Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT), the National Trust and RSPB have teamed-up to showcase Poole Harbour, its islands and the spectacular wildlife that can be found there, with a series of bird boat trips from September 2017 – February 2018.
The first boat trip is on Sunday 3rd September, with a special Osprey Cruise which goes up the Wareham Channel and in between Shipstal Point, and Long and Round Island. Poole Harbour is a regular stopover for ospreys heading south at this time of year. Following this year’s introduction of additional osprey chicks to the area in the hope of encouraging breeding, this is a great chance to look for these magnificent birds of prey and many other birds, from terns to migrating waders.
The Poole Harbour bird boat trips provide a rare opportunity to view one of the best winter bird spectacles in the UK. Over 20,000 birds visit Poole Harbour each year to feed and roost, including Britain’s largest over-wintering population of spoonbills and the largest flock of avocet in the UK. Large numbers of birds of prey, including marsh and hen harrier, peregrine falcon and merlin can also be seen.
Some trips will also include a landing on Brownsea Island, which is owned by the National Trust, where visitors will be able to explore the island and visit the DWT nature reserve, with hides over-looking the lagoon, for a closer look at the bird activity.
Nicky Hoar from DWT said, “This is a unique opportunity to experience the spectacular bird life of Poole Harbour at this time of year. It’s also a great chance to learn more about these fascinating birds with our expert guides, who will be on hand to answer questions.”
Olivia Freeman from the National Trust, Brownsea Island said, “A visit to Brownsea Island is always special, and the opportunity to visit the island in winter is no exception. In particular visitors will have the chance to see avocets and spoonbills on the lagoon and enjoy the spectacular views across Poole Harbour.”
George Hinton from RSPB said, “Being out on the water in Poole harbour is an amazing experience at any time of year, but during the colder months the bird spectacle here is second to none and the chance to visit Brownsea Island and have it all to ourselves is hard to resist!”
There are a variety of dates to choose from: Harbour Cruise only (2.5 hours; £17 adult, £7.50 child) Sunday 3rd September 2017, Saturday 13th January 2018, Sunday 4th February 2018 and Friday 16th February 2018. Dates for harbour cruises with Brownsea Island landing (4 hours; £22 adult, £10 child) are: Saturday 25th November 2017, Saturday 9th December 2017, Saturday 6th January 2018 and Sunday 21st January 2018.
How to book
To book your ticket, phone 01202 707744.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 27,000 members and 44 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows nature reserve and the Kingcombe Centre, Brownsea Island Nature Reserve, The Fine Foundation Marine Centre and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.