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Godwits flying

If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you’ll know that we love nature and feel very fortunate to be around it for large parts of the day.

Having our focus firmly fixed on coastal birds that return to the Solent every year does have its drawbacks though. Sometimes we can overlook other wonderful winged migrants that return here throughout autumn and winter.

In Britain about half the bird species migrate. For many, it’s in search of a milder climate and more food. For some their journeys may not be long, but they often involve quite a change in lifestyle. Here are a few favourites that seasonally use our shores as a place of refuge.

Waxwing are a migrant we joyfully receive every winter and their numbers can vary dramatically based on the availability of wild berries in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Is it wrong to wish the yield to be low so we profit on seeing these crested birds in our parklands? Probably, but they certainly are a delight just as the picture on this page illustrates.

Then there is the redwing. At first glance you may think you saw a song thrush, but these visitors from Iceland and Siberia have a striking white eyebrow and a red underwing that makes them stand out amongst a dark backdrop of a November woodland. To learn more about them and see some wonderful pictures visit here.

Snow bunting are another bird that return to our shores in winter to make the most of their preferred diet of insects and seeds. These large buntings arrive in their thousands, mostly habiting coastal areas all around the UK. They have striking white plumages that during autumn develops some sandy coloured patches. Visit here for pictures.

We also receive the charismatic short-eared owl. These medium sized owls offer us the opportunity to see owls during the day as they dance and dazzle over grassland and saltmarshes hunting for small mammals. Many of these visitors travel from northerly places such as Siberia and Russia, but some spend the whole year here. See pictures and info.

Other celebrated migrants in the UK include fieldfares, meadow pipits and skylarks, however migration doesn’t stop with birds. Insects, bats, whales and even toads all move from place to place to survive. For some it maybe swimming thousands of miles and for others it could be hopping just a few hundred metres … but we’ll leave that for another blog!