Solitude and superb birds on a lovely island walk
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.