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Bird Aware Solent rangers at Bunny Meadows

Winter is approaching, and an abundance of migratory ducks, geese and wading birds have started to arrive on our shores, some from as far away as the Arctic.

Ranger Natalie will be out and about on Fareham’s coastline this winter telling local people all about our migratory birds and what we can do to protect them.

Here, she tells us about two of her favourite places to visit, and how everyone can enjoy them while keeping wildlife safe.

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Bunny Meadows

“Bunny Meadows is fantastic place to see the birds that visit us for the winter. At lower tides, black-tailed godwits, curlews and lots of other species feed on the mudflats while ducks and geese nibble at plants on the saltmarsh.

At higher tides, you can see huge groups of dunlins twisting and wheeling through the sky in beautiful murmurations. The best way to look after the protected species at Bunny Meadows is to stick to the footpath – you’ll get an excellent view of the wildlife but be far enough away so the birds can continue resting or feeding undisturbed. The views over the river are stunning and, if you’re lucky, you might spot a kingfisher or maybe even Sammy the seal!”

Saltmarsh on the Solent
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Cams Bay

“You’re likely to see dark-bellied brent geese, curlews and teal ducks at Cams Bay, along with many other wading birds. Visit at a mid-level tide for the best chance of seeing lots of different species feeding together – they are happy to do this because each bird is adapted to feed at a slightly different depth in the mud, which means that they aren’t in direct competition with each other.

One of the great things about Cams Bay is that it’s very easy to avoid disturbing the birds. Simply stay on the grassy area above the shoreline, and you’ll get a wonderful view of the wildlife without getting close enough to disturb it. If you’re visiting with your dog, take a look at Coast and Country Caninesrecommended walking route around Cams Bay.”

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Wherever you choose to explore this winter, you can support migratory birds by following the Bird Aware Solent coastal code: look out for birds, move away if birds become alert, keep dogs alongside, and follow requests on signs.

Find out about the wonderful winter birdlife in other areas around the Solent, from the Isle of Wight to the New Forest and Hayling Island.