Grid Ref SU501055
Client: Hampshire County Council, Countryside Service
Hook with Warsash Local Nature Reserve, which includes Wendleholme is over 500 acres at the mouth of the river Hamble, with a shoreline almost 3 miles long. There are a variety of habitats of which some are regionally rare and declining. The foreshore and intertidal areas provide an important winter feeding ground for many species of wading birds and wildfowl including Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Viewing is best from about 2½ hours before high tide. The curving Hook Spit is regularly used by roosting Turnstones as well as by a few pairs of breeding Ringed Plovers, but these shingle zones are most interesting for their plant species such as Sea Kale, Sea Beet, Yellow-horned Poppy, Sea Campion, Sea Sandwort and Sand Couch Grass.
The areas of grassland and scrub on Hook Links support a variety of breeding birds including Linnets, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and the occasional pair of Stonechats. Hook Links is a good area for migrants. Dartford and other Warblers, and flycatchers often visit in autumn. In the wettest areas brackish plant species such as Divided Sedge, Glaucous Bulrush and Sea Clubrush can be found. The improved grassland above the links is relatively poor in plant species but it is here that feeding flocks of Lapwings, Curlew and Brent Geese occur from late autumn and through winter.
At Hook Lake all stages in the process of natural succession from open water to mature woodland can be seen. The reedbeds support numerous pairs of breeding Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings and some Cetti's Warblers, whilst on or over the nearby open water Herons, Teal, Coots, Little Grebes and Kingfishers may be seen. As reedbed gives way to Alder carr and then to mature Oak and Beech so almost all the typical woodland birds are found, including Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Nuthatches, Willow Warblers and three Woodpecker species.
The foreshore and intertidal areas provide an important winter feeding ground for many species of wading birds and wildfowl including Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Oystercatchers, Redshanks, Shelduck and Brent Geese. Viewing is best from about 2½ hours before high tide.
In May we are in for a right old mixture of jobs! Access improvements involve laying some gravel and shifting large stones. An old sign needs to be removed. Some plant and bird surveying will give a bit of light relief.
Meet at 10am at the end of Church Road, Warsash. From the A27 at Sarisbury turn south onto Barnes Lane for Warsash. Follow the lane to the roundabout in the centre of the village and turn left into Dibles Road. Take the second right, Church Road and follow this all the way to the end. Look out for our white van and yellow signs. We will be moving on from here so don't be late.