Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Norfolk

Crossbill
Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ©Robin Chittenden Website

Birding Norfolk

Norfolk is a county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the west and north-west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea and, to the north-west, The Wash. The county town is Norwich. With an area of 2,074 square miles and a population of 859,400, Norfolk is a largely rural county.

Norfolk is renowned as probably the best all round county for birding in the UK. This is based mostly on its reserves and other protected areas because the farmland is some of the most intensively used around. Sticking out into the North Sea it is well placed to receive more than its fair share of migrants in season. These can turn up anywhere, but mainly along the coast. Areas with isolated bushes or other cover provide the best chance of seeing passerines.

The Broads is a network of rivers and lakes in the east of the county, extending south into Suffolk. The area is not a National Park although it is marketed as such. It has similar status to a national park, and is protected by the Broads Authority. The Broads and other wetland areas have many breeding birds that are scarce or missing in other parts of the country such as bittern, marsh harriers bearded tits, and avocets. Winter brings very large flocks of pink-footed and Brent geese and the only regular bean geese, along with spectacular gatherings of knot and other waders in the Wash.

Its location also makes it one of the top counties fro rarities which turn up in Autumn and Spring and bring even more birders to the coast. The well-watched reserves at Holme, Titchwell, Cley and so forth, have more than their share of rarities and scarce birds. However, Norfolk is also a great county for birds under pressure in many other parts of the UK such as Barn Owls; as its narrow lanes and vast agricultural areas keep road casulaties to a minimum. Some of the best known sites appear below.

Top Sites

Cley - Blakeney Point

Satellite View

The NWT reserve at Cley is similar to Titchwell with a number of hides overlooking scrapes that attract if anything an even greater range of waders. Nearby habitats include heath land with nightjars and nightingales, salt marsh east and west, and the shingle bank with scrub particularly at Salthouse just east of Cley attracts recently arrived migrants and in winter snow buntings. Walking west from Cley you move onto the National Trust reserve of Blakeney point. This is a shingle spit 3½ miles long with low cover that can hold freshly arrived migrants for a day or two. At the point itself there is a colony of several thousand sandwich, common and little terns.

Great Yarmouth - Breydon Water

Satellite View

Amongst the urban desert of Great Yarmouth the cemetery can hold very high densities of migrants, red-flanked bluetail and little bunting have both been recorded. Try north and south of the road. The beach particularly between the two piers regularly holds 10+ Mediterranean gulls. Breydon water is a large landlocked estuary that has 1000s of waders (lapwings, golden plovers, black tailed godwits) in winter, and attracts some rarities, but views onto the mud are always distant. Paths run all the way along either side and Berney Arms, an RSPB reserve of flooded grazing marsh, is at the south west corner.

Hickling

Satellite View

This broad is surrounded by very extensive reed beds and is owned by NWT and English Nature. The access from the south is along the Weavers Way footpath. The north side is the NWT reserve. Most reed bed birds can be seen including occasionally bittern. Smew are regular in winter. Swallowtail butterflies for the bugmen.

Holme

Satellite View

This NWT and NOA reserve consists of coastal dunes, scrub, a few pines, and several small scrapes with hides. For birders the main attraction is its potential for migrants e.g. bluethroats and Rüppel's warbler.

Kelling

Satellite View

Kelling is located just to the east of Salthouse. The Quags is an NOA reserve and is an area of freshwater marsh and flooded pools. It is good for wildfowl and waders and also gets the occasional Bittern. The scrubby areas are good for migrants during passage. Inland, Kelling Heath is a good area for Woodlark and occasionally gets Nightjar and Nightingale.

Lyndford Arboretum

Satellite View

Hawfinches can occur here in winter but they do tend to move around from year to year.

Santon Downham

Satellite View

This gives access to pine plantations where woodlark and crossbill occur.

Sheringham

Satellite View

The shelter on the sea front here provides probably the best sea watching in Norfolk after strong northerly or north-westerly storms in late summer or early autumn. Other sites in the UK are probably better but this is one of the only ones where the sun is always behind you. The 4 skuas, Manx, sooty and Mediterranean shearwater, 4 grebes, and both petrels are all easily possible.

Snettisham RSPB

Satellite View

This RSPB reserve gives access to several pits which as well as attracting wintering wildfowl are the high tide roost site for very large numbers of knot and bar tailed godwits from the wash. Follow signs from A149 onto Beach Road, from here follow brown tourist signs into new RSPB car park. From here a path takes you alongside one of the old gravel diggings and up onto the edge of The Wash, continue south until you reach the Rotary Hide. There is a circular walk around the four hides from here. To get the most out of a visit to this reserve you should come on a big high tide. Colour coded Birdwatchers Tide Tables are produced each October by the RSPB, these also contain information on the best conditions to witness the spectacular midwinter dawn fight of tens of thousands of pink footed geese. To get a copy of these tide tables. send a SAE and two first class stamps to RSPB, 43 Lynn Road, Snettisham, PE31 7LR

Disabled Access Please send A4 SAE to RSPB, 43, Lynn Road, Snettisham, Norfolk PE31 7LR. They will send a permit (valid for 3 months) and directions to drive through chalets and along the sea wall to a parking area close to first hide. Wheelchair path between first and second hide and wheelchair bays in both hides…

Strumpshaw Fen

Satellite View

Another all round reserve for Broadland birds, is Strumpshaw which was once the Norfolk stronghold of Cetti's warblers, now they are throughout the broads and in a few coastal sites. Nearby Buckenham and Cantley level crossing are the places to see the bean geese in winter.

Titchwell

Satellite View

The RSPB's most visited reserve the wide range of habitats within a relatively short walk of the car park make this an excellent spot to experience the magic of birding the north Norfolk coast. The scrub woodland is good for bullfinch and several species of warbler, the feeders by the visitor centre attract great spotted woodpeckers. In the summer the reedbed supports important numbers of bearded tits and marsh harriers as well as many reed and sedge warblers. The freshwater and brackish lagoons are home to about 30 pairs of avocets. They are also an excellent spot for passage and wintering waders and wildfowl. The foreshore in winter is a good place to look for twite, snow bunting and in some years shorelark. Offshore in summer terns can be watched fishing and in winter look for slavonian grebes, divers and scoter.

Waxham - Winterton

Satellite View

This stretch of coast is mainly dunes with some heath at Winterton. It attracts good numbers of migrants especially passerines, and Winterton is good for migrant raptors (for the UK this means a few a day). In Winter the area has regular rough-legged buzzards. The only roads that have public access to the area are the ones that are indicated above. Tracks and paths then lead along the coast from these. The ones on the inland side of the dunes are the ones to concentrate on.

Weeting

Satellite View

This small wardened NWT reserve is the place to see stone curlews, from early spring onwards.

Wells / Holkham

Satellite View

The 3 miles of Corsican pines planted on the dunes, particularly at the eastern end at Wells where there is some deciduous scrub are a magnet for passerine migrants. Unfortunately this much cover provides plenty of opportunities for it to disappear, witness the red breasted nuthatch of about a decade ago which literally 1000s of birders took hours to relocate each time it disappeared. This is probably the best place to find yourself a Pallas's or yellow-browed warbler in autumn. The grazing marsh and scrapes that can be seen from the western end of the pines have recently been renovated. Winter brings pink footed and Brent geese here as to most of the rest of the coast. Also the dunes/salt marsh between the pines and the sea usually hold shore larks, snow buntings and twite.

Welney

Webpage

Satellite View

Like all WWT reserves this has a little of the feel of a zoo about it. They do not breed wildfowl here but the feeding in front of the main hide produces a rather unnatural spectacle. The variety and numbers of wildfowl found here in winter are spectacular, the recent canvasback being a highlight.

Contributor

Steve Rowland

RSPB Public Relations and Marketing Officer - North Norfolk and The Wash

Additional Material

steve.rowland@rspb.org.uk

County Recorder

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 427

Useful Reading

Best Birdwatching Sites - Norfolk

3rd Edition | by Neil Glenn | Buckingham Press | ISBN: 9780956987648 | Paperback | Aug 2013 | £17.95
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9780956987648

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds Of Norfolk

Moss Taylor, Michael Seago, Peter Allard, Don Dorling Helm 2007

ISBN: 0713687339

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Film - The North Norfolk Coast: A New Birder's Guide

by Ken Lawson - Tambourine Man Films - 114 minutes - available from Wildsounds

The Norfolk Cranes' Story

by John Buxton & Chris Durdin - Wren Publishing 2011

ISBN: 9780954254551

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in East Anglia

by Peter & Margaret Clarke (2002 4th edition) Helm
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713658649

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Forums & Mailing Lists

NarVOS

Mailing List

NarVOS birdnews mailing list is a free service run by the Nar Valley Ornithological Society webmaster and is for use by anybody with an interest in birding in the Nar Valley region of Norfolk. If you are not familiar with mailing lists, the NarVOS birdnews list works in the following way. You send an email to the list and everybody else, including yourself, is automatically sent a copy. Likewise if you reply to a posting on the list, by clicking the reply button in your email package, the reply will be automatically sent to everybody on the list.

Norfolk Bird News & Megas

Sightings

Sightings on Penny's excellent BLOG

Norfolkbirdnews

Mailing Group

Mailing List – Discussion Group - Sightings

NorfolkBirds

Sightings

Sightings and bird news

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Bird ID Company

Tour Operator

Our daily tours are all based along the beautiful and unspoilt North Norfolk coast, which has some of the best bird watching in Britain. Many of the sites are well known for these beauty and birds, particularly our three most popular tours, Cley, Titchwell and Holme.

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Breydon Water Cruises - Waveney Stardust

Tour Operator

Waveney Stardust, a modern, comfortable, centrally heated cruiser with wheelchair access and full disabled toilet facility… For further details on bookings please telephone 07817 920502 between 9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday) or email us at bookings@waveneystardust.co.uk

Oriole Birding

Tour Operator

A UK-based company specialising in bird watching tours of Norfolk and Wales, and a wide range of other UK destinations, a comprehensive programme of tours worldwide. Neil Donaghy and Ashley Saunders have over nineteen years experience between them, running their own companies Celtic Bird Tours and Oriole Adventures, before merging the two to create this new venture which offers complete bird tour packages. Value for money, genuinely small groups and great birds.

Swallow Birding

Tour Operator

Swallow Birding is a Birdwatching and Wildlife holiday company based near The Saltmarsh Coast in East Anglia. Established in 2006 SWALLOW BIRDING is a joint venture between Annette Adams and Steve Grimwade who over the last 10 years have shared their love of wildlife with many people on tours and day trips.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2009 [02 February] - Tony Jones

Report

I suppose it's apt that in this centenary year of the birth of Sir Peter Scott my partner, Penny and I should once again visit North Norfolk, maybe to see Titchwell in the way that we have known it, for the last time, before the sea reclaims part of the land and a new sea-facing boundary is formed.

2010 [06 June] - David & Amanda Mason

Report

As we were staying near King’s Lynn we decided to call at RSPB Frampton Marsh on our way down. We had been to the reserve 3 weeks earlier for the Oriental Pratincole (a lifer for us both) and had enjoyed our visit so much we felt the site was well worth a second look….

2011 [04 April] - Pat & Judy Hayes - North Norfolk

Report

With a birthday, a wedding anniversary & Mother’s Day just past and the weather set fair for a while, we took the opportunity to have a few days pampering with some early spring birding thrown in…

2012 [02 February] - Ashley Saunders - Oriole Birding

Report

PDF

2013 [04 April] - Pat & Judy Hayes - North Norfolk

Report

Noting that the long range weather forecast was predicting a dry warm week for the south east we decided to take advantage and have a few days away. We obtained 4 days B&B at The Old Forge at Thursford which was situated approximately an equal distance between Wells-next-the-Sea and Fakenham on the A148…

2014 [11 November] - David & Amanda Mason - Norfolk & Suffolk

Report

No birding year would be complete without a few days in East Anglia. Although the main migration period was over we knew there would still be some stragglers and we were anticipating finding lots of newly arrived winter visitors to the UK’s shores...

2015 [12 December] - Oriole Birding

PDF Report

2016 [01 January] - Oriole Birding

PDF Report

2017 [03 March] - Christopher Hall

Report

...Arriving at Welney in pouring rain, we spend a fruitful lunchtime accumulating a list of 30 species from the café windows, including Little Egret, Pintail, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Oystercatcher, loads of Wigeon and Lapwings and several Reed Buntings on the feeders, as well as a group of six Roe Deer. Once the rain stops we cross the Hundred Foot Drain to the hides overlooking the Hundred Foot Washes, where we add birds like Whooper Swan, Egyptian Goose, Goldeneye, Stock Dove and Skylark, making an impressive list for a travelling day of 49 species seen...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Andover House - Great Yarmouth

Website

A stone's throw from the beach, Andover House is an upmarket hotel exclusively for adults with access to 4 miles of tidal foreshore and the salt marshes superb for bird-life and bird-watching…

Arch House - Wells-next-the-Sea

Accommodation

Arch House – a distinguished, grade II listed house, in Wells-next-the-Sea, just a few minutes walk to the beautiful Quay. Built around 1830 to offer the Excise man a good vantage point over the town…. boo …. it's put to much better use these days as a rather pleasant retreat for the discerning traveller…

Beachscape Contemporary Holiday Home - Bacton

Accommodation

Beachscape is on the North Norfolk coast, based in a peaceful holiday park, in a small village called Bacton with views overlooking the sea. There is direct access to the beach just yards away and miles of coastline on your doorstep to walk. The park is pet friendly with 13 acres of grassland…

Black Horse Cottage - Hickling

Accommodation

Black Horse Cottage is a classic ''chocolate box'' thatched cottage surrounded by 2½ acres of landscaped garden and situated in the centre of the small Broads village of Hickling…

Boxwood Guesthouse - Wells

Accommodation

Luxury B+B. Close to shops, Working fishing port, super sandy beaches and an array of colourful beach huts…

Burlington Hotel, The

Accommodation

Overlooking the sea across Great Yarmouth`s famous Golden Sands, the Burlington and Palm Court Hotels are together in providing a friendly, warm welcome in luxurious, spacious surroundings.

Burnham Deepdale Backpackers Hostel

Accommodation

Escape the beaten track and the smog of the big city to this wonderfully chilled out backpackers hostel in the heart of Burnham Deepdale. This beautiful village is by the sea in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

Cobblers Guest House

Accommodation

The Cobblers Guest House is set in a quiet situation, close to the harbour of the picturesque and historic town of Wells-next-the-Sea. The Cobblers stands in its own secluded and walled garden, where guests can enjoy peace and tranquillity…

Fieldview Guest House - East Barsham

Accommodation

West Barsham Road, East Barsham, North Norfolk, NR21 0AR, UK Tel./fax +44 (01328) 820083 Fieldview is the place for you if you like comfortable accommodation, with a friendly welcome in quiet location off the beaten track, we are open all year around except for the Christmas holidays…

Gables B&B

Accommodation

Lovely refurbished Edwardian house with beautiful bedrooms. Superb breakfasts with choice of menu and delicious evening meals available with prior booking. Glorious sea views with magnificent sunsets over the sea. Hunstanton is the only east coast resort which faces west! Ideal location for a recreational, sporting or relaxing break. Owner - Mrs Barbara Bamfield - bbatthegables@aol.com

Heacham Manor

Website

We welcome all ‘birders’ whether they be ‘twitchers’, in their camouflage jackets loaded with the latest gear in pursuit of rarities, or more relaxed birdwatchers in walking boots and muted colours who are happy to see any of Norfolk’s special and everyday birds. We are perfectly placed for the spectacle of tens of thousands of waders at Snettisham or the variety of herons that roost at Holme. Along Norfolk’s north coast there is plenty to see any time of the year. We hope you chose our Norfolk hotel near to these great birdwatching reserves as your holiday base...

Lavender Cottages

Accommodation

Sea Lavender Cottage in one of the nicest and most comfortable holiday cottages in Burnham Market. It is a self catering cottage with one kingsize bedroom and one twin bedroom. This site offers a booking facility. Attractions include sailing, beaches, stately homes and bird watching. Our second cottage, Lavender Cottage, is in the coastal village of Cley Next the Sea it also sleeps four in two bedrooms including a kingsize and twin…

Le Strange Arms Hotel - Old Hunstanton

Accommodation

Situated in the village of Old Hunstanton, overlooking the sea. Standing on the east coast of England it faces west across the Wash. The hotel grounds run down to one of the best sandy beaches in an area of many lovely beaches.

Moonriver - Martham, Norfolk Broads

Accommodation

Free fishing from garden, sleeps 4/6, fully refurbished, double shower, flush toilet, TV, video, car parking, sand dune beach on horizon, bird watching, sailing, walking, water sports, rural setting in National Park. £99 - 480 per week, Tel 01273 304010

Oaktree Cottage - Briston

Accommodation

Oaktree Cottage is a 200-year-old brick and flint cottage providing quality self-catering holiday accommodation in the heart of the North Norfolk countryside, with easy access to coastal villages, beaches, and wildlife…

Pheasant Hotel - Kelling Nr Holt

Accommodation

The Pheasant Hotel is situated in 2 acres of landscaped gardens, set back off the main coast road between the harbour village of Blakeney and the seaside town of Sheringham…

Rose & Crown – Snettisham

Accommodation

We are a splendid old pub with 11 bedrooms, serving excellent food and beer, and are just down the road from the RSPB reserve at Snettisham. We frequently have bird watchers to stay and the RSPB bring groups to breakfast with us after early morning bird watching sessions.

Shelbrooke Hotel - Hunstanton

Accommodation

Handily placed for the North Coast reserves…

The King William IV - Sedgeford

Accommodation

Welcome to The King William IV Country Inn & Restaurant. Tucked away in the village of Sedgeford amid rolling countryside and conveniently close to the Peddars Way and Norfolk's beautiful coastline, lies this friendly family run traditional Country Inn…

Organisations

Broads Authority

Website

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is a unique area of water, grazing marshes, fen and woodland, and home to some of the rarest plants and creatures in the UK. It is Britain`s largest protected wetland, having similar status to a national park. The Broads Authority was set up in 1989 to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Broads, promote the enjoyment of the Broads and protect the interests of navigation.

BTO - British Trust for Ornithology

Website

Looking out for birds? Share your interest in birds with others by being part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Volunteer surveyors, members and staff work in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitats. Join or volunteer today and make birds count.

Cley Bird Club

Website

The Cley Bird Club (CBC) exists to bring together everybody who has an interest in the Birds of the Cley area in North Norfolk, UK.

Great Yarmouth Bird Club

Website

THE GREAT YARMOUTH BIRD CLUB was formed in May 1989 by Peter Allard, Keith Dye and others. Its origins were born out of the Great Yarmouth RSPB members' group, and initially meetings were at secretary Peter Allard`s home for nearly a year. As membership grew, meetings were then held at various function rooms within Yarmouth public houses, and since 1995, the Rumbold Arms on Southtown Road has been its home.

Nar Valley Ornithological Society

Mailing Group

Welcome to the Home Page of the Nar Valley Ornithological Society. Founded in 1976, the Nar Valley Ornithological Society (NarVOS) has been, and still is at the fore of bird watching and ornithological studies in mid Norfolk. We hope that you will find our site informative, and will want to return over and over again…

Norfolk & Norwich Naturalists Society

Website

Welcome to Norfolk’s oldest natural history organisation – dedicated to conserving the county’s wildlife since 1869. Why not join us? You don’t need to be an expert. We have plenty of members who are only too willing to share their knowledge and expertise and help you learn more about the natural world.

Norfolk Birds Records Committee

Website

The role of the Norfolk Records Committee is to present an accurate and reliable account of present day bird records in the county of Norfolk. These records will ultimately become part of the county’s historical archive and it is therefore essential that before sightings of many of the rarer species can be added to this archive, a formal description is required.

Norfolk Coast Partnership

Website

The Norfolk Coast was designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in 1968. The Norfolk Coast Partnership was set up in 1992 to promote conservation and enhancement of the area's unique natural beauty; to facilitate and enhance public enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of the area's natural beauty; and to promote sustainable forms of social and economic development that in themselves conserve and enhance the area's natural beauty.

Norfolk Ornithologists Association

Website

The Norfolk Ornithologists' Association (NOA) is an independent Norfolk-based charity, dedicated to the scientific study of birds. It focuses primarily on bird migration and population dynamics through bird ringing and daily monitoring, and the information collected acts as an indicator of environmental health locally, nationally and internationally. All our work is funded by membership subscriptions, donations and permit sales.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Website

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the oldest Wildlife Trust in the country. The purchase of 400 acres of marsh at Cley on the north Norfolk coast in 1926 to be held ‘in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary’ provided a blueprint for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK.

North East Norfolk Bird Club

Website

NENBC is a recently created club, covering this beautiful and bird-rich corner of the county - serving the birding communities of Melton, Briston, Holt, Sheringham, Cromer, North Walsham and Aylsham.

RSPB Norwich Local Group

Website

We aim to provide an interesting range of indoor and outdoor meetings on a monthly basis, and to promote the work and activities of the RSPB. We offer RSPB Sales goods and other goods, plus can collections to raise funds to support our local reserves. We also produce a quarterly newsletter - please refer to our local website for full details.

Waveney Bird Club

Website

The friendly club for birdwatchers in Norfolk & Suffolk

Wensum Valley Birdwatching Society

Website

WVBS is an active and friendly Norfolk birdwatching society with approximately 100 members. Our indoor meetings are held on the Third Thursday of each month at 7.30p.m, and feature a guest speaker.

Observatories

Holme Bird Observatory

Observatory Website

Satellite View

The NOA’s small Observatory building is set in a 13 acre (5 ha) reserve of pine and scrub-covered dunes between the shore and the Broad Water at Holme-next-the-Sea. The Observatory reserve lies immediately to the east of The Firs, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Holme Dunes visitor centre. The Observatory is well situated owing to the change in the line of the north-facing coast, which drops away to the southwest and into the Wash, leaving the pines and dune scrub as a prominent magnet for migrating birds.

North West Norfolk Stonechats

Website

Satellite View

A colour ringing project for Stonechats on Dersingham Bog - In 2012 the Natural England team at Dersingham Bog teamed up with the North Norfolk Ringing Group, the British Trust for Ornithology and site volunteers to begin ongoing monitoring of the nests of key heathland breeding species, including Stonechats.

Reserves

Accessible Reserves

Webpage

Each of the following links lead to a BFA assessment of a Norfolk reserve. ALL types of mobility problem are assumed so there are details of path surfaces, gradients and distances as well as benches and hide details etc., etc.

H&OT Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve

Website

Satellite View

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve is a peaceful place, with a rich variety of wildlife in its woodland, fen and reed bed habitats. Located in the beautiful Wensum Valley, the reserve is nationally and internationally recognised as important for its wildlife.

NNR Holkham National Nature Reserve

Website

Satellite View

Holkham National Nature Reserve stretches from Burnham Norton to Blakeney and covers about 3,706 hectares. It is possible to explore most of the area by following footpaths from the main car parks. The core section of the reserve, from Wells to Holkham Bay, is crisscrossed by paths allowing access through the pine woodland.

NNR Winterton Dunes

Information

Satellite View

Main habitats: coastal sand dunes, dune heath and slacks, freshwater pools - These spectacular acidic dunes and heaths are internationally important for the rare groups of plants and animals which they support, in a habitat more common in northern Europe than England. Little terns and ringed plover nest in shallow scrapes on the sandy beach, nocturnal nightjars which use the heath to feed and breed can be heard ‘churring’ on warm summer evenings, and skylarks and stonechats are often seen or heard.

Norfolk's National Nature Reserves

Webpage

Natural England's website with listings of reserves, many managed by NWT

NWT Cley Marshes

Webpage

Satellite View

NWT Cley Marshes is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held 'in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary'. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK. The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition.

NWT Hickling Broad

Webpage

Satellite View

Hickling Broad is located 23 kilometres north east of Norwich. It is part of the Upper Thurne Broads and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which includes Horsey Mere and Martham Broad. The international importance of this area has been recognised in its designation as a Broads Ramsar site.

NWT Nature Reserves

Website

Norfolk has many reserves. Private individuals, including the Queen, at Sandringham, own some. Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and English Nature manage the most. Many are concerned mainly with birds.

NWT Thorpe Marshes

Webpage

Satellite View

Bordering the River Yare, Thorpe Marshes is one of the Trust’s more urban sites, located on the eastern fringe of Norwich. The site is a wonderful mixture of habitats: flower-rich marshes criss-crossed with dykes that are home to many dragonfly and damselfly species, including the rare Norfolk hawker, and the even larger emperor dragonfly. Several species of common butterfly can also be encountered on a good day.

NWT Weeting Heath

Webpage

Satellite View

NWT Weeting Heath is the best site in the country to watch the rare and unusual stone curlew. The species requires open, stony ground with short vegetation to breed, making the close-cropped turf of Weeting an ideal site. This special Breckland habitat has to be specially managed to keep it so low – as well as sheep, NWT employs eager volunteers: rabbits

Pensthorpe Natural Park

Website

Satellite View

The Pensthorpe of today was created by a visionary conservationist, Bill Makins, who designed a truly sustainable gravel extraction process that formed one of the most biodiverse nature reserves in England. The then 200-acre reserve and its associated habitats were created as an integral part of this huge undertaking, which saw over one million tonnes of gravel extracted.

RSPB Berney Marshes & Breydon Water

Webpage

Satellite View

Experience the spectacle of the tens of thousands of wintering ducks, geese and swans that visit the estuary and surrounding grazing marshes. In spring, the marshes are filled with the atmospheric calls of lapwings and redshanks, all breeding on one of the UK's largest expanses of wet grassland. Access is along public footpaths. To book winter boat trips call 01603 715191.

RSPB Buckenham Marshes

Webpage

Satellite View

Buckenham Marshes is a traditionally managed grazing marsh with large numbers of breeding wading birds, and ducks and geese in winter. The reserve also often boasts the only regular winter flock of bean geese in England (November to February), together with white-fronted geese and up to 10,000 wigeons. Read more at http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/b/buckenham/about.aspx#U0Ep8u0i7LdOj8L4.99

RSPB Snettisham

Webpage

Satellite View

This is the place to witness two of the UK's great wildlife spectacles. On big tides, as water covers the vast mudflats of The Wash, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed off their feeding grounds and onto the roost banks and islands in front of the RSPB hides.

RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

Webpage

Satellite View

This reserve has the full range of broadland habitats and wildlife. Walk round the reedbeds, woodlands and orchid-rich meadows and you could chance upon marsh harriers, bitterns and kingfishers. Come in spring and summer when the meadows bloom with flowers, and see an array of dragonflies and butterflies, including the spectacular swallowtail. Read more at http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/s/strumpshawfen/about.aspx#74WFQVScxzXtJUBL.99

RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Webpage

Satellite View

This popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast has something for everyone. A walk from the visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. You can sit on benches or watch from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides. Read more at http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/t/titchwellmarsh/about.aspx#v2ue5lOm84c3pe8C.99

WWT Reserve Welney

Webpage

Satellite View

In winter, enjoy the magic of hundreds of Whooper and Bewick's Swans accompanied by flocks of thousands of ducks. During the day, carpets of Wigeon graze this precious wetland, while flocks of Pintail, Teal, Gadwall and Shoveler dabble in the ponds and lagoons.

Blogs

Alan & Brenda Fossey - Birding Paradigms

BLOG

BLOG & Photos from a Kent & a Norfolk birder….

Chris Porter - Norfolk Bird Blog

BLOG

Bird and wildlife sightings from around Norfolk, mostly on the northern coast.

Eastern Bush Chat

BLOG

A ramble through the life of a birder and wildlife enthusiast based in the beautiful county of Norfolk. I live in Norfolk, I've always lived in Norfolk and will undoubtedly do so until this body of mine throws in the towel. I love wildlife and have done so since a very young age. Can't see that changing either.

Gary White - Mainly Norfolk Birding

BLOG

Part diary and travel log, partly photo record gallery…

Hethersett Birdlife

BLOG

Hethersett Birdlife is a page dedicated to collation of Bird sightings and observations in and around the Hethersett area of Norfolk. It is intended to provide links to other sites that may interest anyone keen on the natural world...

James Emerson - Birds and Beer

BLOG

I am a Norwich-based naturalist, with a particular interest in birds, larger insects and fungi. I can frequently be found at my local patch, Whitlingham C.P.

Jim Swalwell - Lost Geordie Birding

BLOG

Blog of birder based in Norfolk…

Kevin Du Rose - Du Rose's Digest

BLOG

Last updated 2013 - but some fantastic photos

Mike Lawrence - Back In Birdland

BLOG

A diary of my wildlife encounters. By Mike Lawrence, Trimingham, Norfolk

Neil Lawton - A Norfolk Birder in Thailand

BLOG

I am a Norfolk birder who now spends the winter months living and birding in Thailand. The summer months are spent working and living on Scolt Head Island, Norfolk, England as permanent summer warden for Natural England.

Norfolk'n Birds

BLOG

Last updated 2012 - Amusing musings from a patch…

Paul Eeele - Mr Eeles's Birding Blog

BLOG

A Somerset birder in exile in North Norfolk since 2002. Now an active ringer, moth trapper and seawatching geek. Given up twitching (almost) and concentrate on my local patch around Syderstone village.

Penny Clarke - Penny's Hot Birding & Life!

Blog

Birder & amateur photographer who loves to escape into the wilds of Norfolk or anywhere else the fancy takes me! I have been birding since I was born…

Richard Thewlis - Sketches from the Field

BLOG

Not updated since 2016 - Norfolk, United Kingdom - This is a blog of my impressions of nature, especially birds, which I started in 2011. I like to record my observations in the form of sketches, and paintings too, if I have time...

Sean Locke - The Autistic Naturalist

BLOG

Welcome to my blog. My name is Sean Locke from Norwich and I am autistic. But this does not stop my passion for nature and wildlife. I am a volunteer for RSPB Strumpshaw Fen and I also help out at Mousehold Heath with surveys and I birdwatch whenever I can. Since 2011, i have been writing a wildlife diary filled with my adventures, drawings and photos. Now i have decided to go online to share with you all.

Shakys Birding Blog

Blog

My name is Ricky but my nickname is 'Shaky', hence the name of the blog.Im a keen bird watcher who has been birding since end of 2009. I live in Norwich since moving here about 6 years ago from good old Essex! .My local patch is Thorpe/Station Marshes in Norwich.Also i like to visit Whitlingham,Strumpshaw Fen & Buckenham Marshes.I am a full time Window Cleaner so have plenty of time to get the binoculars out when ever possible(although it does seem to stop me working alot!) I hope to put plenty of info of where i go & what i see on my adventures out. Happy Birding!

The Occasional Birder

BlOG

Last updated 2015 - Bird reports and info from my current patch in Norfolk and my trips around the UK and sometimes further afield. And sometimes other interesting wildlife as well…

Other Links

In Focus

Website

The shop is situated in an old Norfolk flint cottage overlooking the RSPB reserve and has its own patio viewing area. Stock is always at a high level and there are rarely any problems obtaining items at short notice. The staff are all experienced birdwatchers in their own right, which is important in this enormously popular birdwatching area.

Norfolk Birders

Website

We are two avid birders whose interests in birding started from an early age. For my part I can remember that at the age of 7 I had a Waxwing feeding on the Cotoneaster and rushing for the Observer book of Birds in the hope of identifying it, only to find the illustration was on a black and white plate…

Norfolk Wildlife Centre & Country Park

Website

Tour the 30 acre landscaped site and look out for Wallabies, European Lynx, Barbary Apes, Otters, Iguanas, Snakes, Tortoises and birds of all sizes and colours and many more Wild Animals; all in near natural conditions.

Norwich Peregrines

Website

This website is dedicated to the magnificent Peregrine Falcons that call Norwich Cathedral their home…

The Birds of Norfolk

Website

Whether its booming bitterns or sky-dancing marsh harriers over the reedbeds of the north coast, wildfowl and waders wheeling over the immense mudflats of The Wash or the haunting calls of roosting cranes in the Broads, Norfolk can deliver a truly memorable wildlife experience all year round. The county boasts a list of over 420 species, including some very rare resident species, breeding and winter visitors, passage migrants and many vagrants. It is one of the few counties in Britain where it is possible to see in excess of 100 bird species on any given day without too much effort. So it’s not surprising that a birdwatcher’s calendar is not complete without a visit to Norfolk and most visit many times during the year…

The Norfolk Cranes' Story

Website

This new book - published in July 2011 - tells the story of how cranes bred at Horsey in Norfolk, and how they were protected and studied there…

Visit Norfolk

Article

Norfolk may well be the birdwatching capital of Britain. It certainly has Premier League status nature reserves - just the names of Titchwell, Cley, Holkham, Blakeney, Snettisham and Welney make birdwatchers weak at the knees. There's plenty to see whatever the time of year.

Photographers & Artists

Artist - James McCallum

Gallery

James McCallum is a wildlife artist living and working in North Norfolk. He is best known for his watercolour paintings and sketches of natural history, particularly birds, made outdoors from life at the time of watching…

Artist - Keith Nash

Gallery

Whilst born in the South of England, Keith Nash’s career in environmental engineering brought him and his wife to Norfolk in 1975, where they settled in the village of Little Dunham near Swaffham. The big skies and changing colours and light of the seasons soon led to a fascination with the Norfolk landscape and coastal marshes, which are famous for their wildfowl sanctuaries…

Photographer - David Whistlecraft

Gallery

Wildlife photography, please view the gallery page…

Photographer - Kevin Elsby - Wildlife on the Web

Gallery

A site dedicated to showing images of nature from around the world. Birds, Mammals, Insects, Plants are all covered..

Photographer - Robin Chittenden [Harlequin Pictures]

Gallery

UK Rare Birds, other Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Other animals, Plants, Conservation, Environmental, Landscapes, Abstract landscape/nature…

Photographer - Sean Gray - Grayimages

Gallery

My fascination with wild birds began as a boy growing up in the Norfolk Fens. This passion has stayed with me and I am intrigued with every aspect of their lives; behaviour, migration, breeding and feeding. I have watched birds all over the world and am now back in Norfolk. I also hold an A permit to ring wild birds.

Photographer - Steve Gantlett - Cley Birds

Gallery

Welcome to this photo gallery site for Cley, Norfolk and beyond…

Sculptor - Richard T Roberts

Gallery

Brilliant styalised sculptures from the norfolk-based artist…