Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with optional evening excursion. Up to 4 miles gentle walking per day

Group Size:

Seven plus Leaders

Golden-ringed Dragonfly Common Redstart Silver-washed Fritillary Dartford Warbler Firecrest Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Silver-studded Blue

The New Forest - Summer Wildlife

Date: 12th - 16th July 2022 (SPACES)
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



We meet at our accommodation at approximately 17.00 for check in and briefing before dinner. 
We will arrive at our first stop at Upper Crockford Stream shortly after breakfast and search the area along the stream in, and to the north-east of, the wood. Species of particular interest here are Southern Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly and Golden-ringed Dragonfly, with White Admiral and Silver-studded Blue butterflies also present. Beautiful Demoiselle is common and further upstream where the brook opens out onto the heath, Golden-ringed Dragonfly and Keeled Skimmer are easily seen. Surrounding habitat is good for Dartford Warbler and Eurasian Hobby. After lunch we head over to Hatchet Pond and search for Downy Emerald, with Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer also likely, as well as an impressive showing of Bogbean at the north-east corner of the pond. Four-spotted Chaser can be numerous and Red-eyed Damselfly might be seen on the Lily pads. Calling at Denny Wood on our way home, we can look for White Admiral and Silver-washed Fritillary and also woodland birds such as Marsh Tit and Common Redstart.
Acres Down is a premier birding spot and we will spend the morning here looking for raptors. European Honey Buzzard is present most years but very difficult to connect with, though Northern Goshawk is quite common and easy to see. Woodlark, Common Redstart and Common Crossbill are often seen from the watchpoint while Southern Hawker, Broad-bodied Chaser and Keeled Skimmer should also be found. A woodland walk from the car park will allow us to search for Firecrest and Wood Warbler, as well as woodland butterflies. After lunch we head along to Mill Lawn Brook, a beautiful location and one where we might find the very rare Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly. Southern and Small Red Damselfly are also present and the usual spread of the larger species can be found too. Finally at Ober Water, we will search for White-legged Damselfly and visit an idyllic spot where dozens of odonata can be observed going about their business at close quarters. 
Martin Down is our destination this morning, about a forty minute drive to the North-west. This chalk grassland location opens up a whole different habitat for us and we will spend an enjoyable couple of hours here looking for Small Blue, Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary, Large Skipper and in some years if the season is late we might also see Adonis Blue! Orchids abound here, and we have seen Pyramidal and even Frog Orchid in the past. Corn Bunting and Red Kite are among the birds often seen here. In the afternoon we head down to Blashford Lakes HWT reserve, a good birding site but also excellent for dragonflies. Brown Hawker should be seen here as well as a sea of Common Blue Damselflies. Common Kingfisher, European Reed Warbler, Common Tern, Little Gull, Little-ringed Plover and common ducks, grebes and waders should all be seen. After dinner, we will take a walk near to Lyndhurst to look for European Nightjar.
Our final morning is spent at the superb butterfly site that is Bentley Woods in Wiltshire. We will follow in convoy to this site so that once the tour concludes we may all make our separate ways home. The woodland glades here host Purple Emperor, Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral Butterflies, with the main clearing normally holding good numbers of Marbled White. European Honey Buzzard is present at the site and sometimes can be seen over the woodland glades, and a series of forest ponds hold Southern Hawker and sometimes Downy Emerald. The tour concludes at about 1400 to allow for the onward journey home. 
**Please note if wet weather is encountered, some of the sites will have to be dropped in favour of a more bird-based itinerary. In the past we have visited Keyhaven Marshes where a variety of wildfowl, waders, terns and woodland birds can be added. Martin Down will only be visited in fine weather, as this is primarily a butterfly site.


Additional Information


Four nights dinner, bed and breakfast in en suite rooms, services of leaders, packed lunches, minibus transport throughout and reserve entrance fees.
Transport to and from rendezvous points, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.





Tour Reports


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" We found the guides to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful on what was a very enjoyable tour. The insects were particularly enjoyable and we would definitely come again as well as recommending Oriole Birding to others"
E & A W Preston
"I particularly appreciated the thoughtfulness of Ashley and Adrian in ensuring the needs of the clients were met and I was not made to feel a nuisance in my old age!" E B Devon
" I really enjoyed this tour and it has inspired me to book more of your "bug" trips" R H Leicester
" The new experience of not just looking at birds was very enjoyable for us, though the highlight among some special wildlife was undoubtedly the Nightjar, which was particularly appreciated and special thanks also for delaying it until we were both fit enough to attend. As always,you went the extra mile for the participants enjoyment and is one of the main reasons we have never booked a trip with another company in over ten years of birding holidays; with two more already in the pipeline!!" A J & M S London