Milford Conservation Volunteers


Milford Conservation Volunteers (MCV) are running a series of “Birdwatching for Beginners” sessions this winter. Keith Metcalf, their conservation officer, has advised us that these will take place at the Sturt Pond Hide and the Pans Observatory at Keyhaven. Binoculars, telescopes and bird field guides are all available to use at these sessions and expert birders will be on hand to talk to visitors about the use of the equipment and the birds of the Solent area that they are most likely to see. 

The bird hide sessions at Sturt Pond are held on the first Saturday in the month between 10 am and noon. The winter birding sessions at the Observatory will be held on the third Saturday each month (commencing Saturday 15th November) also between 10 am and noon through to at least March next year.  There are no charges for attending these sessions but donations are always welcome to help provide winter feed for the birds.  Keith said, “Just turn up and we shall help you identify all the birds that you see”.

MCV also organise birding trips in association with Hurst Castle Ferries.  The trips, which last between one-and-a-half to two-hours, take place around and along the creeks and saltmarshes of Keyhaven.  They have an expert skipper (Andy) who gets us into nooks and crannies most boats are unable to visit.  These trips are accompanied by two experienced birders who point out the numerous winter birds seen around the marshes.  The next trips with availability are on Monday 12th November departing at 9 am from Hurst Castle Ferry pontoon at Keyhaven and Friday 14th December leaving at the same time. These will be MCVs 25th and 26th trip since they began in winter 2016.

The last trip notched up about 35 different species, including about a hundred Dark-bellied Brent Geese returning from their breeding grounds in Siberia, several Red-breasted Merganser, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Raven and Peregrine. As winter progresses more and more birds will make the creeks and saltmarshes
Keith Metcalf will be joined by local birders - either Richard Coomber or Mary Macmillan on the next trips.  For further details, contact Keith Metcalf (01590) 645825 or email