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Dark-bellied brent geese flying overhead

Over the past few months the Bird Aware team have been busy creating a brand-new event that starts this weekend.

The Great Solent Birdwatch is a wildlife survey focussing on coastal birds. The citizen science project aims to raise awareness of the incredible birds that travel to the Solent every winter.

It’s very easy take part, all you need to do is spend one hour on the coast somewhere along the Solent and count the different birds that you see! You can do this by yourself, with friends and family or you can come along to one of the Ranger pop-up events that are taking place throughout the week (search the events here). After your watch, you then write down what you have seen and send your results into us. There is also a photography competition running throughout the week so make sure to send us any good snaps!

To get you started you can view and download a ‘Welcome Pack’ here.  This contains all the information that you need including a recording form, FAQs, health and safety information and the essential Bird Aware Solent Coastal Code.

When taking part, it is important that you always follow the Coastal Code and keep your distance from the birds. Many of the species you might spot at this time of year have travelled thousands of miles to get here.  They need to feed and rest as much as possible to be strong enough to make their long journeys back to breeding grounds in places like the arctic.

The good news is that it is very easy to avoid causing disturbance, you just need to look out for the birds and keep your distance!  Stay on pathways where they exist and keep to the top of the shore, and if the birds become alert and stop their normal behaviour then just move further away.

If you have binoculars take them with you, but if not, the Rangers will be on hand with their telescopes at the events to show you who’s around!

The Great Solent Birdwatch runs from Saturday 30th November until Sunday 8th of December 2019 and we hope it will inspire people to become excited and aware of the birds that use the Solent area, giving these special creatures the space they need to feed and rest.

We look forward to seeing you out on the coast soon and don’t forget you can follow what happens throughout the week on our social media pages!

Ranger Charlotte