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Thread: Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    Default Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset

    Whether it's on a nice day in spring, summer or autumn, or a chilly day in winter, Stanpit Marsh is certainly worth a visit!

    Access is good and there is parking (to pay, I think!) nearby. There are several 'hostelries' near the entrance, so even the greatest thirst may be quenched quite happily!

    Here are a few sites with info on this historic and beautiful wildlife area;
    Stanpit Marsh Local Nature Reserve - dorsetforyou.com
    Stanpit Marsh
    Dorset Bird Club - Latest Sightings - and there are many more to be 'Googled'!
    On 'Bing Maps' - Bing Maps - where the Stour and the Avon flow down to the sea.

    These photos were taken from a river trip on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, I never saw the Glossy Ibis....
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Name:	1. Christchurch lagoon from south - Stanpit to right..JPG 
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Name:	2. Looking east across Stanpit Marshes.JPG 
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Name:	3. Stanpit and Bailey bridge..JPG 
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Name:	4. Bird island on the lagoon.JPG 
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  2. #2
    Administrator rolf's Avatar
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    That looks like a nice trip Catherine, must do the same next time I'm down there.
    Rolf

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    Last October we sailed past it, so this October we just had to have a walk around it!

    It was last Saturday, and, at 21c officially, the warmest day for a while. The three Glossy Ibis were still around, but as was our luck, they were on one side of a fence as we were at the other, and flew over our heads when we crossed back over the stile - so we never saw them.

    Our visitors (being Dutch) decided to go on a trip into the New Forest on their bikes that morning, and we had promised to meet them at noon, so time was limited. However, apart from the wonderful views all around, we saw (and heard) many birds on our quick walk around the peninsula.

    Here (I hope) you can see Stanpit Marsh on the peninsula in the middle of this satellite image. The walk around it is clearly seen;
    Stanpit Marsh - Google Maps

    This is the whole of Christchurch harbour taken from a different angle, with Stanpit Marsh in the middle distance, and Hengistbury Head (more later!) in the foreground. http://www.hengistburyhead.org/Index...-3D-versio.jpg

    More information on Stanpit Marsh Nature Reserve here;Stanpit Marsh and Nature Reserve
    (I have repeated the links on this post as the ones above no longer seem to work.....)

    The red plant seen on some of the pics is Marsh Samphire (or Common Glasswort) which turns red in the autumn. I believe it is a cullinary delicacy as well!
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Name:	1. Looking across the marsh to Priory Church and the posh marina village at priory Quay.JPG 
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Name:	2. The marshe are alive with wildlife - Dragonflies, Frogs, Crabs - as well as the many birds fe.JPG 
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Name:	3. A Little Egret and  pony feed beside Brent Geese, Lapwings and others.JPG 
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Name:	4. Ponies graze amongst Lapwings, Brent Geese and others. Mudeford Quay in the background..JPG 
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Name:	5. Looking across Mother Sillar's Channel to the other side, with Mudeford village in the distan.jpg 
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Name:	6. Part of the path goes over Mother Sillar's Channel vis the original Bailey Bridge prototype.JPG 
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    Sorry there are no more bird pics - blame our rush to get back to our friends for that! However, if you follow this link - more than half way down this page you'll find pics of those Glossy Ibis! Sightings

    Here are some more photos however - just to give you an idea of the variety of habitats on the reserve;
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Name:	7. Mute Swans at the edge of the Avon-Stour confluence.JPG 
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Name:	8. Mute Swans take flight.jpg 
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Name:	9. The harbour area is still busy with leisure craft as well as fishing boats on their way out t.JPG 
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Name:	10. Anglers sit at the edge of the peninsula where the River Stour meets the River Avon.JPG 
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Name:	11. The rusty iron boat is believed to have been a lifeboat in WW2.  It is near here that the Gl.JPG 
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Name:	12. Two Grey Heron take a nap - or so it seems.JPG 
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  5. #5
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    Excellent photos Catherine, certainly in my list of must go to places.
    Rolf

  6. #6
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    More from the reserve.... January 2012
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Name:	13.  Kestrel.jpg 
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Name:	02.  Brent Geese at Stanpit.jpg 
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Name:	01. Mixed flock at the river's edge.JPG 
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Name:	10.  Marsh Aster.JPG 
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Name:	09.  Boarding bridges.JPG 
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Name:	03. Brents' landing gear down.jpg 
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    And there's more...... Still from yesterday, Friday 13th January
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Name:	04.  Egret in flight.JPG 
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Name:	05.  LE in flight a.JPG 
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Name:	06.  Little Egret fishing.JPG 
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Name:	07.  Little Egret stretching.JPG 
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  8. #8
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    Some great shots again Catherine, shows the area at its best. You perhaps ought to get one of those little beach huts in your first post of yesterday.:0
    Rolf

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    Rolf, when they go on sale they're normally over 100,000 each! Like to sponsor us?

    Thanks for your comments re. the pics - many being Glen's ones!

    Stanpit is easier than Keyhaven for you to get to;
    Stay on the M27 (in Bournemouth direction) after it becomes the A31.
    Then pass Travelodge and Little Chef on left, turning left on the road marked 'Emery Down'. (This misses out Lyndhurst which is a bottleneck!)
    You drive through the NF heath (watch for ponies!) and will meet the A35. Turn right on that road and drive straight on to Christchurch.
    Straight on through first two roundabouts, then turn left at Purewell roundabout (signed 'Stanpit')
    Free parking for the reserve is off to the right, not far past The Ship in Distress Inn.
    Kingfishers usually active near the Bailey Bridge and the Rusty Boat. (The latter area being where the Glossy Ibis stayed last year)

    The map on this page shows Stanpit reserve in relation to Purewell roundabout and other places. It also gives more info and links!
    http://www.lymington.org/placestovis...npitmarsh.html

  10. #10
    Administrator rolf's Avatar
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    Thanks Catherine, is the car park height restricted?
    Rolf

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    I don't think so, but cannot be sure.

    Will check next time we are near.

    There is parking at the Leisure Centre, and it is joined to reserve via a path on the map shown on that last link I gave you.
    It's not too far away, but I'm sure you'd find somewhere else nearby.

    If all else fails, there's a large car park at B&Q - a shortish walk away to the north of the Purewell roundabout.

  12. #12
    Administrator rolf's Avatar
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    Just checked on Street View and it is restricted, as is the leisure centre, although they have a few high vehicle slots on the road outside, normally taken up by small cars it would appear. There does look to be on road parking just along from the recreation ground in Stanpit though, opposite the pub.
    Rolf

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    How clever! I'd forgotten about that!

    Yes, I see the high barrier, though I can't understand it as the Scouts' Hall is off the car park, and I'm sure they'll need access to vans and mini buses, etc.

    However Queens Road, Russell Drive and Mudeford Lane should have spaces for you - and they're just before you get to The Ship in Distress Inn. It has a car park too. I've just enlarged the scene to read the prices and a two course lunch is 9.95. I'm sure if you ate there, they'd be happy for you to leave the van in the car park for a few hours!

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    A little bit more info....

    I took a pic of Mudeford Harbour from the northern side of the reserve so you could appreciate the vastness of the marshland inside the 'loop', then I zoomed in so you could see the detail of the harbour buildings a little bit more. The wooden building at the front is the new lifeboat station. Behind it, with the rusty-coloured roof is the Haven House Inn - Dorset pub guide: The Haven House Inn in Christchurch - Telegraph. Read the blurb there - and consider it for lunch! There is a (paying) car park, but it's well worth the visit as it sits beside 'The Runs', the fast-flowing current which serves as the entrance to Christchurch Harbour. There you can watch Dolphins (if you're lucky), but also many winter migrants about to enter Stanpit, or on their way to Hengistbury Head. There's also a ferry across 'The Runs', and if you walk past those beach huts (and another eatery) you come to the tip of Hengistbury Head (another nature reserve!)
    Also shown here are the Rusty Boat and the path and stile towards marshier areas where you might be able to see some shyer species!
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