Top 5 bird sightings in North Norfolk

Posted 06/10/2016

If you like bird watching you’ll love north Norfolk. No matter if you’re a dedicated ornithologist, a part time observer, a twitcher or just someone who likes to watch the wild life as you walk, this is the place to be.

Norfolk itself has been called “the perfect county in which to bird watch”. It has several RSPB and Norfolk Wildlife Trust sites as well as lots of places to just stroll and see what can be seen!

In north Norfolk you’ll find Titchwell Marsh, a really popular RSPB reserve with a lovely walk from the visitor centre to the sandy beach. You’ll find reedbeds, lagoons, and lots of birds. Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, Avocets and Gulls are all regular sightings.

Few people visit north Norfolk without taking a walk at Cley, and it’s there that you’ll find the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest reserve. The habitat of shingle beach and grazing marsh means you’ll see Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits here too. It’s also a great place to see wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders.

At Woodland Holiday Park we have visitors all year round too. Our lodges and cabins are ideal for a break at any time. And in Autumn birdwatchers are in for a real treat in north Norfolk. Drifted migrants fly in from the continent. As the season turns there are Warblers, Redstarts, Whinchats and Pied Flycatchers.

Soon they’re followed by Robins, Goldcrests, impressive arrivals of Starlings and Winter Thrushes. The Waders continue their passage, and sightings at this time of year include Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers. By late Autumn the geese and ducks have returned for the winter, often in huge numbers.

The list goes on! Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Barred Warbler have all been seen in north Norfolk, and some late autumn visitors have included Waxwing, Rough-legged Buzzard, Great Grey Shrike, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Long and Short-eared Owls, Richard’s Pipit, Ring Ouzel, Lapland Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler or the exquisite Pallas Warbler.

There’s still quite a list of places to visit. Holme Bird Observatory is the home of the Norfolk Ornithologists Association. It nestles in 13 acres of pine covered dunes at Holme – next – the Sea and attracts lots of migrating birds.

With its northern boundary hugging the Norfolk Coast Path, and its secluded position, the Observatory is a really charming place to visit. In birdwatching terms it’s really important. Often referred to as one of the “most stunning bird watching locations in the UK” it was established in 1962 and since then over 50,000 birds and more than 300 species have been ringed and recorded there.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous there is of course Blakeney Point. You can only get there by boat at high tide from Blakeney and Morston quays – or there is the 4 mile beach walk from Cley.

It’s a National Trust Nature Reserve and bird sanctuary. Nationally famous as a breeding colony for numerous species, and for migratory birds, it’s also a fantastic place for wildlife, flowers and plants and of course the colony of grey seals.

With so much to see, in so many outstanding places, you’ll find Woodland Holiday Park an ideal place to stay in north Norfolk. We’re delightfully off the beaten track, tucked away off the B1159, but well within reach of all the best places to watch the birdlife of north Norfolk.

There’s plenty of information available too. The RSPB, the National Trust and all the individual bird watching reserves and sites have their own websites, packed with information and directions. Many of them are updated with details of what to look out for and recent bird sightings. Just this week, there are records of Pectoral Sandpiper, Hoopoe, Sabine’s Gull, Great White Egret and Yellow-browed Warbler.

Other top sightings include Pintail, Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Sandwich Terns and Greenshank – all at Holme-next-the -Sea.

All in all then north Norfolk is home, for all or part of the year, to a lot of species! It’s an ever changing picture, and there’s no better place to observe it than amongst the huge horizons and wide skies of north Norfolk. From coastal paths, to woodland byways, from specialist reserves to simply strolling, there are so many ways to enjoy bird watching in the area, and Woodland Holiday Park is close to it all.

With so many birds to see we asked our friendly expert what they considered the top 5 bird sightings in north Norfolk and the answer was – the Avocets and Marsh Harriers, along with much rarer birds including the Great Knot at Titchwell and the Least Sandpiper and the Black-winged Stilt at Cley.

We think you’ll find we’re the top place to be to see them!