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For previous years (2012-2019) see the links on the Whitlingham Bird List page.

EAST NORFOLK: Heigham Holmes open day

2nd August 2015

When I'm thinking where I'd like to visit I tend to give a bit of weight towards areas that I haven't been before, or places where access is limited. On Sunday the National Trust hosted an open day at Heigham Holmes, which ticked both boxes. Heigham Holmes is an area of grassland and grazing marsh, cut off by the river and various channels, making it an island. Whilst several events are held throughout the year, there is only general access one day a year, when a field is used for parking and the floating swingbridge is manned to allow pedestrians to walk onto the island.

We arrived around 12, and whilst waiting for the swingbridge to be closed we watched a family of Swallows perching and swooping around the river edge. It was a nice sunny day, and we walked along a wide track to some old farm buildings in the centre of the site. Here we stopped for a cup of tea and spoke to some people from the NWT Trinity Broads, who showed us the different types of pondweed found on a recent survey.

After stopping for lunch we completed a circuit around the site and then back to the bridge. I didn't see any 'new' species, but we did see three Little Egrets, Grey Heron, loads of Gatekeepers, Brown Hawker and an area of Bur-Marigold. The day was well attended (an estimate was 600 visitors) and we both enjoyed being able to explore a hitherto unvisited part of Norfolk.

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