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Poole Wildlife Watch

Poole Wildlife Watch 2013

See migration as it takes place at one of the UK’s most beautiful wildlife hotspots.

The largest in Europe, Poole’s spectacular natural harbour and heathland are home year round to an ever changing ensemble of wild birds making it one of the best spots in the UK to see them.  With new arrivals heading across the coast in spring to 40,000 waders and Avocets in the winter there are thousands of birds throughout the year that take advantage of the harbour’s unique environment.

Take a trip with Poole’s Bird Boats to see birdlife at its best on specially tailored trips with experts from the RSPB to guide you and discounts for RSPB members, plus special out of season opportunites to land on Brownsea Island. Watch a cast of thousands strike a pose and make the most of the Avocets, Oystercatchers, Great Crested Grebes, Shelducks and many other species that live in and around Poole Harbour. Choose from:

You don’t have to get on the water to see the wildlife at its best, armed with a pair of binoculars, Holes Bay, Shore Road link will open in new window and Harbourside Park in Poole are good sites to see wild birds all year round.

Set in more than 100 acres of woodland and parkland on the northernmost reaches of Poole Harbour, Upton Country Park offers great opportunities to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year from animals and birds to water creatures and amphibians.  From the shoreline enjoy views towards Poole town across the harbour, the mudflats and marshes of which are a protected site of international importance for wildlife conservation. For more details of guided walks visit .

Whether a novice or expert, make the most of the experience with monthly RSPB guided walks visiting different locations and habitat adapted to the season and wildlife in the area.  With a maximum of 20-30 people, details can be found at www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk link will open in new window.

Keep an eye on the wildlife with the live Brownsea Lagoon webcam which captures all the action from the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s reserve on Brownsea Island at  www.birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk link will open in new window all year round.  The lagoon is a perfect habitat for thousands of Avocet and up to 30 Spoonbill and has hosted some special birds in the past such as Common Crane, Caspian Tern and Western Sandpiper.

Red Squirrel HomepageThe National Trust is open daily 21 March-1 November 2015 season.  The perfect time of year to see the rare native Red Squirrels and Sika Deer.  Or enjoy special out of season openings and Christmas Walks link will open in new window.

Brownsea Island and the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserve has unique access to the thousands of birds that flock to the island’s lagoons and reedbeds.  The island was voted the UK's best nature resort by BBC Countryfile Magazine in 2014 and played host to BBC AutumnWatch in 2008 - and was described by Bill Oddie as “the best place for seeing wildlife in Dorset”. Hop on the boat from Sandbanks or Poole Quay for more details, tel: 01202 707744.

If walking is your passion, stroll along Sandbanks, Britain’s best beach and winner of more Blue Flags than any other UK Beach or take one of the regular free guided walks and explore internationally important, protected heathland at Canford Heath with the experts on regular RSPB Health Walks and Borough of Poole Nature Walks.  Usually between 2-3 miles in length, the walks are a chance find out more about the site’s history, conservation and wildlife.  The heathland habitat is home to the rare Dartford Warbler in spring and summer and many other species year round. 

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