Birdwatching Tour Main Sites

All the nature reserves that form part of our guided tours have an excellent reputation for birdwatching throughout the year. During the winter months, we generally record between 60 - 75 species each day this rises to 70 - 90 birds in the spring and sometimes over 100.

The following notes are a brief insight into some of the sites we visit and the birds we might see, and this should help you decide which tour to join. The tour leader visits each of the main sites regularly throughout the year, thus helping determine where birds are likely to be in different seasons and weather conditions.

Marsh Harrier

Cley NWT

One of the most famous nature reserves in the country, steeped in history. With resident and breeding birds including Marsh Harrier, Cetti’s Warbler, Avocet and Bearded Tit. The place is a wildfowl and wading bird magnet.

Titchwell RSPB

A very popular reserve, and it’s soon obvious to see why. On any day of the year there is always something to see. The scrapes attract large numbers of waders and wildfowl, the sea in winter is excellent for ducks, grebes and divers and the reedbeds hold Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits.

Holkham Pines

Holkham pines and marshes has an unrivalled variety of habitats in Norfolk that are able to offer an impressive list of species. Thousands of Pink-footed Geese winter here along with numerous other wildfowl, attracting Peregrine Falcon, Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard. The woods are renowned for attracting scarce migrants in autumn such as Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers. The variety of habitat ensures a long list of birds in the spring including most of our breeding warblers.

Holme Dunes NWT

Holme Dunes is a Norfolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve and is a well-known migration hot spot with a fantastic list of scarce and rare birds. In winter, the sea can hold a variety of ducks, grebes and divers.

Hickling Broad

Hickling Broad Nature Reserve is probably the best site in the Norfolk Broads providing great views of species such as Common Crane, Bittern, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and Cetti’s Warblers. The raptor roost during the winter is one of Norfolk's many spectacular sights with up to 80 Marsh Harriers often recorded along with a few Hen Harriers, Merlin and the Cranes.

Lynford Arboretum & Thetford Forest

Hawfinch Arguably the best woodland site in Norfolk and is most famous for it's resident population of the elusive Hawfinch (see right). Our tours rarely fail to spot this exquisite bird during the winter and early spring seasons. Other birds seen in the forest regularly include Goshawk, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Firecrest. This area also boasts areas of Breckland heath, which are home to the Stone Curlew and Woodlark.

Snettisham and the Wash

This site plays host to one of the most spectacular sights in the birdwatching calendar. Vast numbers of waders gather on the mudflats of the Wash on the shores of north-west Norfolk, to spend the winter or stop-over on migration. On the highest tides, these birds are pushed up on to the shore in huge swirling flocks. Unforgettable.

Minsmere RSPB

Over the border in neighbouring Suffolk, this is the premier reserve in the county. Minsmere has it all, open sea, beach, dunes, wader scrapes, reedbeds, mature oak woodland and grassland. In spring it’s not hard to see 100 species in a whole day here.

T: 01263 861 892
M: 07785 534734

Cley Spy
Cley Spy – specialist in
Bird watching tours in Norfolk and beyond