As we live near the sea we often visit the local Norfolk coastal marshes and beaches, especially during the winter months. There’s less people around and the birds seem to be a bit more tolerant. Its a great place to see our winter shorebirds and waders.  Holme, Titchwell Marshes and Cley are considered to be some of the best bird watching places in the Norfolk.

Winter Shorebirds and Waders

Turnstone in non breeding / winter plumage

Turnstone still showing signs of breeding plumage

Curlew Feeding

Curlew feeding in the mud at low tide

I guess what makes the north Norfolk coast such a special  place is due to its unique position, acres of mud and mild climate.Hence it attracts large numbers of wintering birds 

Curlew Europe's largest wading bird

Curlew Europe’s largest wading bird, huge numbers spend their winters along the Norfolk coast

Although its possible to see waders and shorebirds all year along the coast, each Autumn you can see the numbers of winter migrants increasing. Additionally sometimes some of the early arrivals are still sporting remnants of their summer plumage.


Taken in early October this Sanderling (R6WYWR) is still showing signs of its summer plumage

Black-tailed godwit

Black-tailed Godwit feeding in the Marshes lagoons at high tide

What’s The Best time to Visit?  

At Titchwell, a good time to take a look along the coast is at low tide because the rich muddy feeding grounds are exposed.  Also return at high tide because the birds are forced up the shore and often on to the marsh.

Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank a relatively scarce wintering species in the UK

Common Redshank

The Redshank an all year round resident on the marshes in Norfolk


Dunlin feeding on the debris after a storm

In addition the time immediately after a winter storm, especially if there’s  clear bright skies can be a great time to get some good photos. After spending the summer months in remote locations many of the birds are far more tolerant of people. Below I’ve added some images of the waders/shore birds taken over the past couple of winters along the coast. 

Little Egret

A Little Egret, once a rare visitor now a common sight here

Grey Plover

Found only along coasts a Grey Plover with peak numbers between November and March

Knot in winter plumage

Knot in winter plumage

Ruff non breeding plumage

Ruff in non breeding plumage a a common sight at Titchwell