Norfolk Birding Sites
Welcome to Norfolk!
Snettisham Pits is an RSPB Reserve that borders The Wash, that is famed for its magnificent views of waders in flight at dawn and dusk. If you can combine your timing of your visit with just before high tide, especially in the months of February and March when the Spring high tides make viewing absolutely spectacular, as the waders take off from the beach to roost on the pits in what seems like swirls of smoke drifting across the sky.
Snettisham Country Park, placed between the pits and Heacham is ideal for an early morning walk (before the dog walkers arrive) as the summer migrants arrive. Cuckoos can be seen on overhead wires and Grasshopper Warblers can be seen reeling from the Hawthorn and Bramble bushes. Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, Ring Ouzels, Wheatears, Cuckoos and Yellow Wagtails can all cheer up a Spring morning.
At Holme there are two bird reserves:
I took this photograph of Titchwell Marsh when a friend offered to take me for a spin in a light aircraft around the coastline. It was good to see all the places that I have spent so many happy hours birding in. The Freshmarsh, Volunteer Marsh (brackish) Tidal Marsh and the surrounding marshes, fields, beach and sea can all be clearly seen.
Titchwell Marsh is managed by the RSPB but it has a public footpath that runs down to the sea on its west side. However there are some excellent hides from which to view the birds on the lagoons that members and paying non-members can use as well as paths and boardwalks to give even more opportunities for watching birds.
The walk from Lady Ann's Drive to Burnham Overy Dunes
For the committed birder an autumn would not be complete unless a trudge from Cley to Blakeney Point in search of that elusive rarity had taken place. How many of you have reached Half-way House and wondered if the bird will 'still be showing' before you run out of energy or the light fails before you reach The Point?
However on a spring day with a light breeze and the sun in the sky, who knows what you might find lurking in the Plantation at the Point? Where better to go to get away from the crowds than a leisurely stroll along to the Point when all the boats and tourists have returned back to Morston?
In this picture that I took from a light aircraft that a friend took me on you can just make out Half-way House.
Sheringham is probably the best place in Norfolk for seawatching. With strong north-westerly winds in late summer or early autumn seawatchers could expect to see shearwaters, skuas and with luck an odd Sabine's gull or a couple of petrels. The concrete shelter on the sea-front at least keeps you dry but don't expect to be very warm on a northerly blow!
Great Yarmouth Cemetery is famed for its ability to hold migrating species of birds. Both the north and south sections should be checked in the Autumn. The beach near the piers is also a good spot for Mediterranean Gulls.
Breydon Water is a vast expanse of mud at low water and can hold thousands of waders. In winter months at high tide it is also possible to see thousands of wildfowl.
It is possible to view from the path that runs down the side of the estuary from the ASDA car park or from the lane and path that runs down the south side by the rugby club.
If you like to be warm and cosy whilst you are watching the birds in the depths of winter then Welney is the place for you! The visitor centre and the main hide is heated! Of course there are many other hides where you can feel at home in the cold too! Welney is a Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve and is a spectacular site for watching Swans and wildfowl being fed. Many swans come to roost on the water just in front of the hide just before dusk which can linger in the memory for a long time. However Welney is also good for observing breeding waders in the summer too.
Probably one of the best known sites in Norfolk for Hawfinch and Crossbill. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Firecrest are also seen here on occasions.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust run this reserve on The Brecks as a place to see Stone Curlews from about March to September. It is also a good place to see Woodlark and sometimes Spotted Flycatcher in summer.
Strumpshaw Fen RSPB reserve was once the Norfolk stronghold of Cetti`s Warblers, however they can now be heard in many reedbeds along the coast. A little further along the road at Buckenham and Cantley level crossings are the places to see the Taiga Bean geese in winter.
This is also an excellent place for Swallowtail Butterfly and many dragonflies. Norfolk Hawker can be seen along the Meadow Trail in June.
Brendan's Marsh, Hickling