Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

August 2019 - Birds that pass in the night

We are extremely fortunate to live near the Solent as it offers a wealth of wonder to our lives.  We have spectacular tourist destinations, international ports, beautiful National Parks and a coastline that is internationally recognised as a wildlife rich environment.

The range of bird species habiting the Solent coast is vast, but it is constantly changing.  For example, our region is currently in a transitional period, this means that the birds that migrated to the Solent to breed are now departing, and those joining us for the winter are making their way back to our shores.

However, you may also be noticing another group of birds along the coast right now, these are known as 'passage migrants'.  These migrants stop in the Solent to refuel and then head south, to places like West Africa.  Bird Aware Solent Rangers, Lizzie and Natalie, recently found a group of these on Hayling Seafront hunkered down during a storm. The Sanderling they spotted had most likely bred in the Russian Arctic and are now making their way back to places as far as South Africa.  Take a look at the video highlighting their plight and how well camouflaged they are against the shingle.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH), which oversees Bird Aware Solent remarked, 'The different birds that travel to the Solent help to make it a unique and special place.  The Bird Aware Solent team do a great job of highlighting the birds to those visiting the coast, which helps people to understand the diverse habitats of the area.'

Bird Aware Solent is a Partnership of local authorities and conservation groups that aims to protect coastal birds through public engagement and raising awareness.  Visit or Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more details.