It’s that special time of year when thousands of birds are returning to the Solent for the winter so make sure you help them by ensuring you give them plenty of space to rest and feed.
Eastleigh Borough Council is part of Bird Aware Solent, a Partnership that is helping to raise awareness of protected birds that spend time on our coastline every year.
There have already been sightings of large numbers of brent geese, redshank and turnstone at Hill Head, near Titchfield; black-tailed godwit at Keyhaven Harbour; sanderling and ringed plover at Ryde on the Isle of Wight; Oystercatcher on Hayling Island and Teal in Portchester.
Many of the birds will have spent weeks flying from arctic regions to get to our shores, so it’s no surprise that they are tired and hungry. The Solent offers food rich mudflats and beaches which are a perfect place for the birds to feed and rest.
However, their challenges are far from over. The birds need to find food, catch it and compete with others to feast on it. All this, alongside a meal time that is dictated by low tide and carries the risk of being interrupted by people visiting the coast. – This is where we can all make a difference, simply by keeping our distance, exercising dogs away from the birds and staying on paths where they exist.
Cabinet Lead for the Environment Cllr Rupert Kyrle said, ‘The diverse birdlife we see on our Solent shores including the boroughs foreshore and Hamble River estuary is fabulous. We must do all we can to ensure future generations will enjoy them too.”
He added “When you next visit our local coast or estuary keep a look out for these over wintering birds and give them plenty of space to feed and rest – they have travelled a long way to get here!”
Visit www.birdaware.org to find out how you can help.