Bird watching on the Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight is a great place to watch birds - some of the best sites are on National Trust land.

Over 200 species are recorded on the Island each year. Quite a few rarities visit us due to our proximity to mainland Europe and migration routes.

There's a wide range of habitats: muddy creeks, ancient woodlands, open downs – and of course nowhere on the Island is far from the sea.

Monthly bird sightings can be found on websites associated with the Isle of Wight Ornithological Group.

Where to go to spot birds?

Newtown National Nature Reserve

  • This is one of the best places for bird spotting. There are three public hides and our volunteers are often on hand to identify the birds at the Mercia Seabroke Hide close to the harbour. Ospreys are frequent migrating visitors.

St Helens Duver

  • A good place to bird watch over Bembridge Harbour, where you may see flocks of geese, duck and waders in the winter.
  • It's adjacent to the RSPB Brading Marshes reserve.

Tennyson Down

  • The cliffs, fields and high downs around here, and at the Island’s most southerly point near Knowles Farm, are excellent sites for bird watching. Peregrine falcons and ravens patrol the coast. Many migrant terns and ducks pass at sea and the scrub attracts migrant warblers and chats.

Headon Warren and Luccombe Down

  • You may hear, or even spot, a Dartford warbler on the acid heathland here.

Mottistone Common

  • You can usually hear nightjars churring on balmy June evenings here. You'll almost certainly see buzzards over the downs and woods.

Borthwood Copse

  • In the depths of the ancient woodland here, look out for woodpeckers and goldcrests.