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National Trust offers winter walks for birders this January

Wed 18 Dec 2013

National Trust offers winter walks for birders this January

Nature lovers visiting the Isle of Wight in the New Year will be given a helping hand to spot some of the island's best-loved wildlife.
While the cold temperatures may have encouraged many birds to fly off to sunnier climes until the spring, the island remains home to a number of species right throughout the winter.
And, when it comes to spotting the winged wonders in their natural habitat, few places beat the Newtown Nature Reserve, which is where the National Trust will be organising a special Winter Bird Walk this January.
Taking place on January 11th, the family-friendly event will see experienced rangers guide nature-lovers around the reserve, with the walk leaving from the car park directly opposite the Newtown Old Town Hall and then passing through woodland and marshland and alongside some wetlands.
As well as wintering birds both native and migrant, twitchers can expect to see a range of other flora and fauna, including impressive oak trees and maybe some small mammals.
Regardless of the season, the Newtown Nature Reserve is widely-acknowledged as being one of the best spots on the whole of the island to get close to nature.
Just moments from the quaint old town, the reserve, which is the only National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight, boasts flower-rich meadows in the spring and summer, while its expansive salt marshes are not only home to wading birds and fish but also to fishing boats, with the scene from the shore making for an excellent souvenir photograph.
Perhaps above all, the reserve is best-known for being a great place to spot the elusive red squirrel, though wildlife-lovers may also able to catch a glimpse a number of other relatively-rare species, including the seldom-seen silver washed fritillary butterfly.
Visitors are advised to bring their own binoculars or spotting scopes, though some of the bird hides are situated so close to the habitat that even the most under-equipped ornithologist can have a memorable day out.


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