winter birdwatching weekend

Join us for a  fully catered winter birdwatching weekend onboard our comfortable 43′ yacht Jalapeno. Chichester Harbour AONB is internationally important for birds and for its coastal habitats. You might not think that harbour wildlife is unusual enough for that, but although in the southeast of England there are quite a lot of wet and muddy bits, over the whole of Europe these estuarine ecosystems are rare. Wetlands, including coastal areas, are one of the most threatened and diminishing habitats internationally. What better way to appreciate the variety of winter visitors to the harbour waters than from a boat, anchored in the midst of it all!

A winter birdwatching weekend gives you a chance to observe both permanent residents and temporary visitors. We collect you at West Itchenor pontoon on the Friday evening from 1800 and return to our mooring at the end of Itchenor reach for dinner. With a pot of coffee to rouse you you will awake ready to view early morning activity in the nearby saltmarshes. The main saloon cabin of Jalapeno offers views all round from it’s large windows, and protection from the elements with its central heating. You can also view from the cockpit or spacious foredeck outside. Within the harbour there are many different sites to view the bird populations from and we can plan our anchorages over the weekend according to which birds are visiting where that weekend. There are also opportunities to go ashore and explore any number of walks – sand dunes at East Head, shingle at the harbour entrance, saltmarshes, field habitats. Chichester harbour has it all! See an overview of resident and visiting birds here.

Saturday evening includes dinner ashore at the Ship Inn in Itchenor village – menu here (drinks not included).

The weekend ends on Sunday at 1700.

£290 per person, group discounts available. Maximum four people per weekend.

Includes Friday dinner, Saturday and Sunday breakfast and lunches onboard, Saturday evening dinner in the Ship Inn. Vegetarian and vegan diets fully catered for. Jalapeno will be skippered by a commercially endorsed skipper during your weekend.

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what Chichester Harbour Conservancy have to say:

• The harbour has an average of 52,500 waterfowl each year. That makes it the most important single site on the south coast of England for these birds.
• It has internationally important numbers of 5 species of wildfowl and waders It is nationally important for at least 8 further species.
• A number of nationally rare species of plants grow here, including orchids and plants that thrive in saltwater.
• Around 20 Harbour Seals live in the Solent and regularly visit Chichester Harbour.
• There are at least 9 different habitats including saltmarsh, sand dunes and mudflats.

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Our Boats


Jalapeno is a Dutch built Standfast, a solid roomy boat that handles the sea well. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Jalapeno and there is room for everyone to eat and plan together around the central saloon table. There is an unusually large amount of flat deck, a great spot for a picnic at anchor!

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Chichester marina are run on Jalapeno.

Facilities include heads (toilet/washroom), galley with gas oven and heating.


Cascadeur is a French built Jeanneau. She has up to ten berths in four cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the circular table in the main cabin, or use the cockpit table to eat or work together outside. We can take bookings for up to 10 people on Cascadeur.

Our RYA courses and sailing trips from Southampton are run on Cascadeur.

Facilities include two heads (toilet/washroom), gas cooker with oven, heating.


Karic is a British built Westerly Renown ketch - a ketch means there are two masts, so three sets of sails for people to learn how to use. She has berths for six people to sleep in three cabins, with room for everyone to sit and eat round the table in the main cabin. Designed for family cruising, Karic is a safe, sturdy boat. There is a centre cockpit with room for a crew of six to sit in comfort.

Facilities include a roomy heads (toilet/washroom) and meths 2 hob cooker