Birdwatching - Norfolk

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography

Bird Watching is a popular pastime, both for locals and visitors to the region. There are many nature and bird reserves to visit as well as the enjoyment of just spotting birds whilst out and about in the Norfolk countryside or on the seashore. It might be easier to list the places where you will not see birds in Norfolk rather than the places you will. Thousands of migrating birds arrive here from their wintering grounds further south. Common, little and sandwich terns, swallows and house martins as well as warblers to mention but a few.

Autumn is a good time to spot the rare bearded tit a reedbed bird, as flocks gather prior to their departure from our shores. As the highest tides are in September many wading birds such as oystercatchers move on to the reserves. Winter brings the return of pink-footed and brent geese. You can also see long and short-eared owls and woodcock. Snow and Lapland Buntings, Shore Lark, Goldcrest and sometimes Hen Harrier. 

Norfolk has a reputation as being one of the best places in the UK for bird watching because of its number of reserves and the fact that the farmland is some of the most intensively used. As we jut out into the North Sea we are well placed to attract and receive more than our fair share of migrants birds. With large numbers turning up along the coast in particular The Wash were spectacular gatherings of waders can be observed. The wetlands and Broads have many breeding birds that are not seen in other parts of the country such as bitterns, marsh harriers bearded tits, and avocets. Norfolk provides the twitcher with a huge arena to chose from.