Autumn Birds of the Wild Isle

Birdwatching Weekend Holiday on the Isle of Wight

with The Garlic Farm & Natural Links

8 - 10 November 2019

Join your weekend leader, Dave Fairlamb, of Natural Links. for a birdwatching break packed with the best of autumn birds as we visit some of the top nature reserves and birdwatching sites on the Isle of Wight.

The wide range of habitats on this stunning Island and the surrounding shores and seas off the south coast of England provide fantastic birdwatching with a wonderful array of species; Geese, diving and dabbling Ducks, Waders, Birds of Prey, Divers and Grebes, Herons and Egrets, Larks, Finches and Buntings and Woodland Birds.

This will be the first year that The Garlic Farm and Natural Links have joined forces to offer guests a weekend break that combines all the comfort you would expect from a choice of Country Cottage or Luxury Yurt accommodation nestled in beautiful countryside at the foot of the chalkland downs, with expert-led excursions to local nature reserves and birdwatching hot spots on the Wild-Isle.

Some of the stand out birds on our search list will include Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Pintail, Common Scoter, Red and Great Northern Divers, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Black-necked Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Water Rail, Golden and Grey Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling, Mediterranean Gull, Short-eared Owl, Cetti's Warbler and Black Redstart

The month of November can always turn up a few surprises, and in recent years, scarcer island visitors have included Hen Harrier, Greater Yellowlegs, Little Stint, Waxwing, Siberian Stonechat, Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Spanish Sparrow and Snow Bunting.

In the wonderful world of birdwatching – always expect the unexpected!

Weekend Programme:

Friday 8 November 2019

Guests arrive at Garlic Farm Accommodation from 2pm onwards.

Afternoon: Join your leader, Dave Fairlamb, from 3.30-5pm, for an optional stroll and relaxed birdwatching around the mixed woodlands and farmland of our base for the weekend, Mersley Farm. The farm woodlands are also one of the best places on the island to see Red Squirrels.

Evening: Dinner at 7pm to include free drink and Illustrated Talk – Autumn Birds of the Wild-Isle

Saturday 9 November 2019

Morning: Breakfast followed by Site visits to Parkhurst Forest and Newtown National Nature Reserve.

Parkhurst Forest is a mix of ancient remnant, heathland and plantation and as well as many of the typical woodland birds like woodpeckers, long-eared owl, jay, finches and tits it is a renowned site for Red Squirrels.

Designated for it's important bird assemblages, Newtown NNR bursts into life in autumn as thousands of wildfowl and waders gather to feed and roost on the mudflats and saltmarshes, often joined by Egrets and Spoonbills

Packed Lunch

Afternoon: Site visit to West Yar Estuary

The brackish waters of the Estuary are another superb site for wildfowl and waders with occasional overwintering Kingfishers. With a backdrop of woodlands, this site can also be productive for birds of prey.

Evening: Dinner at 7pm to include free drink and Autumn Birds of the Wild-Isle Quiz

Sunday 10 November 2019

Morning: Breakfast followed by Site visits to Brading Marshes RSPB Reserve and Bembridge Harbour.

Brading Marshes has been an RSPB Reserve since 2001 and the reedbeds now host Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler as well as a growing number of Egrets. It lies adjacent to Bembridge Harbour so there is a constant exchange of wildfowl and waders between the sites dependant on tides. The harbour is a convenient site to improve your Gull ID, especially with it's impressive number of Mediterannean Gulls in autumn.

Packed Lunch

Afternoon: Site visits to Seaview, Puckpool Point and Ryde Sands

This combination of sites on the north-eastern corner of the island give good views over the Solent. Brent Geese favour the intertidal sandflats and waders such as Sanderling, Turnstone and Ringed Plover hug the shoreline, with the possibility of Divers and Grebes offshore.

The tariff for `Autumn Birds of the Wild-Isle':

£250 per person when sharing a double/twin room in country cottage or exclusive use of luxury Yurt

£250 per person for a single room in a country cottage

£350 per person for sole use of luxury Yurt

The price includes VAT, and covers:

  • Two night's accommodation and full English breakfast on both mornings
  • Packed Lunches and birdwatching excursions on weekend days.
  • Dinner with Free Drink on Friday & Saturday evenings.
  • Optional birdwatching walk on afternoon of arrival.
  • Illustrated talk on Friday evening.
  • Quiz on Saturday evening.

We can also book excellent discounts on all ferry routes to the Island.

We courteously ask guests to car-share for travel around Island birdwatching sites.

Please email hugo@thegarlicfarm.co.uk or call 01983 898477 for bookings and enquiries.

Further information at natural-links.co.uk