If you are visiting the coast with your canine friend, make sure your eyes are peeled, you may be lucky enough to spot iconic birds such as curlew, avocet or turnstone. During winter the Solent is full of birds escaping the freezing temperatures of their breeding grounds - places like Siberia and Greenland. After their long journey they choose Solent shores to build up their fat reserves and rest.
During the spring and summer months we are blessed to be joined by another group of coastal birds from the south – many from Southern and Western Africa. These birds travel to the Solent to breed and raise their chicks, exploiting fish shoals in harbours and estuaries.
All these birds need our help. Many species are struggling to survive and yet, it’s really easy to help them. When you and your dog are out enjoying the coast, look out for these amazing birds and give them space to rest and feed. Keeping your dog in sight, sticking to paths where they exist and having great recall skills could help to save some of our most threatened species who are disappearing from our shores. Your walk can make a positive difference to the birds.
Bird Aware Solent is a partnership working to reduce disturbance to our feathered friends. A team of Rangers cover a 254 km length of coastline, from Lymington to West Wittering, and on the Northern shore of the Isle of Wight, from Colwell to Whitecliff Bay. The team spend the winter on the coast highlighting the Solent’s brilliant birdlife and helping visitors to avoid disturbing the birds.
For more information and tips, visit the Bird Aware stand over the Dogstival weekend, they can’t wait to meet your four-legged family member!
Why not follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? Just search ‘Bird Aware Solent’. Use #birdaware to show us your best pooch pictures from the weekend and let us know how you are going to be more bird aware in the future.