Birdwatching can be done any time throughout the year in Norfolk, there’s always something to spot however there are key times of the year that make the birdwatching experience that much more special. Birders who are looking to expand their sightings of certain species are encouraged to research when best to visit to ensure optimum sightings. Successful and experienced birdwatchers will know what to spot when.



For its part, the area of Norfolk in East England is a birdwatcher’s haven all year round. No matter what season, you can find some interesting and unique species of birds here; often more than 100 species in any given day if you know what you are looking for which is really quite remarkable. Having some basic bird know-how will help you recognise the best time of the year or day to watch which. Charming hotels near Holt, such as The George Hotel at Cley, provide information about birds in the vicinity, and The George even has a ‘bird bible’ that birders can refer to when planning their days out.

Breeding Season

Most species of birds are known to be more active and noticeable during their breeding season, but birdwatchers are advised to keep their distance during this important period. Local nature reserves have binoculars for hire and use to ensure you get a clear view of the birds.

At The George Hotel at Cley, some of the hotel rooms are facing the Cley Marshes giving you the perfect opportunity to keep an eye out for some top spots – you can do some birdwatching before or during breakfast even!

During Travel

Another best time for birding is when birds gather and prepare to migrate in flocks. Many bird species are reclusive during winter, but Northern bird species like the Arctic and snowy owls also fly to the south, providing rare sightings of unique and fascinating species within these areas.

Bird Habits and Habitats

To see specific bird species, you also need to know their particular waking hours. Owls, for instance, come out at night and hawks at mid-morning. Some of the species that are commonly seen in Norfolk are the reed bed bitterns, a plump heron-like bird that stands like a reed when threatened and gives out a booming sound during mating season; the marsh harriers, which are birds of prey found in marshlands; the long-billed waders (called shore birds in North America) found in mudflats; and the cranes, previously wintering birds, which are now permanent residents of the Norfolk Broads.

Observing and monitoring avian behaviour enables you to see more birds in their natural habitats. A hotel near Holt like The George Hotel at Cley offers a warm welcome and contemporary setting under wide open skies with a remarkable view of the marshes for observation and monitoring. It also excellent accommodation for visitors as well as a popular restaurant with daily changing specials featuring local produce.


(Source: When to Go Birding: When Is the Best Time to Go Birding?

The George Hotel has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor.