Places to see birds

Fleet Pond Nature Reserve

Reed warbler singing in reedbed

Fleet Pond is a local nature reserve with a mixture of habitats. It can be reached via the narrow Bramshot Bridge over the railway line from the A3013 Cove Road. The nearest M3 junction is 4A and visitors should look for the brown signs with a white duck. After crossing the bridge, turn right and follow the long and uneven track to the car park. Fleet Pond Nature Reserve is notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for the quality and diversity of the wildlife it supports.

The pond is fringed along both the eastern and southern sides by reeds, and there are two large reed beds along the western side too. These attract reed warblers in spring and summer. Water rails are present all year but infrequently seen. Alders and willows are the dominant species in the wet woodland and both siskins and lesser redpolls can be seen in winter. New islands have been built using much of the dredged silt from the pond and these provide nesting sites for some wildfowl, common terns and black-headed gulls. Great spotted woodpecker, great, blue, coal and long-tailed tits, nuthatch and reed bunting are resident species. Summer migrants include blackcap and willow warbler.

A few waders and terns are seen each year during the migration periods. and waterbirds present during the colder months may include tufted ducks, shovelers, mallard, coots, teal, cormorants and great crested grebes.