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Birdwatching in the New Forest.

Accommodation in Hampshire


Bird and Nature Reserves

 Keyhaven and Pennington Marshes - Hants WT

OystercatcherLocation: SZ 310 91 - Milford on Sea - 1 mile. Stay at Hurst View
Road: Head south from Lyndhurst on the A337 through Lymington and Pennington, turn left onto the B3058 and go through Milford on Sea to Keyhaven. There is a public car park opposite the pub (access to the Coastal Way) or go past and follow the road down to the right to the car park near Hurst Spit. Take a bus to Milford on Sea from which the reserve can be reached with 5 minutes walk. Ferries run from Keyhaven harbour to Hurst.
Facilities: Paths. Information Centre.
Telephone: 01489 774400
Features: One of the best bird watching spots in Hampshire.
The salt marshes that stretch along the New Forest coast from Hurst Castle to Pitts Deep are managed by the Trust on behalf of New Forest District Council and the Lymington Harbour Conservancy. This large area of coastal marsh and mud flats supports internationally important numbers of birds and specialised plants. There are large creeks between the saltmarsh which are nursery areas for fish and at low tide birds feed on the exposed mud. Internationally important for breeding birds. Black-headed Gulls breed in large numbers along with Little and Sandwich Terns. The most conspicuous breeding waders are Oystercatcher (right), Ringed Plover and Redshank.

 Farlington Marshes - Hants WT

Greenshank Part of the large Langstone Harbour.
Location: SU685045 - Langstone Harbour, north of Portsmouth.
Road: Track from flyover where A2030 joins A27
Admission: Free
Facilities: Paths. Information Centre.
Telephone: 01703 613636
Features: Excellent area for wildfowl and waders. Farlington Marshes is one of several good viewing areas of this large site. Nationally important numbers of Dunlin and Brent Geese. Greenshank (illustrated right), Spotted Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits on passage. Black-necked Grebe winter.

 Martin Down - English Nature (NNR)
Chalk grassland and scrub.
Location: SU057192 - SE of Salisbury.
Facilities: Footpath access to most of reserve.
Admission: Free (groups should book with Warden in advance).
Features: Natural chalk grassland and scrub, with fine coolection of downland plants and butterflies. Nightingale and warblers breed, and Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl occur in winter.
 Lower Test Marshes - Hants WT
Wetland at head of Southampton Water.
Location: SU364150 - Between Totton and Redbridge.
Road: M271 S to Redbridge.
Facilities: Hides.
Admission: Free.
Features: Pasture, meadow and reedbed.
New Forest - See our article on birdwatching in the New Forest.