The Autumn Migrations in North Norfolk

The Autumn Migrations in North Norfolk
Bird Watching

North Norfolk is a place of great beauty, attracting holidaymakers and tourists all year round. In autumn, however, North Norfolk attracts a very special type of visitor, with birds flocking from Northern and Eastern Europe to enjoy our mild weather, before venturing further south for the winter months.

A great many species of rare birds pass through our county in this period, making North Norfolk a bird watchers dream in the Autumn.

In this article, we take a look at the types of birds which migrate to Norfolk in autumn, and some of the nature reserves where you can hope to spot them.

The Migration Period

The months of September through to November are a period of great migration for Europe's bird population. Millions of birds from as far afield as Scandinavia and Russia migrate to Britain seeking milder climes. Migration even occurs within Britain itself, with thrushes and wood pigeons making their way down from the north of the country to the south, while wrens, tits and warblers move from the unforgiving countryside to parks and back gardens.

Interestingly, Britain's temporary residents appear to be spending longer and longer in the UK before departing for the south. A study of swallows and house martins in Shetland found that they are leaving for Africa up to a fortnight later than decades ago due to rising temperatures in the UK.

Where to Watch Migrating Birds this Autumn

Migrating birds can be found throughout North Norfolk this Autumn in some of the region's wonderful nature reserves. We take a look at some of the best below:

NWT Holme Dunes

Situated in the North-west of Norfolk, the 192-hectare nature reserve at Holme Dunes is perfectly located to observe some of Norfolk's avian visitors this time of year.

NWT Holme Dunes is a magnet for migrating birds throughout the year, and in Autumn you can hope to see Wheaters, Warblers, and flocks of Pink-footed Geese.

Find out more about NWT Holme Dunes here.

NWT Cley Marshes

When Cley Marshes was purchased in 1926, it became the first Wildlife Trust reserve in the country. Almost one hundred years later, it is one of the country's premier spots for Autumn birdwatching. The shingle beach, grazing marsh and reed bed welcome countless rare birds throughout the year, from Marsh Harriers to Bearded Tits.

Find out more about NWT Cley Marshes here.

Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve

The stretch of coast between Snettisham in the North-west facing the Wash, to Titchwell further east facing the North Sea, welcomes thousands of migrating birds each Autumn. The RSPB nature reserve at Snettisham offers expansive views across the lagoons, salt marshes and mudflats of the Wash, which are the natural habitat of a great many species of migrating birds arriving from as far afield as Siberia.

Find out more about Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve here.

RSPB Titchwell Marsh

Located between the picturesque villages of Titchwell and Thornham, Titchwell Marsh is another North Norfolk bird watcher's haven. Titchwell plays host to a number of natural avian habitats, such reed beds, salt marshes and an expansive sandy beach. From mid-Autumn onwards, Titchwell welcomes wading birds, wildfowl, geese and Marsh Harriers, which can be spotted soaring low over the reed beds in Autumn.

Find out more about RSPB Titchwell Marsh here.

Are you interested in birdwatching in North Norfolk this Autumn and Winter? Guests of Heacham Manor can save 50% on membership with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust maintain many wonderful nature reserves in the country, including Holme Dunes and Cley Marshes. To join, simply go to or call 01603 625540 and quote your special code HM50, or ask at any Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre.

To book a stay at Heacham Manor, check out some of our great offers on Autumn and Winter Breaks here. Alternatively, call us 01485 536030 or email