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Birding Hampshire

Hampshire is a large county in the south of England. It is bordered by Dorset to the west, Wiltshire to the north-west, Berkshire to the north, Surrey to the north-east, and West Sussex to the east. The southern boundary is the coastline of the English Channel and the Solent, facing the Isle of Wight. It has a large number of outstanding birdwatching habitats, including ancient woodlands, chalk grassland, lowland heath, river valleys, lakes, reed-beds, coastal grazing marshes and inter-tidal mudflats. The only habitats it lacks are uplands and cliffs. Its wildlife is typical of the island of Great Britain. The River Test has a growing number of otters, and there are reports of wild boar across the county. The New Forest is known for its ponies, which have free rein over much of the area. It also has a large free roaming herd of red deer. The New Forest, with its pasture, woodland and heaths, is particularly noted for breeding raptors, such as, Hobby, and Honey Buzzard, and passerines, such as, Wood Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Redstart and Stonechat. As well as over wintering Hen Harrier and regular Great Grey Shrike.

Hampshire’s coastline supports substantial colonies of breeding Black-headed Gulls, Sandwich Terns and Little Terns, and in winter, the harbours are taken over by vast numbers of migratory waders and wildfowl, including internationally significant numbers of Brent Geese, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit and many other species.

Keyhaven and Farlington Marshes are noteworthy for scarce migrants. Wigeon and Black-tailed Godits are but two of the many species that over winter in the Avon Valley and the adjacent Blashford Lakes.

Finally, up to 10% of the British population of Stone Curlews still breed on the chalk uplands, despite ever-encroaching farming operations.

  • Keith Betton

    | keithbetton@hotmail.com

County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 382

Useful Reading

  • Birds of Hampshire: A Checklist

    Alan Cox, John Clark & John Eyre | Hampshire Ornithological Society | Paperback | May 2009 | #224461 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Hampshire Bird Atlas 2007-2012

    | Edited by John Eyre | Hampshire Ornithological Society | 2015 | Paperback | 448 pages | ISBN: 9780956771261 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Hampshire Bird Report 2017

    | By Hampshire Ornithological Society | 2018 | Paperback | 264 pages | ISBN: 9781999309206 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Where to Watch Birds in Dorset, Hampshire & The Isle of Wight

    | By Dr G Green & M Cade | Christopher Helm | 2010 | Paperback | 384 pages, 44 b/w illustrations, 60 maps | ISBN: 9780713688139 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Bird Aware Solent

    Bird Aware Solent raises awareness of the ducks, geese and wading birds that spend the winter on our special coastline.
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

    Wildlife needs space. The nature reserves we manage are precious wildlife havens, alive with plants, birds, mammals and insects. But alone, they’re not enough to ensure that our wildlife survives and flourishes into the future.
  • Hampshire Ornithological Society

    The Hampshire Ornithological Society records and publishes information about wild birds in the county of Hampshire, England. This web site is for members and potential members of HOS. Hopefully, visitors to Hampshire will also find it useful
  • Hawk Conservancy Trust

    Our address is Hawk Conservancy Trust, Visitor Centre, Weyhill, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8DY. By working with many organisations and conservation groups across the world, we are able to deliver conservation, education, rehabilitation and research programmes and generate awareness for birds of prey, their habitats and the problems they face. This includes projects such as the Raptor Nest Box and Red Kite reintroduction projects in the UK through to the International Vulture Programme in southern Africa and south Asia.
  • RSPB Basingstoke Local Group

    This is the website of the Basingstoke Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.
  • RSPB New Forest Local Group

    We are an active local RSPB group covering the whole of the New Forest and neighbouring areas in Hampshire & Dorset. We have an extensive programme of walks throughout the year, plus monthly meetings ( 2nd Wednesday each month) in Lyndhurst Village Hall. Members and non-members welcome…
  • RSPB North East Hants Local Group

    The RSPB North East Hants Local Group offers a warm welcome to all in the Surrey/Hampshire border area who are interested in birds and nature at home and abroad. We offer plenty of opportunities to find out more at our indoor and outdoor meetings.
  • RSPB Portsmouth Local Group

    This is the website of the Portsmouth Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.
  • RSPB Winchester Local Group

    This is the website of the Winchester Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area.

Abbreviations Key

  • Accessible Reserves

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    Each of the following links lead to a BFA assessment of the reserve by BFA members and others, using the BFA form. ALL types of mobility problem are assumed so there are details of path surfaces, gradients and distances as well as benches and hide details.
  • Baffins Pond Association

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    Baffins Pond is very popular with ducks and geese. You can expect to see Canada, Barnacle and Snow Geese, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Muscovy Duck and Swan. You might see Little Grebe, Cormorant and Pochard.
  • Chichester Harbour Conservancy

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Chichester Harbour Conservancy is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty comprising 11sq miles of water and 11sq miles of land with 17 miles of well marked and lighted channels which, with its easy access to the Solent, makes it an ideal water recreation centre. There are many inter-related activities such as sailing, fishing, walking and wildfowling as well as nearly 9,000 vessels over 3 metres in length, 3,200 moorings, 2,000 berths in four marinas and 14 sailing clubs.
  • H&IoWWT Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve

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    Blashford Lakes nature reserve has a variety of habitats including ancient woodland, a New Forest stream and alder and willow carr woodland which surround a complex of flooded former gravel working. The reserve, managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, is open 9-4.30 daily with parking, toilets, 6 bird hides and good wheel-chair and push-chair access. There is an Education Centre that caters for school, youth, scouting and adult special interest or community groups throughout the year and a comprehensive programme of guided walks and family events.
  • H&IoWWT Farlington Marshes

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    A species-rich grazing marsh of international importance for the waders and wildfowl that it supports. Farlington Marsh is one of the Trust's oldest reserves and one that visitors return to year after year. This site is a coastal grazing marsh and lagoon which has several pools, both freshwater and brackish, and a broad stream which provide feeding and roosting sites for waders and wildfowl. It is internationally important for the bird population that is supports, such as bearded tit, sedge and reed warblers.
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Sites

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    Reserves, pictures etc.
  • LNR Brook Meadow Conservation

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Brook Meadow is a lovely wet meadow in Emsworth, a small town in the south east corner of Hampshire in the UK. It consists of 5 acres of grassland, surrounded by woodlands and flanked by two streams…
  • NNR Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve

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    Owned by Hampshire County Council since 1972, Titchfield Haven opened as a nature reserve in 1976 and gained the status of a National Nature Reserve in 1995. It now covers 350 acres of varied wetland habitats on either side of the River Meon, extending from the village of Titchfield to the shores of the Solent. With hides, paths, great birdwatching and nearby Haven House Visitor Centre, Titchfield Haven is well worth a visit. Over 170 species of birds are recorded at Titchfield Haven every year… disabled access is also highlighted.
  • RSPB Hazeley Heath

    WebpageSatellite View
    Hazeley Heath is a surviving vestige of a once sprawling lowland heathland of south England. This tranquil heathland is home to some very special wildlife such as nightjars, tree pipits, woodlarks and silver-studded blue butterflies. These heathland specialists depend on a habitat that is rarer than the Amazon rainforest. Lowland heath still faces significant threats that put pressure on the specialised wildlife that rely on a fragile habitat. If heathland is lost, so is its unique wildlife.
  • RSPB Langstone Harbour

    WebpageSatellite View
    The RSPB reserve occupies one third of Langstone Harbour - a muddy estuary that attracts large numbers of birds all year round. Terns, gulls and wading birds descend to breed on the islands in spring and summer, while thousands of waders and brent geese migrate from the Arctic to feed and roost in safety here.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • HOSList

    Mailing Group
    This list is intended for the discussion of all aspects of birding in Hampshire (UK). The list complements the website of the Hampshire Ornithological Society.
  • Hants Bird News

  • Solent Forum

    Solent Forum
    The Solent Forum has prepared a Solent Habitat Information Pack which includes a series of habitat sheets for all the coastal and marine habitats found in the Solent.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Pal

    Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area
Places to Stay

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Crowberry Lodge B&B - Hayling Island

    Carole and John welcome you to Hayling Island and Crowberry Lodge. We go to great lengths to ensure your stay is comfortable, enjoyable and excellent value for money. Located on the popular west side of Hayling Island and just a 10 minute walk to the beach, Crowberry Lodge is the ideal base whether you want a relaxing holiday, successful business trip or an adrenalin packed weekend
  • Langstone Hotel - Hayling Island

    The Langstone Hotel is located just 8 miles from Portsmouth, outside of Havant on the northern shore of Hayling Island. Overlooking the Langstone Estuary and Harbour, yet close to major road networks the Langstone Hotel is the perfect place for a short break
  • St. John's B&B - Hayling Island

    St. John's Bed and Breakfast and Half Board Accommodation at Hayling Island, Hampshire, UK. Popular with birdwatchers - Perfect for a weekend or short break, or a relaxing holiday on the South Coast of England
Other Links
  • Nature in Portsmouth & Havant

    A local wildlife magazine focussing on the Havant/Portsmouth area
  • Really Wild Bird Food

    Really Wild Bird Food is headed by husband and wife team Richard and Lesley Smith, who run Street End Farm with support from a hard-working team of individuals who share their passion for delivering high-quality wild bird feed.
  • Rod's Bird Box Camera Pages

    Situated in our back garden in southern Hampshire, England, the box was first occupied in April 2000 by Great Tits.
  • The Really Wild Bird Food Company

    Welcome! We are the Really Wild Bird Food Company and we are really pleased you have found our website! Please read on to find out about us and our business, and why we are different to other bird seed suppliers
  • Chris Button - birding with a sketchbook

    I got in to birds in 1985 when I was 17. I was on holiday in our caravan with my Mum, Dad and Sister near Arisaig in Scotland. On the night of the 3rd August I dreamt about birding and the next morning I caught the train to Mallaig to buy my first bird book, Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe, and I was hooked.
  • Friends of Emsworth Wildlife

    Last updated 2014 - A community web site dedicated to the observation, recording and protection of the wildlife of the Emsworth area.
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust - Solent Reserves Blog

    Our Solent nature reserves are comprised of a range of interesting and diverse habitats found along our coastal region. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manages these important areas for both nature conservation and education.
  • Joe Stockwell - Joe's birding blog... again!

    Assistant Warden at Portland Bird Observatory, Dorset. Birder, Ringer, Wanabee Moth Fiddler... Thought it were about time I put pen to paper again! Grew up In Hampshire, Sold stuff for a living when I left school, now Assistant Warden for PBO, Drink far too much tea, eat too much and don't ride my bike anywhere near often enough... Birding non-stop (mostly) Love finding rare birds, don't like running for them!…
  • John Goodspeed - Wildlife in Portsmouth & Havant

    Welcome to John Goodspeed's web.
  • Martin Clay - Martin Clay' Blog

    Born in 1986 and raised in Hampshire, Martin Clay has spent his whole life enthralled by the wonders of natural history. From a childhood clothed in the latest of his mothers animal themed knitted woolen jumpers attending the village school in Longparish, Hampshire to spending hours after work walking the various footpaths nearby armed with camera and binoculars in the hope of a glimpse at something special.
  • Paul Miller - BaldMonkeySeenBird

    Alright? my name is Paul i am part of the successful band baldmonkey and the reticents. I like seeing birds. this is just a log really of what i seen. You could put up a poster advertising my site in your local youth club or drop in centre if you like.
  • Simon Colenutt - The Deskbound Birder

    I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green.
  • T Norton - The Blue Chaffinch

    Last updated 2013 - A BLOG about birds, birdwatching, wildlife and travel… with a good deal of ranting and some photos too…
  • Tony, Mark & Steve - The Three Amigo

    We are Tony, Mark and Steve, three birders who met up whilst serving in the Royal Navy. This Blog will be a record of our collective birding and wildlife watching exploits. Mainly in and around the county of Hampshire, but occasionally farther afield.
  • Trevor Codlin - The Barley Birder

    I grew up in the then village of Hedge End (now an ever expanding town) and spent my younger years birding the woodlands and part of the Hamble Estuary that were known as "The Cricket Camp". The woodland has since had a couple of name changes; Upper Hamble Country Park and now Manor Farm Country Park and is now a well used recreation facility.
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Chris Button

    I’ve always been in awe of bird artists, people like Ian Lewington, Killian Mullarney, Szabolcs Kokay, Juan Varela and Barry Van Dusey and have longed to improve my own drawing ability. When I first started trying I was pretty poor and although I’ve improved over the years it’s never easy and sometimes you can get a little dispirited especially when you compare yourself to people like those mentioned above.
  • Photographer - Chris Packham

    Some brilliant images from the much travelled TV presenter and writer
  • Photographer - Donna Apsey Photography

    I am located in Southampton, and most of my images have been taken in and around Hampshire. I have a keen interest in photographing wildlife ,especially birds.....bugs and insects are also one of my favourite subjects.
  • Photographer - Martin Clay

    Facebook Page
    Born in 1986 and raised in Hampshire, Martin Clay has spent his whole life enthralled by the wonders of natural history.
  • Photographer - Mike Mockler

    Mike Mockler is an award-winning wildlife photographer with many published photographs to his name. His photographs have been used in countless books and magazines around the world, including the front covers. He is a past winner of the
  • Photographer - Mike Read

    Mike Read has a stunning collection of wildlife images, and has developed his own evocative style of landscape photography. His photographs are in constant demand, and are published in a growing number of countries around the world. Mike has co-authored and illustrated two books, and is working on more at present. He was the major commissioned photographer for the RSPBs calendar in their Centenary year (1989). Entitled The Heritage of Wild Birds; this calendar was a showcase for Mikes superb wildlife portraits and atmospheric reserve photographs.
  • Photographer - Richard Ford

    This Web site has been created as a place for me to display my wildlife images. Most will be taken with a Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera, in Hampshire or certainly the south of England

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