Isle of Wight Migration Weekender 2022

White-tailed Eagles, waders and migrants!

  • Duration

    16 September 2022 to 19 September 2022

  • Location


  • Led by

    TUBW Guide

  • Group size

    up to 10 participants

  • Price

    £800 per person

  • Single supplement


  • Deposit

    £240 per person

  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date

    Second Payment: 16/07/2022

  • Please contact us if you have any other queries


Free loan of Leica Ultravid binoculars is available for the duration of the tour – subject to availability.

Please ask for details.

About the Isle of Wight

This surprisingly beautiful island is situated just off the southern coast of England between the well-known mainland migration magnets that are Beachy Head to the east and Portland Bill to the west. The Isle of Wight is an often forgotten birding destination that has a lot more birds traversing its terrain than is currently observed. Indeed, over 320 species have been recorded on this island that consists of a variety of diverse habitats like saltwater estuary, freshwater marsh, coastal headlands, woodland, south facing chalk downland and, of course, urban areas.

Despite being under-watched some amazing birds have been uncovered over the years including Little Shearwater, 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. In 2014, European Bee-eaters nested on the island successfully raising eight chicks and made it the most productive breeding record for this species in the UK!

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 stayed, some died and others have made incredible commutes including one that was seen sailing through London skies one summer. Since those early days more birds have been introduced. We could bump into one or more of these birds at any point.

About this tour

We will be visiting the Isle of Wight during a good time for autumn 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 feel like pioneers exploring little-known birding localities on 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.


Tapnell Farm is a well appointed former dairy farm turned all-weather attraction surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Isle of Wight – including some stunning sea views. There are small blocks of woodland on site that will be perfect for observing woodland species at close range. There is even a pair of Barn Owls breeding within the grounds that we may also possibly see.

Our accommodation will be based at the recently renovated rustic Tapnell Manor. There is plenty of room for the group to spread out plus, it contains ten bedrooms. It’s a smashing place. Take a look here for more information.

Expected birds

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

Mammals: Red Squirrel.


September 16 – arrival and check-in

Meet at Wightlink, Lymington Ferry Port, Hants at noon – latest.

After boarding the *1pm Wightlink ferry we will arrive at Yarmouth, Isle of Wight some 40 minutes later. It will then be a short 10 minute drive to check-in at the Tapnell Farm accommodation.

Thereafter, we will indulge in some local birding before dinner.

Dinner/Overnight stay at the Tapnell Farm.

*Exact ferry timings will be established nearer the time.

September 17 – Hursey Nature Reserve, Bembridge Harbour, Alverstone Mead & Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve

After our breakfast, we will head to the eastern side of the island to spend some time at Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve. Inland and east of Bembridge, it is an interesting combination of river, marsh, estuary and woodland. We will keep an eye out for the mighty White-tailed Eagle as there is a pair that frequents this area. Also, we will hopefully meet with the White-tailed Eagle Project Officer today who will fill us in on the sea eagle reintroduction story. Donations to the project, through the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, will be gratefully accepted on the day.

Brading Marsh is also a great place for catching up with the loud but equally unobtrusive Cetti’s Warbler, as well as for watching an array of waterfowl.

After lunch, we will head east to Hursey Nature Reserve to observe waders and waterfowl. This reserve consists of a small lake with a surrounding ecosystem of marshland and reedbeds. It’s also a nice spot for dragonflies. We will then travel to Bembridge Harbour situated just south of Hursey. It is a good site to watch for numbers of the very gorgeous Mediterranean Gulls.

Finally, 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 predator. But you never know!

Dinner/Overnight stay at the Tapnell Farm.

September 18 – St Catherine’s Point & Ventnor Downs

After a hearty breakfast, 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 overhead on their way south from more northerly climes. We will hope to find commoner migrants like Common Chiffchaffs, both Common and Black Redstarts, a variety of finches like Chaffinches plus the hope of rarer visitors. Along the coast we could also hope for Stonechats standing on the tops of the bushes, Raven, Peregrine and perhaps an early Merlin. Out at sea we may be lucky to catch seabirds passing by like Northern Gannet or even Sooty Shearwaters or Common Scoters.

After lunch, we will spend the rest of the afternoon on Ventnor Downs which is another renowned migration spot, especially for raptors. We will also hopefully see a few smaller birds in the bushes like Dunnock, Robins, thrushes and other passerines. If we have been unlucky with Red Squirrels, we could also spare a bit of time in the late afternoon looking for them in the Ventnor Botanic Gardens. Be aware that there will be an entry fee payable for those wishing to visit this venue.

Dinner/Overnight stay at the Tapnell Farm.

September 19 – Alum Bay, West High Down & Newtown National Trust Nature Reserve

Our final day will be spent on the western side of the island in the vicinity of our accommodation. Indeed, after breakfast, we will spend a bit of time exploring the woodland around the Tapnell Farm complex searching for migrant warblers. Thereafter, 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. We will keep our eyes peeled!

After lunch we will visit Newtown National Trust NR Reserve – the largest nature reserve on the island – to enjoy more waders and waterfowl. Plus, we will have another opportunity to discover White-tailed Eagles.

We will then leave the area, return to our accommodation to pick up our luggage and then catch the *6pm ferry back to Lymington from Yarmouth.

*Exact ferry timings will be established nearer the time.

Special trip notes

This trip is suitable for all ages and abilities.

The pace of this tour will be gentle. We will let the wildlife come to us.

The Isle of Wight could be decidedly autumnal in October so be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather. Pack warm clothing, wind resistant and rainproof clothing plus a sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots.

Recommended field guide

Collins Bird Guide – Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström

Book now

  • Duration: 16 September 2022 to 19 September 2022
  • Price: £800 per person
  • Deposit: £240 per person
  • Single supplement: none
  • Group size: up to 10 participants
  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date

    Second Payment: 16/07/2022

  • Please contact us if you have any other queries


  • Passenger details

    Once you have booked your tour with us, please complete this form:
    Client Travel Form

Price: £800.00 per person

White-tailed Eagles, waders and migrants!

— 16 September 2022 to 19 September 2022 —

Led by a TUBW Guide

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Price includes

  • Full board accommodation
  • All transportation on the island
  • The services of your TUBW guide
  • The optional loan of a pair of sexy Leica binoculars for the duration of the tour – subject to availability –

Price does not include

  • Airline tickets and airport taxes
  • Ferry fees
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Entry fees to monuments and museums (if desired)
  • Incidental refreshments at cafes and bars, plus all additional drinks


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Covid-19 has affected all holiday destinations across the globe. Please refer to our Covid-19 Guidelines for the latest position.

Guest and guide safety are paramount, so please always adhere to appropriate social distancing measures where possible. All the locations selected for this tour will have open-air parking and will be outdoor sites (no hides). Participants will have to get to the Wightlink, Lymington Ferry Port, Hants in order to catch the ferry and travel as a group within a minibus across to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. You can park your car at the ferry port, although you can use your own vehicle to get to the Isle of Wight and to the birding venues. However, we would like to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. Therefore, it would be preferable for us all travel in the minibus once on the island.

Discounts for the ferry crossings can be obtained by contacting Tapnell Farm – our accommodation – if bringing your own car over. Otherwise, the ferry crossing will be free as a member of the group.

Whilst your guide will have a telescope and binoculars, to minimise sharing, please bring your own equipment if you can. Antibacterial wipes will be on hand if sharing is required.