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a variety of places to bird watch

Bird Watching in The New Forest

The New Forest is a rich habitat for a range of different wildlife; its diverse landscapes make it the ideal location for various types of woodland animals, large mammals and even birds. Birds are commonly an overlooked feature of the New Forest eco-system and the forest plays an integral role in some of these birds existence.

The heathlands are a dry, warm and insect haven habitat which makes it the perfect breeding and nesting ground for an array of different birds. You will often find that during March and July which is the nesting season, visitors are asked to keep themselves and their dogs on the designated walking paths in order to ensure the safety of the nesting birds.

There are a variety of places throughout the New Forest which are perfect for visitors to indulge in a spot of bird watching. Some of the places you can see birds are in the heathlands, nature reserves and woodlands. The diverse landscapes make it the perfect place to see an array of different birds from buzzards to kingfishers. There are around 100 species of breeding birds in the New Forest, with around 20 regular avian visitors which arrive or pass through the forest in the winter months.

A fantastic place to learn more about owls is The New Forest Wildlife Park, where you can listen to one of the Keeper Talks about the variety of owls they look after as well as the other animals. Liberty’s Raptor and Reptile Centre is also another great family day out where there are daily Raptor displays.

From April – September A Date with Nature is held at the New Forest Reptile Centre where well-placed cameras will give you a rare insight into the private lives of Goshawks and Hobbies, and show you how they raise their chicks from eggs to first flight.
Explore the New Forest along one of the many fantastic cycling and walking routes and see which birds you discover. Perhaps set up for an afternoon on the heathlands or in the woodlands and create a delicious lunch from local produce as you sit and watch the birds.