THOUSANDS of birds at the heart of conservation efforts across the region are beginning to return to the Solent.
Brent geese, redshank and turnstone have all been seen at Hill Head, with oystercatcher spotted on Hayling Island and teal seen in Portchester.
Many are among birds returning to the Solent from Arctic regions, arriving tired, hungry and ready to rest and feed on local mudflats and beaches.
Conservationists have urged residents to stick to paths and keep their dogs away from the birds as they now have to compete for nourishment.
It comes as they also face a risk of interruption because their meal times are dictated by the low tide.
Councillor Sean Woodward, chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire, which oversees Bird Aware Solent said: ‘The diverse bird life we see on our Solent shores is fabulous.
‘We must do all we can to ensure future generations will enjoy them too.’
To learn more about ongoing efforts to look after birds across the region, go to birdaware.org