Walks & Events


HOS WalkThere is possibly nowhere in Britain to compare with the certain atmosphere of the New Forest. The word ‘New’ incidentally, is nearly 1,000 years old, used first by William the Conqueror. Hampshire has the largest heathlands in Europe, as well as the purest chalk streams and rivers anywhere. We have vast areas of woodland, varied agricultural habitats, the South Downs, nature reserves, marshes, ponds and lakes. Indeed, we have everything here apart from moors, mountains and sea cliffs.

Of course, we also enjoy the coastline of the Solent and here in summer we can enjoy the spectacle of Mediterranean Gulls in their splendour, together with Common, Sandwich and Little Terns shrieking and diving for fish along our shores. But perhaps most of all, Hampshire is famous for its winter geese and waders, many of which can be seen and photographed close up, prolific in numbers and variety.

HOS Walks

If you wish to know where to go, or wish to increase your knowledge and identification skills, join us on our HOS walks, held throughout the year, to all of these habitats. A walk in the NHOS Walk in the New Forestew Forest in summer may only reveal 20 species, a walk along the shoreline during May or October may produce 70, but the walks are also a way of enjoying our splendid scenery, and meeting like-minded nature lovers and share that intangible feeling that is savoured by the lucky ones, who can thrill at the wonders of the natural world.

Sometimes it is good to be by yourself or maybe accompanied just by your family or close friends, but other times, you may enjoy company, and learn and enjoy our wildlife with others. We are fortunate to have our regular leaders, who are willing to give up their time to impart their knowledge.

A HOS Member kindly sent the following email to our Chair, following a walk – “I have just returned from my first HOS walk of the year and the endorphins are flowing! What an amazingly, wonderful group of people to be able to spend time with. I feel so grateful that I found HOS and the friendly, genuine people that attend the walks programme. I …. have been coming along to the walks since November 2022. I have learnt so much in that time, my ID skills have quadrupled, at least, and I feel I have made so many friends and met so many knowledgeable and gracious guides.

This is a great, symbiotic relationship, where the attendees always learn something new and the guides have a sense of fulfilment; bringing on the next “generation” of birders, old and young. And the patience they all have with us – not quite getting on to a bird, not fully understanding the descriptions or the difference between species – there’s never any rush to move on, they always make sure that everyone has had a chance to see everything.

I’m not sure if it is the good weather we so often have on these walks, the magnificent range of species we see, or the amazing company, but I always come home feeling incredible, with a brilliant sense of achievement, and so grateful for knowing such a lovely group of people. So, a big THANK YOU to all involved in the running, guiding and attending of HOS, you are all brilliant.”

HOS Events

Other events are also held throughout the year. We offer “Birding Basics” courses. These include – winter waders, spring raptors, bird song, wildlfie photography. More will be run depending on interest. To make up for the absence of walks and events during the Covid pandemic, we introduced talks offered via Zoom. These were recorded and can all be watched via this website.

Our Bird Trail Event by Ian JulianMembers’ Day/AGM, is held each spring in Winchester. The AGM part usually takes but a few minutes, and then there is a team of speakers, together with slideshows, building up to the John Taverner Memorial Lecture. The day is a chance to meet other HOS members, or potential members, look over the many artistic displays, the book collections, various other wildlife exhibits, optical equipment, conservation groups and also a once-in-a-year chance to network, meet and enjoy the coffee and cakes.

So do see Kingfisher newsletter magazine, or this website, for the Walks and Events Programmes. Whether it be a walk or a meeting, you will always be welcomed.

The Hampshire Ornithological Society hereby gives notice that all arrangements made by the Society for any person taking part in any outing, visit or other activity are made by the Society as agents for that person and that consequently the Society accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience arising from his or her participation in Society activities. Passengers accept lifts in private cars at their own risk.
Strong footwear is recommended for all outdoor meetings, as is a packed lunch for meetings that span mid-day.