Bird Watching in Norfolk

Bird Watching in Norfolk


Often described as the bird-watching capital of Britain, Norfolk is home to hundreds of bird species – both full-time residents and regular migrants. Comprising a long coastline, extensive woodland and farmland, and massive areas of inland freshwater, Norfolk provides an incredible variety of natural habitat, which supports a wide range of animal and plant life.


Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) owns no fewer than 33 nature reserves, and many of these are within a reasonable distance of Happisburgh and Boundary Stables. Situated in the heart of the beautiful Norfolk countryside, Barn Owl, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Kestrel, and Wren (known collectively as Boundary Stables) are wheelchair accessible, with many facilities for visitors with limited mobility. We welcome dogs and other pets at no extra charge – but please note that when visiting a Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve, the NWT’s No Dogs policy means that dogs are restricted to certain areas and footpaths.


Cley Marshes (NR25 7SA), Norfolk’s oldest and probably best-known nature reserve, supports large numbers of migrating waders and wildfowl; consisting of grazing marsh, saline lagoons, shingle beach, and reedbeds, the reserve is well tended to ensure ideal conditions for the birds. Thorpe Marshes (NR7 0QA), one of the Trust’s newest and more urban reserves, borders the River Yare, on the outskirts of Norwich. At Cockshoot Broad (NR13 6HN), just 17 miles from Happisburgh, there’s a good chance of spotting a kingfisher; and for sightings of birds of prey, such as the tawny owl, kestrel, and sparrowhawk, why not visit the ancient and beautiful Foxley Wood (NR20 4QR).


Two of Norfolk’s three major RSBP nature reserves – RSBP Snettisham (PE31 7RA) and RSPB Titchwell Marsh (PE31 8BB) – are located in the west of the county; but RSPB Strumpshaw Fen (NR13 4HS) is only about 20 miles from Happisburgh. Part of the Mid Yare Nature Reserve, RSPB Strumpshaw Fen offers three walking trails of varying lengths, with hides along the way. There are also plenty of benches, where you can rest and take in the beauty of the countryside.


It’s lovely to see birds in the wild. However, within walking distance of Boundary Stables, there’s a fantastic opportunity for bird lovers to get close to some wonderful domesticated owls. Happisburgh Owls (Lighthouse Lane, Happisburgh, NR12 0QA) is owned and run by Sandra Dalzell, an experienced handler and breeder of owls.


With a Certificate of Excellence, Happisburgh Owls is currently East Anglia’s top attraction on TripAdvisor – just have a look at the reviews! The owls, who have all been hand-raised by Sandra, are very tame and used to being handled. When it comes to owls, Sandra and her staff are among the most knowledgeable people you could meet, and they’ll tell you lots about these 16 individuals and about the nine species they belong to. And, of course, you’ll learn a lot from the owls themselves.


To book a private viewing, telephone Sandra on 01692 651 501, or email “I never double book,” says Sandra. “Your experience is exclusive to you and your guests.”


To find out more about Boundary Stables, give us a call on 07786 837 187, or email


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