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Meet the birds

Every winter up to 125,000 ducks, geese and wading birds fly here from as far as the Arctic; many migrate thousands of miles to our shores.

Many coastal species live by the rhythm of the tides; at low tide they feed around the water’s edge and at high tide they rest together on high ground awaiting the next muddy feast. It’s important that we share our shores with birds, allowing them to feed, breed and rest undisturbed.

Bird of the month for May

Shelduck: a large, colourful duck, with a chestnut belly stripe, pink legs and feet, a glossy green head and neck, and a red bill.

Oystercatchers on the beach

Wading Birds

Often referred to as waders, huge numbers of these birds arrive on our Solent coastline in the Autumn and spend the Winter with us before migrating back up to the Arctic in the Spring.

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Ducks are a group of birds usually associated with park ponds however many of the duck species listed here won’t be spotted in your local park because they prefer the food available in estuaries, on beaches and in rivers.

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Dark-bellied brent geese on the water


From the geese you can spot in your local park pond to geese who migrate 3000 miles to spend the winter with us on the coast, the Solent has an array of different geese species to see.

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Known to most as seagulls, this group of birds are famous at the coast. But did you know that we have many different species of gulls that can be spotted on the Solent shores?

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Tern flying


Terns are a group of birds known for their arrival on the coast in the summer months, they breed on shingle/sandy beaches where their colonies are often protected with fencing. Terns are often recognised from their behaviour, they can be spotted diving into shallow coastal waters for small fish.

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Kingfisher sitting on a branch

Other coastal birds

A couple of birds who don’t quite fit into the other groups but can be seen at the coast and we wouldn’t want to miss out!

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