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The Oyster Beds

Our rangers’ seasonal highlights

What’s been the high points of the ranger team’s winter so far? And what are they looking forward to in 2023?

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House sparrows on a fence

The Big Garden Birdwatch 27- 29 January

Are you taking part in this weekend’s Big Garden Birdwatch? Since the RSPB kicked-off its annual birdwatch in 1979, more than 137 million birds have been counted across the UK.

Find out how we got on – plus tips on attracting birds to your garden.

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A diverse range of bird species can be found on the Solent

Great Coastal Birdwatch highlights diverse Solent species

The results from this year’s Great Coastal Birdwatch reveal a huge diversity of species including 16 birds on the red list for conservation concern.

Bird Aware is enormously grateful for support provided by volunteers who spent time helping us raise awareness of birds that spend the winter on the Solent coastline.

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Hayling Island

Hayling Island: a lifeline for winter wildlife

From shingle beaches to energy-rich mudflats, this special island is a lifeline for migratory birds – which is why Bird Aware Solent Rangers Alice and Dawn are out on the coast this winter telling local people all about the spectacular birdlife on their doorstep.

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A pair of white tailed eagles perched on the water's edge © Ainsley Bennett Photography

White tailed eagles return

Three years ago Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation released six white-tailed eagles on the Isle of Wight after an absence of over 240 years.

Steve Egerton-Read, Forestry England white-tailed eagle project officer, tells us all about this landmark conservation project.

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Birdwatching: good for the soul

Ranger Tony who joined Bird Aware for the busy winter season, finds there’s nothing like nature for gently shaking you into your senses.

Here he talks about a life-long love of birdwatching and the positive impact of the natural world.

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Bird flying above stormy seas

Bird flu concerns

We are very concerned about the impact of bird flu, and we know that many local people are too.

Here’s some of the questions we’ve been asked, with answers for those looking for information and guidance.

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Flock of redshank

Counting on birds – tips and techniques

Counting birds can seem daunting, particularly when they are in flight or in large, mixed groups.

Luckily, there’s a couple of trusty techniques you can count on.

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Oystercatchers

Five easy to identify coastal birds

If you’re new to coastal birdwatching, it may be helpful to begin with a small number of distinctive birds that are frequently spotted around the Solent. Take a look at Ranger Alice’s list of some of our most conspicuous species.

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Bird Aware Solent team

An exciting new season for Bird Aware Solent

Meet the Bird Aware Solent team at the start of a busy winter season.

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Birds on the wing

A warm welcome home to the Solent’s amazing migratory birds

Every autumn our coastline is an exciting place. Week by week we see increasing numbers of migratory birds returning here from their distant summer breeding grounds.

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Common seals

Looking out for Solent’s Seals

Spotting a Solent seal is one of the perks of our rangers’ working life. But just like our wonderful coastal birds, these charismatic animals need lots of space to nap in peace without being disturbed.

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Calshot spit

Staying wildlife aware on the England Coast Path

The latest stretch of the England Coast Path is now officially open. Discover how this 52 mile stretch will become part of the longest walking route in the world.

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Gatekeeper butterfly

Take a (second) look at butterflies

Thomas, Bird Aware Solent’s monitoring expert, shares some of his know-how about beautiful butterflies.

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Rock pool

Top tips for a seashore safari

Why not celebrate National Marine Week with a seashore safari. Watch Ranger Karima’s video guide to find out how.

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Watersports at Lepe

A Week in the Life of Ranger Julie

Ever wondered what a typical summer week consists of for our team of rangers? Here’s Ranger Julie’s account of what she’s been up to.

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Chalk hill blue

Take a closer look at butterflies

Thomas, Bird Aware Solent’s monitoring expert, shares some of his know-how about beautiful butterflies.

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common tern and chick

It’s nesting season – what we can do to help

While some of our Solent species, such as dark-bellied brent geese, fly north to isolated breeding, grounds, others just move inland and some stick to the shore. Here’s a round-up of where some of the UK’s year-round residents will be nesting, and what we can do to help.

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