Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with 3-4 miles walking per day. Wellingtons essential

Group Size:

8 plus leader

Woodcock Shorelark Tundra Bean Goose Little Owl Hen Harrier Spotted Redshank

Norfolk - Wild Geese Winter Break

Date: 12th - 15th December 2019 (SPACES)
Leaders: Jason Moss




The tour meets at 1800 at the Blue Boar Inn at Great Ryburgh for check in. Your guide will meet you for pre-dinner drinks and a chat about the birding days ahead.



We will spend the morning in West Norfolk, searching for goose flocks feeding in the fields of newly harvested sugarbeet. Our aim will be to find some flocks feeding in good light close to roads or footpaths, where we can posiiton ourselves with a scope to view the birds from a sensible distnace. Searching through the flocks gives us the chance to see the interactions between individuals and family groups, and to observe the differences in size and plumage between adults and juveniles, geese and ganders. We will have a great chance to find Tundra Bean and Russian White-fronted Goose, Pale-bellied Brent Goose and Barnacle Goose amongst the flocks. In most years, rarer species or forms occur such as Todd's Canada Goose, Snow and Ross's Geese, Red-breasted Goose and even the rarer Cackling Goose. We will also visit Abbey Farm at Flitcham to observe flocks of wintering passerines in the wild bird cover crops - Bramblings, Tree Sparrows and Yellowhammers. Further north, we will visit some other good areas where wintering flocks of Corn Buntings can also be observed. Thornham Harbour provides a chance to find wintering Twite, as well as wading birds at close range such as Spotted Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. Perhaps a Barn Owl or Peregrine will be hunting over the marshes here. Our day ends at Roydon Common, to observe Hen Harriers arriving to their winter roost - the birds show much better at this location, compared to sites where Marsh Harriers are also roosting, and we can expect excellent views. 



We spend the whole day in East Norfolk today, but doing things slightly differently to our standard winter tours. We will make a special effort to see the elusive Taiga Bean Goose flock, and this could involve a long walk of up to three miles if the birds are in a difficult area. We then work our way east along the Yare Valley, birding on the extensive marshes around Halvergate and Reedham where a huge number of wintering birds can be found. This inlcudes more goose flocks, Short-eared Owl, Peregrine and Marsh Harrier but also wild swans and large mixed flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover. After lunch, we divert inland to check a spot for Common Crane and more chances of Bewick's and Whooper Swans, before heading around to Waveney Forest. Here we will spend the last part of the afternoon watching for raptors over the marshes which will hopefully include Rough-legged Buzzard, and more chances for Hen Harrier and Short-eared & Barn Owls. 



We focus on the area around Holkham and Burnham Overy today. Depending on the tidal and lunar cycles, there could be large numbers of geese resting on the grazing marshes here during daytime, having spent the night feeding under the moon. This gives more opportunties to scan the flocks, and there is often a large Dark-bellied Brent Goose flock here too. We will look carefully for Black Brant, or hybrids, and take the time to study carefully the salient identification features. Great White Egret and Spoonbill now regularly overwinter, and a flock of 200 or so Russian White-fronted Geese can also be observed. Out on the beach, we will search for Shorelark, if present, and possibly also Snow Bunting. Divers, grebes and scoter are often seen offshore - Red-breasted Merganser, Slavonian Grebe and Velvet Scoter can be expected. Our afternoon will depend on the weather - we may visit Titchwell RSPB to look for Eurasian Woodcock, Water Rail, Jack Snipe, Water Pipit and winterng seaducks, or perhaps spend the afternoon on Burnham Overy Marshes if a Rough-legged Buzzard is around. The tour concludes around 1600, with transfers back to King's Lynn station and Great Ryburgh.


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


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