Ground-nesting birds in the New Forest

The New Forest National Park is home to a range of special birds which nest on the ground. Ground nesting birds are vulnerable between 1st March and 31st July. The public are asked to keep themselves (and their dogs) to main tracks. Move away quickly if you see disturbed or distressed parent birds. Encourage others to do the same.

  Curlew
The largest European wading bird, instantly recognisable on winter estuaries or summer moors with its long down-curved bill, brown upperparts & long legs.
  Dartford Warbler
Small, dark & long-tailed, resident in the UK. Population crashed to a few pairs in the 1960s, since when it has gradually recovered. It will perch on top of a gorse stem to sing        
  Lapwing
AKA the peewit in imitation of its display calls, lapwing describes its wavering flight. Its black & white appearance & round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest.
  Nightjar
Nocturnal. Can be seen hawking for food at dusk & dawn. Pointed wings & a long tails, a shape similar to a kestrel or cuckoo. Grey-brown, mottled, streaked & barred plumage are ideal camouflage.
  Redshank
Medium-sized wading bird. Longish red legs & a long, straight bill. Grey-brown above & whitish below. In flight, it shows very obvious white rear edges to the wings & a white 'V-shape' up its back.
  Snipe
Medium sized, skulking wading birds with short legs & longstraight bills. Mottled brown above, with paler buff stripes on the back, dark streaks on the chest & pale under parts.
  Woodlark
Streaky brown, a buffy-white eye-stripe meets across the nape. A well developed crest on its crown is not always conspicuous. In flight the short tail & broad, rounded wings are noticeable.