We’re delighted to welcome three new rangers who have joined the Bird Aware Solent team ahead of a busy winter season. Ranger Miranda (left), Ranger Louise (middle) and Ranger Gail (right) have boosted our team’s numbers to increase awareness of birds which spend the winter in the unique setting of the Solent.
Keep a look out for them when you’re out on the coast. Here’s what they had to say about joining the team…
“This is my second winter season with Bird Aware Solent. Last year we were limited with what we could do because of the pandemic, so this season I’m hoping to do many more site visits and talk to more people as well as getting involved with events and talks. Over the summer I’ve been working with Natural England in their nature reserves, doing similar kind of work that I’ll be doing with Bird Aware: getting out on site and talking to people about the birds and why it’s so important to minimise disturbance. I’ve always been into animals since I was a child, I did Zoology at university and did lots of volunteering after that as well as working for animal conservation groups and councils.”
“Before joining Bird Aware Solent, I worked in wildlife rescue centres both here in the UK and abroad. I worked with rescued elephants in Zambia and from there I went on the work with bears rescued from the bear bile trade in Vietnam, and then in Indonesia where I worked with a mix of species that had been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade: everything from reptiles to primates, parrots and other birds. I’ve always been interested in wildlife and when I was working in animal rehabilitation, it always helped to know about the natural history of those animals – through that I got particularly interested in birds. In my new role at Bird Aware Solent, I’m really looking forward to visiting the special sites along the coast and talking to people about the birds and the wildlife.”
“Before joining Bird Aware Solent, I’d worked with HMRC for more than 20 years, but I’ve been volunteering with the RSPB at Pagham Harbour in West Sussex for about three years and I’ve been thinking about making a move to working with a wildlife organisation for some time. I’ve always lived by the coast and been particularly keen on sea birds, including gulls which not many people do! I started avidly birdwatching about 10 years ago: Springwatch helped me develop my interest as it encouraged some colleagues and I to go out birdwatching together. I’m keen to get out and about talking to people about the wildlife on the coast and encouraging them to be more bird aware, so they get the space and peace they need to feed and rest over the winter months.”
The 11-strong team will be visiting busy places where people and birds share the shorelines, covering important areas from Calshot in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and across to Chichester in West Sussex. Bird Aware is a partnership of local authorities and conservation groups which helps safeguard the future of internationally protected geese, ducks and wading birds.
You will find our rangers out around the coast from October, talking to Solent’s visitors about its worldwide importance for wildlife thanks to its patchwork of nutrient rich mudflats. Did you know up to 125,000 birds migrate to the area every year from as far away as the Arctic?
Rangers are encouraging people to follow the Bird Aware Coastal Code: look out for birds; to move further away if they become alert; to keep dogs alongside them; and to follow requests on signs.
We look forward to seeing you out on our beautiful coastline soon!
The Bird Aware Solent team