Duration: Four days

Price point: Mid-range

Isle of Wight Bird Migration Weekend

Fri 14 May to Mon 17 May 2021

  • The chance to watch migration in action in an under-watched part of England

  • Check in on the island's re-introduced white-tailed eagles

  • Stay within cozy accommodation with the opportunity to start birding outside the front door

  • Enjoy the Island's unique atmosphere

Few people go to the Isle of Wight for birding despite its unique geographical position at the southern extremity of England. It is the last and first port of call for many migrating birds travelling to and from continental Europe.


This tour is designed to explore areas of the island that are little-watched migration hotspots. And we just might find some interesting birds!

Over 320 species have been recorded on the island which consists of a variety of diverse habitats like saltwater estuary, freshwater marsh, coastal headlands, woodland, south facing chalk downland.


Despite being under-watched some amazing birds have been uncovered including Little Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Black Stork, Black Kite, Red-footed Falcon, Long-billed Dowitcher, European Roller, Little Swift, Radde’s, Dusky and Hume’s Warblers and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. 

The latest avian point of interest for the island is the recent reintroduction of the mighty White-tailed Eagle, after an absence of over 240 years. Three pairs were reintroduced at a secret location in 2019. Some of stayed, some have died and others have made incredible commutes including one that was seen sailing through London skies during the summer of 2019. We could bump into one of these birds at any point.

At a glance

  • Location: Isle of Wight

  • Group sizes: 6 to 12

  • Trip type: Guided groups or privately guided.

  • Season: May 2021 

  • Grading/difficulty: Easy

  • Getting there: To Isle of Wight via ferry from Portsmouth.

  • Pick-ups: Minibus transfer from Kew Bridge, London (extra £35) or meet at Eversley Hotel,  Ventnor

  • Age restrictions: Under 16 year olds must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

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Sustainability and values

Our partner encourages people to carry their water in reusable canisters and they avoid using unnecessary plastic. They also use locally sourced produce for packed lunches and visit independent shops or eateries. All tours are deeply routed in the local community - always employing local guides to assist leaders and using local produce and services.They aim to cut out unnecessary driving to try and reduce carbon emissions. 

If you care about Climate Change, you'll care about carbon emissions from travel

All of the tours offered through Natural Britain have been assessed for the amount of carbon emitted and this is shown against each featured itinerary below. To help make sense of this figure, you can head over to our Carbon Emissions page for useful comparisons with overseas travel etc.

"Wildlife where you least expect it"

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Our story...

Our partner's story begins 15 years ago when David Lindo launched as The Urban Birder.


David is a writer, broadcaster, tour leader, educationalist and speaker. 

Featured Itinerary 

Price guide

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Isle of Wight Bird Migration

This tours runs on a group basis from Fri 14 May to Monday 17 May. Prices:

  • £650 per person

  • £35 for a transfer from London

Isle of Wight Bird Migration Weekend

We will be visiting the Isle of Wight during the prime time for spring migration in the UK. And whilst most birders will be treading the well-worn paths across the water on the mainland at Portland Bill and indeed, at the other famous hotspots across Britain, we will be like pioneers exploring the Isle of Wight.

There are many interesting sites to visit on the island so we will spend our days covering sectors of island and really getting to know the lay of the birding land.

Expected birds
Barn Owl, Black-tailed Godwit, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Kingfisher, Common Raven, Greenshank, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Peregrine, Stock Dove, migrants and possibly rarities.



Day 1. Arrive Ventnor, Isle of Wight

If you wish to travel in the 9-seater people carriers then meet outside the Kew Bridge Travelodge, North Rd, Brentford TW8 0BD at 9am. There is an additional cost of £35 for those wishing to use this service. After boarding the 1pm Wightlink ferry at the Portsmouth ferry terminal, in Hampshire, we will arrive at Fishbourne, Isle of Wight some 45 minutes later. We will aim to be at the hotel in Ventnor for a 3pm check-in. Thereafter, we will indulge in some local birding. Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

Day 2. Alum Bay, West High Down & Newtown National Trust Nature Reserve

After breakfast we will head to Alum Bay and West High Down on the westernmost extremity of the island. Alum Bay is famed for its multi-coloured sand cliffs as well as being a good site for observing visible migration. Hopefully, we may be able to watch larks, finches, pipits and finches on the move. This site along with nearby West High Down is also renowned for scarcer species in the autumn with Yellow-browed Warblers being seen most years. We will keep our eyes peeled! After lunch we will visit Newtown National Trust NR Reserve – the largest nature reserve on the island – to look for waders and waterfowl. We will also hopefully be meeting with the White-tailed Eagle Project Officer today who will fill us in on the eagle reintroduction story. Donations to the project, through the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, will be gratefully accepted on the day. Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

Day 3. Hursey Nature Reserve, Bembridge Harbour, Alverstone Mead & Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve

After our breakfast we will head east to Hursey Nature Reserve for more waders and waterfowl. This reserve consists of a small lake with a surrounding marshland and reedbeds. We will then travel to Bembridge Harbour situated just south of Hursey. It is the site for regular Mediterranean Gulls as well as possible rarities and scarcities. After lunch we will visit Alverstone Mead, which is just south of Bembridge. It is an area of water meadows and wet woodland – the later habitat a good place to look for Red Squirrel. This location is also a good area for Barn Owl although, we will probably be there at the wrong time of day to enjoy a sighting of this gorgeous owl. But you never know! Finally, we will end the day at Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve, which is inland and east of Bembridge. It is a combination of river, marsh, estuary and woodland and a great place for catching up with the unobtrusive Cetti’s Warbler. Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

Day 4. St Catherine’s Point & Ventnor Downs

After breakfast and *checking-out we will head south to St Catherine’s Point – the most southernmost point of the Isle of Wight. Given its geographic position it is a magnet for migrating birds as it sometimes gets significant numbers of migrants passing through on their way north from the continent. We will hope to find commoner migrants like Yellow Wagtail, Common and Black Redstarts plus the hope of rarer visitors. Along the coast we could also hope for Common Raven, Peregrine and perhaps a late Merlin. Out at sea we may be lucky to catch a shearwater passing by like a late Sooty Shearwater. After lunch, we will spend time on Ventnor Downs which is another renowned migration spot, especially for raptors. We will then head back to the hotel to collect our luggage. We will aim to board the 5pm Wightlink ferry from Fishbourne back to Portsmouth and then respectively head homeward bound or back to the London drop off point – if you booked onto this service. *Luggage will be held securely at the hotel.

The carbon impact of this trip is

38.1kg CO2e per person*

The above calculation shows the approximate amount of carbon that will be emitted by taking this trip (this does not include meals or getting to the destination). Details of how this figure is calculated can be found on our
Carbon Emissions page. 

Availability very limited. Book today  >


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