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Birdwatching Holidays on the Island

20th October 2020

The Isle of Wight is an amazing place for birdwatching, with nature reserves, wildlife sites and over 150 kilometres of spectacular coastline to explore.

We are now entering the autumn migration period and are excited at the expectation of seeing good numbers of winter visitors including ducks and geese, right down to our smallest migratory bird, the gold crest, weighing just 5 grams, and the less common, fire crests. A good spot to view both is along the Yarmouth causeway.

Here are our tips on which birds to find where on the Island:

Yarmouth

Winter waders, ducks, geese and possibly marsh harriers, spoonbills and eagles

RSPB Nature Reserve at Brading Marshes

As Yarmouth but also reed specialists eg bitterns, various warblers, resident marsh harriers, hobbies, peregrine falcons, white fronted geese, little egrets, great white egrets and occasionally, cattle egrets.

National Trust – Newtown Nature Reserve

Grey seals, kingfishers, eagles and winter population of spoonbills (about 11 individuals were recorded last winter). Highlights include pintail ducks, wigeon and teal, Goldeneye, grey and golden plovers, Greenshank, Redshank and good numbers of Curlew.

Newtown Creek by Jim Robotham

Bembridge Harbour

Same as Yarmouth and Newtown, with winter waders and ducks a plenty. Always worth a bit of sea watching too if weather permits.

Tennyson Downs

High chalk downlands, with spectacular views of the island’s coastline. Keep your eyes peeled for Peregrine Falcon, Linnet, Raven, Fulmar and possible short eared owl (there are quite a few pairs that make the island their home over winter).

There is a range of different environments on the Island, including saltmarsh (Yarmouth & Newtown), chalk downland (Tennyson & Culver Downs), reed beds (Brading Marshes) and sea cliffs.

And yes, we've slipped in an image of a grey seal, another visitor to Newtown!

To find out more, check out: RSPB: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/brading-marshes/ National Trust: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/newtown-national-nature-reserve-and-old-town-hall Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation: https://www.roydennis.org/ For latest sightings: http://iowbirds.awardspace.biz/IOW.htm

Images provided by our resident bird enthusiast, Jim Robotham. Top: Newtown Creek, Middle: White Tailed Sea Eagles/Reed Bunting/Peregrine Falcon

Outline sketch of hares

Tapnell Farm provides a great location for exploring the Island and birdwatching.

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