The Whitlingham Bird Report 2020 is available now (click here)

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

Places mentioned in the blog

It has occurred to me that some readers may be interested in visiting some of the locations mentioned in the blog entries I write, so I have decided to collate a brief bit of information about some of them here. The places listed will usually be either open access or where access via organised events, but check on the relevant website before visiting. Whilst most of them will have at least some wildlife interest, we do visit some sites of historical interest, so I have included those too.

East Anglia

Bowthorpe Marsh
Area: Norwich
Type of site: An area of river valley with meadows and marshland
Managed by: Norwich Fringe Project
Reason for visiting:Interesting local habitat for Norwich-based birders, chance of Ring Ouzel in spring and Great White Egret in winter.
Nearby areas of interest: Norwich city centre, Earlham Marsh (adjoins Bowthorpe Marsh), Bawburgh Lakes (AKA Colney GPs - note that these are permit access only), UEA Broad.

Brandon Country Park
Area: Breckland

Type of site: Parkland, Woodland, Heathland
Managed by: Forest Heath Council
Reason for visiting: Nice cafe and paths so a family friendly/accessible bit of Thetford Forest
Nearby areas of interest: Lynford Arboretum, High Lodge, Grimes Graves

Burgh Castle
Area: South-east Norfolk (Watsonian East Suffolk)
Type of site: Ruined Roman Fort
Managed by: Norfolk Archaelogical Trust
Reason for visiting: Good-condition ruins, views over marsh and estuary habitats
Nearby areas of interest: Burgh Castle church, Breydon Water south shore for wading birds.

Charter Wood
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Young woodland, grassland with gorse areas
Managed by: Norwich Fringe Project
Reason for visiting: Interesting mix of habitats, coppiced woodland
Nearby areas of interest: Colney GPs, Bowthorpe Southern Park, Earlham & Bowthorpe Marshes

Cley Marshes
Area: North Norfolk

Type of site: Coastal reedbed and grazing marsh
Managed by: Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Reason for visiting: Nationally famous nature reserve with all-round interest and a long history of attracting rare birds.
Nearby areas of interest:Holt Country Park, Blakeney Point, Blakeney Freshmarsh, Stiffkey Fen, Sheringham seafront, Kelling Water Meadows, Muckleburgh Hill, Weybourne Camp.

Coopers Wood
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Wet woodland with a grassy clearing
Managed by: Norwich Fringe Project
Reason for visiting: Riverside woodland with a short boardwalk
Nearby areas of interest: Lakenham Way, Trowse, Whitlingham, Marston Marshes, Danby Wood

Devil's Dyke
Area: East Cambridgeshire
Type of site: A long earthwork with chalk grassland features
Managed by: Historic England
Reason for visiting: Historic interest. The main species of interest are Chalkhill Blue butterflies and Lizard Orchids.
Nearby areas of interest: If you like horse racing then this area will really suit you.

Earlham Cemetery
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Large cemetery with areas of old grassland
Managed by: Norwich City Council
Reason for visiting: Best area of green space within the outer ring road. Good for a range of plants and insects (much more detail on the Friends of Earlham Cemetery website).
Nearby areas of interest: Norwich city centre, Sweetbriar Marsh

Earlham Marshes
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Marshland, some areas grazed, floods in winter
Managed by: Norwich City Council
Reason for visiting: The flooded marsh attracts a good range of species, including dabbling ducks and occasionally waders. A Glaucous Gull visited several times in early 2018, and Stonechats sometimes winter here.
Nearby areas of interest: Bowthorpe Marshes join Earlham Marshes, Bowthorpe Southern Park, Colney GPs, Earlham Park/UEA

Framlingham Castle
Area: Suffolk
Type of site: Remains of a Tudor castle
Managed by: English Heritage
Reason for visiting:Historical
Nearby areas of interest: Framlingham Church

Heigham Holmes
Area: East Norfolk

Type of site: A mixture of grassland, grazing marsh and dykes
Managed by: National Trust
Reason for visiting: Only open for events or an annual open day in August. Hosts typical broadland wildlife.
Nearby areas of interest: Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Winterton Dunes, Horsey Dunes.

Holt Country Park
Area: North Norfolk
Type of site: Woodland
Managed by: North Norfolk District Council
Reason for visiting: Holds Norfolk's biggest colony of Silver-washed Fritillaries (including the form valezina), plus White Admiral and many other butterflies.
Nearby areas of interest: The adjacent Holt Lowes is an area of heathland and mixed mire that holds species like Nightjar, Woodlark, Keeled Skimmer, Bog Bush-cricket.

Marston Marsh
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Riverside wet grassland, small areas of fen and woodland
Managed by: Norwich Fringe Project
Reason for visiting: Interesting mix of habitats on the outskirts of Norwich
Nearby areas of interest: Danby Wood and Eaton Common are adjacent, UEA nearby.

Ormesby Little Broad
Area: East Norfolk
Type of site: A vegetated path and viewpoint over a broad
Managed by: Norfolk Wildlife Trust/Broads Authority/Essex & Suffolk Water
Reason for visiting: Broadland wildlife, overwintering ducks. In the past few years there have been sightings of Lesser Emperor dragonflies in spring.
Nearby areas of interest: Filby Broad, Rollesby Broad

Pigney's Wood
Area: North-east Norfolk
Type of site: Community woodland, meadows and a small reedbed
Managed by: NWT (formerly North Norfolk Community Woodland Trust)
Reason for visiting:Small area of old woodland with Bluebells, wet woodland, hedgerow and meadow flora and fauna
Nearby areas of interest: Walcott seafront, North Walsham, Bradfield farm nature reserve, Southrepps Common.

Plantation Garden
Area: Norwich
Type of site: Urban Victorian Garden
Managed by: Plantation Garden Preservation Trust
Reason for visiting: Unusual mixture of Victorian and Gothic architecture, good for hoverflies.
Nearby areas of interest: Earlham Cemetery, Norwich city centre

Sheringham Park
Area: North Norfolk
Type of site: Woodland and parkland
Managed by: National Trust
Reason for visiting: Known for the display of flowering Rhododendrons. There is a gazebo that allows good views over the whole area and the possibility of seeing Purple Hairstreak butterflies amongst the canopy.
Nearby areas of interest: Beeston Bump, Beeston Common, Kelling Heath

Somerleyton Hall
Area: North Suffolk
Type of site: Hall and gardens
Managed by: Somerleyton family
Reason for visiting: Historic hall and formal gardens
Nearby areas of interest:Fritton Lake, Haddiscoe Marshes, Lowestoft

Thornham Walks
Area: North Suffolk
Type of site: Large countryside estate with parkland walks
Managed by: Thornham Estate
Reason for visiting: Woodland good for fungi, woodland bird hide
Nearby areas of interest:None noted

Wells Alpaca Trekking
Area: North Norfolk
Activity: Walking Alpacas!
Nearby areas of interest: Wells harbour, beach & Woods, Holkham, Warham Camp

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