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Birding Southampton - mid-June 2018

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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 01:22   #1
mjh73
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Birding Southampton - mid-June 2018

Hi folks

We will be having a trip to the UK in June / July and we will be staying with our friends in Southampton for a few days.

We won't have access to a vehicle. So what are peoples recommendations for easily public transport accessible birding sites in / near Southampton? Is New Forest doable without a car? I will have my 10 year old son with me who is also a keen birder (while his patience lasts!)

We have a full day available on the 22nd June

Cheers
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 08:17   #2
Larry Sweetland
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Hi.

IF we're free around then (big if), it might be a good excuse for us to visit the New Forest and drive around some sites, so get in touch nearer the time just in case, if you fancy it.

New Forest is a massive area, but there's great birding immediately around Beaulieu Road railway station, so that's one option for exploring on foot.

There are also places in the forest where you can hire pushbikes, so that could be another possibility.

cheers,

Larry
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 08:40   #3
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Hi.

IF we're free around then (big if), it might be a good excuse for us to visit the New Forest and drive around some sites, so get in touch nearer the time just in case, if you fancy it.

New Forest is a massive area, but there's great birding immediately around Beaulieu Road railway station, so that's one option for exploring on foot.

There are also places in the forest where you can hire pushbikes, so that could be another possibility.

cheers,

Larry
Excellent thanks for the advice and (tentative ) offer Larry.

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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 13:05   #4
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Hi MJH,

I live on the edge of the NF and can probably get the day off to show you guys around (if Larry's busy ). Beaulieu Road station is your best bet for the New Forest itself (regular trains, nice scenery, decent pub). For a bit more variety you could switch trains to Lymington which has great coastal wetlands (between there and Keyhaven spit), good views of the Isle of Wight too. UK public transport is rubbish and expensive so it's much better to get a car, or arrange for some friendly local birders to show you around!

Cheers,
Joost
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 19:49   #5
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Hi MJH,

I live on the edge of the NF and can probably get the day off to show you guys around (if Larry's busy ). Beaulieu Road station is your best bet for the New Forest itself (regular trains, nice scenery, decent pub). For a bit more variety you could switch trains to Lymington which has great coastal wetlands (between there and Keyhaven spit), good views of the Isle of Wight too. UK public transport is rubbish and expensive so it's much better to get a car, or arrange for some friendly local birders to show you around!

Cheers,
Joost
That would be amazing if you could Joost
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Old Monday 5th February 2018, 21:42   #6
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Cool, why don't you message me your details and we'll plan something. Have you guys birded in Europe/UK before? Any particular species you want to go after?

J
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 09:32   #7
John Cantelo
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It may be worth your while checking whether the Southampton Natural History Society has any walks arranged at the relevant time - https://sotonnhs.net/ Similarly, you could contact Hampshire Ornithological Society -
http://www.hos.org.uk/ For Hampshire sightings try http://www.goingbirding.co.uk/hants/birdnews.asp .
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 09:40   #8
Larry Sweetland
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It may be worth your while checking whether the Southampton Natural History Society has any walks arranged at the relevant time - https://sotonnhs.net/ Similarly, you could contact Hampshire Ornithological Society -
http://www.hos.org.uk/ For Hampshire sightings try http://www.goingbirding.co.uk/hants/birdnews.asp .
... or the local portsmouth RSPB group, who do day trips, often to New Forest and local coastal sites. Normally everyone turns up with own transport, but if you're 'surprise foreign guests'....maybe they could arrange something??'
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 11:39   #9
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MJH,
It isn't the best time of year for birding in the city, but you should be able to find 35-40 bird species on Southampton Common in late June, plus a few more at Lower Test Marshes (which will probably require a bus ride or two. Although, as Joost mentioned above, public transport isn't great!). While you are there you might bump into me (or Joost).
David
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2018, 19:51   #10
mjh73
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Originally Posted by Larry Sweetland View Post
... or the local portsmouth RSPB group, who do day trips, often to New Forest and local coastal sites. Normally everyone turns up with own transport, but if you're 'surprise foreign guests'....maybe they could arrange something??'
I might disappoint with the 'foreign guests' thing as I'm an expat! My son is full Aussie though.
I could wear a crocodile dundee costume I suppose

Thanks for your help Joost / John / Larry / David

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Old Wednesday 7th February 2018, 11:46   #11
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Looks like the Hampshire Hive Mind is assembled here :) What does everyone reckon for a 9-5 itinerary in late June?
Personally I was thinking of Acres Down/Mark Ash Wood in the morning for all your forest species (incl Wood Warbler and an outside chance of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker), Woodlark & Tree Pipit, and a spell of raptor watching (HB, Goshawk, possibly Hobby). Alternatively there's the area around Denny Wood, Beaulieu Road Station, Bishop's Dyke, Pig Bush and Tantany Wood - my own stomping ground and a really nice variety of habitat.
Then in the afternoon there's the choice of Keyhaven or Blashford Lakes. Both have their pros and cons, but I think Keyhaven would edge it in terms of diversity (especially for a young lister on their first visit to the UK). In terms of driving Blashford would be easier to combine with Acres Down, and Beaulieu Rd with Keyhaven.
And possibly a quick stop at Lower Test on the way home (chance of Kingfisher, Water Rail, Grey Wagtail etc.) or Calshot for Nightingale, Rock Pipit etc.
Any thoughts?

Joost
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 12:36   #12
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Looks like you have a good set of alternatives there Joost. I'd forget the "9 to 5" bit - in late June you'd be better off starting at 6am - all the birds'll be asleep by 9!
I'd suggest Keyhaven/Pennington over Blashford (unless MJH likes sitting in crowded hides filled with sullen photographers. )
Lower Test probably won't have much different to offer, and it's usually better in the morning than the evening.
David
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 14:40   #13
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Looks like you have a good set of alternatives there Joost. I'd forget the "9 to 5" bit - in late June you'd be better off starting at 6am - all the birds'll be asleep by 9!
I'd suggest Keyhaven/Pennington over Blashford (unless MJH likes sitting in crowded hides filled with sullen photographers. )
Lower Test probably won't have much different to offer, and it's usually better in the morning than the evening.
David
Cheers Dave....I know but.....school run!
Unless they take an early train to Beaulieu Road Station and I meet them there to do Keyhaven/Pennington, or even Martin Down?

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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 07:21   #14
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Well, assuming we're not still being confused by jet lag Son#2 usually wakes at kookaburras fart* so early train to Beaulieu Road is a possibility :)


(*Oz equivalent of sparrows fart)
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 14:29   #15
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Haha considering you're traveling west by 11 hours I think that's a given! Unfortunately there are no early trains from Southampton to Beaulieu Road. However, you could take the one to Brockenhurst station at 06:25 (it's only 20 min) and do the 5.5 mile hike to Beaulieu Rd station from there. It goes through prime New Forest parkland, old growth forest, heathland and bogs. Quiet and very good for birds, particularly the second half north of the railway line. I could then pick you guys up after your second breakfast and we can either go and hunt for stuff you missed on your walk, or head for a completely different habitat (coastal marsh lands at Keyhaven/Pennington); gravel pits at Blashford Lakes; chalk downland at Martin Down). That's a pretty good day by any standard :)

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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 00:34   #16
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Sounds like a plan
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