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The start of October brings the start of the autumn migratory season and for Bird Aware Solent this is the most exciting time of the year.

With the Autumn migration under way, waders, wildfowl, ducks and geese are making their long journey back from breeding grounds to Solent shores to feed and rest, away from their now freezing summer haunts.

Take the diminutive Dunlin, this little fellow flies from places such as Northern Scandinavia and Russia to get to locations you may visit, such as Langstone Harbour, Medina Estuary and Titchfield Haven. We are truly humbled by this bird. Fully grown it is smaller than a Starling, and every year it battles with the elements, hunger, exhaustion and predators to get back to its food source. Feeding on insects and worms and roosting in the fields and salt marshes, we are very pleased that the Dunlin chooses to call the Solent ‘home’ for just few months of the year.

These little birds spend the winter here to get in prime condition for their challenging return journey when the cycle will start again and the next generation will be born.

Now that the season is here, over the coming months Bird Aware will be focussing on some of our migratory visitors so please do keep an eye out on these pages, and whilst you are out enjoying the coast remember the plight of the Dunlin and be careful not to disturb him, he’s travelled a long way to see us!