Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk

Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk

North Norfolk is a perfect place to catch a glimpse of rare visiting birds and local water fowl all year round. Often described as the birdwatching capital of Britain, Norfolk is home to a large number of wildlife reserves, the ideal places to enjoy the varied species that visit here. 

With both its close proximity to the European mainland and varied habitats within the area, Norfolk supports a wide selection of local bird species, and migratory birds visiting throughout the year. Each wildlife reserve supports a diverse range of wildlife and birds specifically adapted to thrive in these conditions. From the freshwater broads to the coastal dunes and marshes, both avid and novice bird watchers will be able to spot a wide array of interesting species.

Where can I go birdwatching in North Norfolk

As the area is abundant with wildlife there are many different locations where you can find both bird and wildlife species. Our self-catering holiday cottages are perfectly positioned in Kelling, not far from the Cley marshes, woodland or coast. Below you will find some of our favourite locations to bird watch in the area.

RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

In the heart of the broads you will find RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. The area is brimming with a range of habitats with a number of trails leading through each landscape from the woodland to the reedbeds. The most popular species here are the woodpeckers, wild flower meadows, rare Norfolk Hawker butterflies and Swallowtails.

NWT Hickling Broad

The largest of the Norfolk Broads, the wide skies and open landscapes of this National Wildlife trust area allows for bird watching and leisurely boat trips to be combined. If you decide to visit Hickling, you are most likely to see Bitterns, Bearded Tits, Crested Grebe and Marsh Harriers.

Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk
Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk

Cley Marshes

One of the oldest nature reserves in the country and part of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Cley Marshes has a diverse range of habitats encouraging birds of all different species to visit. The grazing marshes, reedbeds and salt water lagoons are home to local and over wintering birds, perfect to watch the wildlife in its natural habitat.

RSPB Snettisham

Teeming with wildlife, waders and wildfowl are attracted to the mudbanks and salt marshes of the Wash at this RSPB Snettisham. Over 50,000 wading birds can be seen at the highest tides from mid-July to late May.

RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Combining water and land to create a diverse range of habitats, Spring sees waders such as Ruff Black Tailed Godwits, Spotted Redshanks, and Marsh Harriers but you can also see a range of species including Bittern, Avocets and even Chinese Water Deer. There is also a wide range of conservation work that happens within these reserves, helping to manage and control the ideal conditions for these species to thrive.

Bird watching trips in North Norfolk

For those wishing to enjoy an immersive experience, guided by local experts that know the best locations to see the iconic local and migratory birds. The Bird ID Company is a guided birdwatching company in Norfolk that offers a variety of guided birdwatching tours and birding holidays throughout the year. They cater for all abilities and have an extensive choice of tours to suit every budding birder.

What Birds Can I See?


  • Birds of prey and wading birds as they pass on their way to the Atlantic
  • Swifts and warblers
  • Local species including Marsh Harrier, Egret and Avocet
  • Lucky birdwatchers might find Osprey, Spoonbill and Firecrest


  • Spotted Redshanks 
  • Sandpipers
  • Honey Buzzards
  • Bitterns
  • Nightjars
  • Woodlarks
  • Tree Pipits


  • Dominated by migrations, you will be able to see a large number of ducks and geese returning for the winter
  • Thrushes and finches migrating 
  • Robins
  • Goldcrests
  • Wryneck
  •  Arctic Terns
  • Kingfishers


  • Pinkfooted Geese
  • Hen Harrier
  • Peregrines – you can also find a pair of nesting Peregrines at Norwich Cathedral
  • Short Eared Owls
  • Raptors
  • Waxwings
  • White-tailed Eagles
Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk
Best Places For Birdwatching In North Norfolk

What is the best time to go bird watching?

The best time of day to see a diverse range of birds is between dawn and 11am when they are most active.

North Norfolk is a perfect area to discover wildlife and reconnect with nature. Not just for birding, there is a range of nature reserves and child-friendly centres to discover all that the area offers.  Our North Norfolk holiday cottages are suited to these family and couple escapes, helping to surround you in tranquil countryside, whilst keeping you close to the reserves. For more information about our properties, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we can even advise you on the wildlife that you might encounter when staying with us.

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