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aythya_hybrid
Saturday 17th March 2007, 21:25
Hello.

Myself and my girlfriend were toying with the idea of going to the New Forest for a long weekend in a month or two. There are a number of caveats:

1) we don't own a car, so would be going by public transport
2) it would need to combine pleasant country walks with a spot of light birding...

If anyone can recommend any good areas in particular, or potential places to stay, I would be very grateful: it's a big area and it's not somewhere I have ever visited.

all the best,
Jonathan

Andrew Whitehouse
Saturday 17th March 2007, 21:33
I guess Beaulieu Road Station would be a good place to head for. There is, as the name suggests, a station there and it's one of the more well known areas for birding.

teamsaint
Saturday 17th March 2007, 22:36
it depends where you are staying really if you don't have a car. if you stay at the campsite at beaulieu rd station you could go out onto the heath and woods and see dartford warbler, woodlark, crossbill, tree pipit, wood warbler, lesser pecker, woodcock if you're lucky. you might be a bit early for nightjars though. also from there you could take the train to lymington and go for a walk around keyhaven/pennington marshes area. here you should see lots of migrant waders, terns, ducks and passerines, cuckoo etc. also you could walk out along hurst beach and do a bit of seawatching if you're a bit more serious. there's a good chance of pom skua, arctic skua, black tern, velvet scoter etc, particularly in april (but the poms don't tend to start passing until late april). if you stayed in the northern part of the forest you might see firecrest, crossbill, lesser pecker, goshawk and, if you go late may/june, honey buzzard

Feathered one
Saturday 17th March 2007, 22:42
Or Lymington, also a train station there, catch the train from Brockenhurst, which is on the main line. Walk about a mile and a half to the sea wall, which starts near the Marinas, you can walk for miles along the wall, sea on one side, marsh the other. Bound to see lots of birds.
Brockenhurst is also a good place to start a walk in the forest.

Malc

Edit: sorry cross posted with the above

bartooon
Sunday 18th March 2007, 08:26
Without a car, getting to some parts of the best parts of the forest is certainly going to be difficult. As has been suggested, the Beauliu Road Station / Shatterford area is your best bet - it has a range of habitats (open heath, deciduous woodland and conifer plantations) - and has a small railway station immediately adjacent to it. Many Brockenhurst - Lymington trains stop there. In addition to the birds mentioned above, you should also get Redstart and Hobby from May onwards.

You can do a nice circular walk from the station which takes in all the habitats and which takes two or three hours.

Let me know if you have any target species and I will try to help. Alan Michael Snook's book "Birds of the New Forest" is useful too (ISBN 0-9533346-0-0 12.95). As well as giving info on all the birds recorded, it also gives suggested walks, with maps.