Brilliant Birdwatching in Norfolk

You don’t have to be an expert to have a memorable time visiting some of these Norfolk birdwatching destinations.

There’s so much to see and learn whilst having fun in the fascinating Norfolk surroundings – it’s a great day out for all the family.

NWT Cley Marshes, Cley-next-the-Sea

Best for: families - educational and fun

Over 110,000 visitors come annually to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best-known nature reserve, to see such iconic Norfolk species as bittern, avocet, marsh harrier, spoonbill and the bearded tit.

You’ll certainly enjoy the eco-friendly visitor centre with its fabulous panorama from the viewing deck. And there’s a lovely courtyard, café and a shop to browse in – it’s amazing, educational and fun!

Photo by Elizabeth Dack

NWT Holme Dunes, Holme-next the Sea

Best for: birdlife in the wild

Holme is a place where some very rare birds and breeding species are to be found. This is a wonderful place to seawatch – choose your time well and you may be rewarded with the extraordinary sight of gannets, skuas, terns and divers filling the coastal skies.

The sight of a barn owl gliding noiselessly over the grazing marshes at dusk is an iconic Norfolk image - completely mesmerising. These hauntingly beautiful creatures are often to be seen hunting for prey in the late afternoon and early evening at Holme Dunes.

Photo by Elizabeth Dack

NWT Hickling Broad, Hickling

Best for: scenic waterland surroundings

Hickling is home to the bittern, one of the rarest breeding birds in the UK. They’re elusive and well camouflaged but listen out for their characteristic call, booming out across the reed beds between March and June.

This natural reserve is also recently home to the spectacular common crane, Britain’s largest breeding bird. Marsh harriers are in their element here too – up to 100 have been seen at a single roost! This is truly a birdwatcher’s utopia.

Photo by Elizabeth Dack

NWT Weeting Heath, Weeting

Best for: heathland setting

Weeting has been recognised nationally for its conservation of ground-breeding stone curlews. The hides overlooking the heath are undoubtedly the best place in the country to see these rare birds during their summer residence. Other regular sightings include wheatears, woodlarks, crossbills, nightjars and many more.

The environment provides ideal conditions for a rich variety of rare plants, birds and insects. Pop into the visitor centre when you arrive (there’s full wheelchair access) and get all the information you need to enjoy this fascinating place

Photo by Elizabeth Dack

RSPB Snettisham, Snettisham

Best for: wildfowl and wading birds

RSPB Snettisham is nationally renowned for its abundant variety of wildfowl, wading birds and other migrant species to be found here in the sweeping landscape of The Wash. Elegant avocets in the summer, bar-tailed godwits in winter, and the ubiquitous shelducks dibbling and dabbling for food all year round.

Ideal for long bracing walks, this remote area offers wonderful, ever-changing vistas as well as the amazing sights and sounds of birdlife in the wild. RSPB Snettisham is one of nature’s hidden treasures.

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