shores with wildlife and not to disturb the birds during the birdwatching process.

This year’s Great Solent Birdwatch includes a competition where children and adults can submit their best photos of the birds and their surroundings. The winners in each category will receive a £40 voucher as a prize.

Oystercatchers on the beach