Sunday, April 25, 2010

Holkham NNR

We spent a couple of days last week exploring Holkham National Nature Reserve, just east of Wells-next-the-Sea on the Norfolk coast. It has a wonderful variety of habitats, including sand dunes and salt marsh....
- conifer woodland behind the dunes .....
... and then deciduous scrub ............
which is excellent bird and butterfly habitat, where on this trip we saw ....
... comma butterflies ....
.. long-tailed tits...
.... wild cherry that was a magnet for bumblebees ....
.... and a lot of silver birches loaded with catkins.
It was still a bit early for most wild flowers but on the dunes we found the ....
... miniscule early forget-me-not, 1cm. tall with flowers  that were only about 1mm. in diameter and .....
... stork'sbill - you can find fine pictures of these last two wild flowers at Rob's excellent Wight Rambles blog

There were a couple of other rather more unusual species that we saw while we were there, but I'll save those for subsequent posts. An excellent reserve to visit, at any time of year ... we'll be going back in the summer


  1. Have just returned from a week in Norfolk myself Phil and i am catching up on my blogs having been internetless. What a fantastic county, not just for birding but for all things in nature. I was based just south of Norwich on the River Yare and although it was basically a family break managed some early morning and evening sorties. I did however have a full days birding allowed and had planned to visit Cley, Blakeney, Wells etc and Titmarsh. I got no further than Cley Marshes and spent the whole day there. Superb. I am enjoying your accounts of your own visit and reading about some of the places i never managed to get to. A visit to the area again is a must, as i'm sure you would agree.

  2. Hi Johnny, Yep, it's a great county once you get clear of the prairie agriculture.... haven't been to the bit you visited yet, r the broads in general, but love the coast. Wells is a good base - walks into good birding territory in either direction along the coast .. lots of brent geese and little egrets last week, plus a marsh harrer. Always something interesting at Titchwell ..... first time I set foot in the place, a couple of years ago, there was a turtle dove sitting on the visitor centre roof (the first and only time I've seen one). We plan to go back in July.

  3. I love Norfolk, a great county indeed Phil.
    You got some cracking shots there too.
    Not been to Holkham in years; I only seem to get as far as Titchwell these days. lol

  4. I have never been to this part and must put that right some day - what an amazing variety of habitats. Wild cherry flowering - Marvel Copse is supposed to be the place for that on the IoW, so I'd better get out there.
    Thanks for the name check!

  5. What a wonderful trip and flora and nature! Greetings from Luzia.

  6. There's certainly a lot to see along that coast Keith, but Titchwell pretty much guarantees something interesting every time

  7. Hi Rob., Brancaster is just up the coast - home of the International Sharpie racing championships...

  8. Greetings Luzia, yes, it's one of my favourite places

  9. Hi I have lived here most of my life and feel so lucky to have done so. I have a walk I have to do every year at least once , parking at the holiday camp car park I walk along the beach to Holkham and return by the path which is just the other side of the dunes just inside the dutch pines. It is my visit to paradise for the day my boys love it too. Try it on your next visit. Jane x

    1. Hi Jane, I know the walk you mean - we did it last time we visited and it's absolutely glorious. I like the walk in the other direction from Wells-next-the-Sea too, south along the Peddars Way to Stiffkey - every time we've walked along there we've seen barn owls. Thanks for visiting, and bet wishes, Phil


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