Soli­tude and su­perb birds on a lovely is­land walk

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - ALASTAIR RI­LEY

WHILE BRADING MARSHES RSPB seems to be the best known place for birding on the Isle of Wight – Lit­tle Egret, Marsh Harrier and Great Crested Grebe were all first-time breed­ers there in 2014, only the lat­ter suc­cess­fully – this lovely walk in­vari­ably re­sults in soli­tude, or just an oc­ca­sional meet­ing with a dog-walker, rather than lots of op­tics car­ri­ers. The walk can be done as a cir­cuit en­cir­cling the only is­land RSPB re­serve, which has no vis­i­tor ac­cess. The wind­mill can also be vis­ited at times. The land drops in­ter­est­ingly be­low the wind­mill and there’s al­ways some­thing land­ing on the air­field to your left – and some­times it will be birds! Hav­ing crossed the ‘tail-end’ of the long ta­per­ing marsh you join Laun­dry Lane, a well walked path­way with ex­cel­lent birding ei­ther side. Cetti’s War­blers and Wa­ter Rail call close by, Reed and Sedge War­bler, too, in spring and sum­mer. Af­ter a bor­ing, and pre­car­i­ous, 500m on the B3330 you re­gain the marsh past St He­lens bridge and then en­joy some es­tu­ary and sea birding of real po­ten­tial. Green­shank are re­li­able and King­fisher oc­ca­sional.

Mediter­ranean Gull


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