Catch Sight of Beautiful Norfolk Birdlife
Norfolk has plenty in store for any keen birdwatcher, whether you’re a novice or an expert. Dubbed the birdwatching capital of Britain by Visit Norfolk, there’s always something to see whatever the season. From barn owls to kingfishers, Norfolk’s stunning nature reserves are home to a vast range of species.
Norfolk Birding is a guiding business that provides tours for those who enjoy birdwatching, wildlife and photography. If you’re staying in Blakeney, a convenient collection service will take you right to the heart of the action.
An Experienced Guide
Chris Mills, 50, from Themelthorpe, is a Birdwatching and Wildlife Guide at Norfolk Birding. The business was born eight years ago, from Chris’s passion to share 35 years’ worth of birding knowledge. Chris’ job involves organising and providing commentary for the tours.
With 17 years’ experience of birdwatching and photographing wildlife in Norfolk, Chris is clued-up on the area’s best hotspots. His passion has taken him across the world, with his experience and enthusiasm making Norfolk Birding day trips a unique experience.
“I have certificates in ornithology, insects and flowering plants. Although the ability to recognise all UK birds and their calls is a lifetime achievement that can’t be measured!
“There’s nothing better than watching the smiles develop on people’s faces as a barn owl floats past, or 10,000 geese suddenly whiffle down from the sky.”
Wild about Wildlife
Tours are suitable for birdwatchers of all levels of experience and provide the opportunity to learn about the local birds and wildlife.
“While watching the birds, we provide information on their status, main identification points, migration routes, and summering and wintering areas.”
As part of the experience, Norfolk Birding offer advice on how to best watch and approach wildlife, as well as how to take superb photographs.
“Our tours are about seeing, enjoying, learning and having fun. We want people to leave feeling inspired, enthused and wanting to come back for more!”
A Variety of Birds
By joining a Norfolk Birding day trip, Chris believes that visitors see more species than they would alone. His knowledge ensures that as many special species are seen in a day as possible, and he offers unique insights into the local wildlife and habitats.
“During a tour, we visit many locations, depending on where the more interesting species are present. Some of our most visited locations include; Holme Dunes, Titchwell Marsh RSPB, Burnham Overy Staithe, Holkham, Cley NWT Reserve, Hickling Broad and Breckland Forest in South Norfolk.
“On most day trips, visitors see over 70 species of birds, which vary depending on the time of the year. Barn owls, marsh harriers, bearded tits and brown hares are a constant theme throughout the year and are seen on most trips.”
Birdwatching in Norfolk
Chris has travelled across the world, including Norway, India and Peru, yet still considers Norfolk to be unparalleled for birdwatching. With a variety of birds throughout the year, there is always plenty to see.
“Norfolk is the place to see birds. It has it all: thousands of geese, wildfowl and shorebirds in the winter, plus good numbers of raptors and owls at winter roosts.
“In the spring and summer, there are rare and scarce breeding birds. This is followed by amazing arrivals of thousands of migrant birds in the autumn, often coupled with scarce and rare birds from Siberia.”
Tours run every day almost every week throughout the year, except August.
The typical starting time is around 8.30 am, finishing around 5.30 pm. For certain specialised species, early starts and evening sessions are organised.
A typical tour day with a group is £60.00 per person for the day. Exclusive tour rates for two or more persons start at £65.00 per person, with rates reducing with groups of four or more.
Tours are suitable for everyone, and children accompanied by parents can join on an exclusive tour basis. Tours can also be arranged for people with mobility difficulties.
Norfolk Birding provide collection and drop off services from visitors’ accommodation. They run a fully licensed nine-seater minibus to cater for up to eight people.
Day tours include collection from several coastal locations such as Blakeney, Cley and the Burnhams.
Norfolk Birding is a 30-minute drive from The Blakeney Cottage Company HQ. Find out more about the tours on Norfolk Birding’s website.