There have already been sightings of large numbers of brent geese, redshank and turnstone at Hill Head, near Titchfield; black-tailed godwit at Keyhaven Harbour; sanderling and ringed plover at Ryde on the Isle of Wight; Oystercatcher on Hayling Island and Teal in Portchester.

Many of the birds will have spent weeks flying from arctic regions to get to our shores, so it's no surprise that they are tired and hungry. The Solent offers food rich mudflats and beaches which are a perfect place for the birds to feed and rest.

However, their challenges are far from over. The birds need to find food, catch it and compete with others to feast on it. All this, alongside a meal time that is dictated by low tide and carries the risk of being interrupted by people visiting the coast. - This is where we can all make a difference, simply by keeping our distance, exercising dogs away from the birds and staying on paths where they exist.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH), which oversees Bird Aware remarked, 'The diverse birdlife we see on our Solent shores is fabulous. We must do all we can to ensure future generations will enjoy them too.'

When you next visit your local beach, keep a look out for these winged wonders and give them plenty of space to feed and rest - they have travelled a long way to get here!

Follow Bird Aware Solent on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and visit the Bird Aware website  to find out more.

Date of release: 22 October 2019