Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with walking of up to 5 miles per day

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Woodlark Common Crossbill Northern Wheatear Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Stonechat Lesser Redpoll Grey Partridge

Norfolk - Breckland & Coastal

Date: 4th - 7th March 2021 (SPACES), 12th - 15th March 2021 (SPACES) and 16th - 19th March 2021 (SPACES)
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



The tour meets at the Blue Boar, Great Ryburgh at 19.00 for a welcome drink with your leader and a chat about the days ahead.
Northern Goshawk display on fine, clear mornings from late January to early April so this is the prime time to look for pairs over their woodland territories. We are totally reliant on the weather, but have a couple of sites where we could see this impressive bird and it will be a target on our first morning. The population has been on the increase here in recent years, and at some sites, seeing four or five different birds is not unusual. In Breckland, the vast tracts of pine forest are home to flocks of ‘chipping’ Common Crossbills and as they breed early in the year they will be busy feeding young at this time. Santon Downham is a good site for this species and in recent years we have regularly had mixed finch flocks here with Lesser Redpolls, Eurasian Siskin and Brambling. Wood Lark is often song-flighting over the clear fell areas and we should get some great views of this subtly beautiful songster with its cascade of fluted notes. Great Grey Shrike sometimes appears while raptors too can feature and as well as a chance of Northern Goshawk we should encounter Common Buzzard and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. At Lynford flocks of finches and Redwings feeding under the trees will be checked carefully for the superb Hawfinch which winters here in small numbers. Their habit of perching high in the treetops is often our best chance of a sighting and this is also a good area for woodpeckers, Common Crossbills and even Firecrest.
Holkham is an outstanding birding location which brings wiht it the possibility of finding Snow Bunting and in some years Shorelark as well as a range of geese and raptors. Offshore, seaduck sometimes gather and could include Velvet Scoter or Long-tailed Duck, while Red-breasted Merganser, Common Eider and Red-throated Diver are likely. Raptors here often include Peregrine or Merlin while both Barn and Short-eared Owls sometimes hunt over the fields. Out on the adjacent marshes at Burnham Overy, Rough-legged Buzzard often linger throughout March and Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and Common Kestrel may all be seen. Eurasian Spoonbills will now be back and we should find them [probably sleeping!] on one of the freshwater pools, while Great White Egret is seen with increasing regularity. Burnham Overy Marshes is a superb location and we will see large concentrations of wildfowl here including lingering goose flocks, and raptors often inlcude Peregrine, Merlin and Hen Harrier. Great Bittern, Bearded Tit and displaying Marsh Harriers are all possible too. Local birding will give us the chance to find roosting Tawny and Little Owls, Grey Partridge, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail and Brambling plus at the hide in Great Ryburgh, Barn Owl and Common Kingfisher. 
Titchwell never fails to produce plenty of birds and at this time of year resident Bearded Tit are becoming more active, Cetti’s Warbler are in song and Marsh Harrier and Pied Avocet return to breed. Early Sand Martin, Northern Wheatear, Garganey or Sandwich Tern could appear though a Common Chiffchaff is more likely, while Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and Spotted Redshank occur on the marsh. March is a great time to catch up with Water Rail and Eurasian Woodcock in the undergrowth around the visitor centre, and small numbers of Brambling at the feeders will now be in breeding plumage. En route to this famous reserve we will take the opportunity to look for lingering flocks of Pink-footed Geese, and check for any scarcer species which may be among them like Tundra Bean Goose. Offshore Long-tailed Duck sometimes congregate close inshore at this time while nearby at Choseley we will search for flocks of Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting to round off an excellent few days. Who knows what bonus species might be available - a Lapland Bunting or Twite perhaps, white-winged gull or a scarce early migrant. Whatever arrives we are sure to have great fun exploring this beautiful coastline at one of the most exciting times of year.


Additional Information


The Blue Boar Inn and Dower House B&B in Great Ryburgh
Three nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to lunch on final day, transport, services of leaders and reserve entrance fees.
Travel to/ from Norfolk, travel insurance, drinks and items of a purely personal nature.
King’s Lynn


Tour Reports


2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014   2015    2016   2017   2018a   2018b   2019a   2019b   2019c   2020a




"Thanks for the report, and many thanks again for a great trip! My very positive evaluation sheet is in the post, and I’m sure you’ll see me again!" S.R, Leicester
"I really enjoyed this trip -  saw a lot of good birds and with good company too. Loved the Blue Boar as a place to stay and the food was fantastic. Best moment for me – Lesser Spotted Woodpecker display flight. Look forward to seeing you on the next one!" H.M, Cornwall
 "The number and variety of birds was very impressive and I really enjoyed the scenery and the walks too. The guide was very knowledgeable and I would recommend the tour to others" B S Birmingham
" As before we really enjoyed our holiday with you and will join you again as soon as we can. The whole group saw everything and Ashley's enthusiasm and leadership, coupled with his knowledge were second to none - thank you! J &CB Wolverhampton
" I had a great time thanks to Ashley and my fellow companions" J W Rotherham
" we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you, and were enormously impressed with your ability and skill at identifying the birds. We felt we learnt a lot from everyone, and it was just the right amount of
study too! " D & C W Sussex
"Again many thanks for a most enjoyable and fruitful tour and not least the easily read and well balanced report." J.D, Kent
" Many thanks fora wonderful few days" S M Oxford
" I enjoyed my holiday very much and was hugely impressed with the leaders knowledge and willingness to help everyone see everything" S T Sussex
" I really enjoyed everything about the tour. Ashley was brilliant and the views of some generally hard to find species were superb" S R Leicester