Brownsea Island bird boats

Birds on the lagon

The National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the RSPB have joined forces to offer the rare opportunity to view one of the best autumn and winter bird spectacles in the UK. Brownsea bird boats offer a guided tour of the harbour and include a two hour landing on Brownsea Island with an opportunity to explore the lagoon and hides.

Over 20,000 birds visit Poole Harbour each year to feed and roost, including Britain's largest over-wintering populations of spoonbills and the largest flock of avocets in the UK.

A large range of birds of prey including marsh and hen harrier, peregrine falcon, and merlin can also be seen. 

 An experienced guide will lead you on your tour of the harbour and a wide range of experts will be on hand at the hides on Brownsea Island to answer a whole range of bird and wildlife related questions.

The lagoon has brackish water, a mix of fresh and saline water, providing an abundance of forage for many wading birds.  It becomes a refuge to birds from all around the harbour at high tide when the mudflats elsewhere are covered.

Dunlin and Grey Plover in flight over the Brownsea lagoon
birding
Dunlin and Grey Plover in flight over the Brownsea lagoon

Out in the harbour we would expect to see red brested merganser, great northern diver and goldeneye with the chance of other grebes, divers and ducks making an appearance.

On the island it’s not just the abundance of wading birds that are a draw.  The island has a healthy population of sika deer and red squirrels to track down in the woodlands. This trip is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of one of the best wildlife spectacles around.

2019/20 dates are: Mon 18 Nov, Thu 28 Nov, and Sat 14 Dec 2019 and Sun 12 Jan 12, Tue 14 Jan and Sun 26 Jan 2020. Tickets £25 for adults, £12.50 for children.

Booking essential. See here for more info.