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Farlington Marshes NNR

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Small Coppers can be found in the grassy meadows, where there are a lot of wildflowers.

Jersey Tiger Moths are a common migrant in some years

 The Wall Brown hasn't been seen on Farlington Marshes for several decades, but I'm optimistic that it will return someday in the future.

Small Heaths can be seen in the grassy tussucks and more sandy soil areas.


Starlings are common on the reserve and sometimes they can be seen in their thousands, almost making a murmuration


Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Visit during the winter to see huge numbers of waders on the lakes at high tide. Thousands of brent geese graze on the fields during the colder months and short eared owls are out on the hunt.


About the reserve


This reserve offers wonderful walks all year round, but during the winter it really comes to life, playing host to a staggering number of migratory, overwintering wildfowl.


Dark bellied brent geese, wigeons, teals, avocets, redshanks and dunlins flock to Farlington Marshes in their thousands, creating unrivalled bird watching opportunities. The winter also sees the return of the ever popular short eared owls, which hunt over the Point Field and southern end of the main marsh. 


During the spring and summer migrations, the Point Field and bushes are hotspots for warblers and other small passerines passing through. Redstarts, spotted flycatchers, wrynecks, wheatears and whinchats are regularly spotted.


During the summer months Cetti’s, reed and sedge warblers can be heard chattering, while lapwings, redshanks, meadow pipits and skylarks are busy out on the marsh as they settle down to breed.


Butterflies which can be found are Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, all the White Species, Small Heath, Small Copper, Common Blue, Clouded Yellow, Green Hairstreak, also Grayling has been seen in good years, and the Wall Brown was once common here sadly declining in the UK we have now lost it on Portsdown Hill, which has sadly resulted in no records from Farlington Marshes. I'm hopeful that it will return one day. There are many Moths found here but worthy of note are the Hummingbird Hawk Moth, Jersey Tiger moth and the Silver-'Y' Moth.


Farlington Marshes is a fantastic place to walk with stunning views around the harbour. Whether you’re a birder, a keen walker or simply enjoy being among nature, we highly recommend a visit to this magnificent nature reserve. 






Environmental designation


Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

Special Protection Areas (SPA)


Common Egret are now part of Britain's flora and fauna, and can be seen on the reserve in small numbers.

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The highlight of any visit to Farlington marshes is seeing the Short Eared Owl, mainly seen in early winter through to early spring, where they are seen flying over the marshes at dawn and dusk, hunting for prey.

Bearded Tits are quite a famous bird in the marshes and when you see them consider yourself very lucky, they are quite an inquisitive bird and remarkably tame once they have been seen.

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