Jeni Bell’s Wild Britain – An Overlooked Haven
The continued adventures Of Jeni , Bill and Millie……..
When you think about the New Forest you usually conjure up images of grand old oak trees or expansive heathlands. Rolling waves and shingle beaches don’t always spring to mind, but coastal environments make up quite a chunk of the New Forest. And, I personally think that these coastal stretches of the National Park are home to some of the Forest’s best kept secrets.
Tucked away, past the cosy little village of New Milton is one of my all-time spots on the new forest. Keyhaven. A pretty little harbour with spectacular views across to the Isle of Wight and a huge array of both resident and visiting wildlife. The flora and fauna make the most of a variety of habitats such as: salt marshes, mudflats, saline lagoons, shingle banks and grazing marshes and it’s always somewhere we head when we need a bit of a wildlife fix.
I’d heard a rumour that there had been sightings of a short-eared owl seen hunting the marshes in between Keyhaven and Lymington. I was super keen to tick off the SEO from my list, I have never seen one. I always miss them when they are in the area, and one of these stunning birds would make a great addition to my #my200birdyear list. Luckily, you can park over-night at Keyhaven, so that meant we could head over in the van, stay the night and get out early to see what birdlife was around. Any parking near Hurst Spit runs the risk of the road flooding during hightides, so it pays to keep an eye on both tide times and the weather.