Norfolk Coast

Autumn Migration

A 4-day, single-centre, small group birdwatching tour to Norfolk

It’s our autumn birdwatching tour to the beautiful North Norfolk coast - and migration is in full flow. Seabirds are passing offshore and numbers of ducks, geese and waders are building daily. With tens of thousands of shorebirds also on the move, plus exciting passerine arrivals to watch for, this Norfolk birding tour in October coincides with flocks of winter thrushes, finches and ‘crests - and Siberian Yellow-browed Warblers are often about, too. Join our expert guide for an all-inclusive long weekend break based at a comfortable seaside hotel in Old Hunstanton - within easy distance of all the top birding spots. And treat yourself to the best of British birding!

Tour Dates & Prices

Fri 9th October 2020

Mon 12th October 2020

  • Spaces

6 Spaces Available

Fri 8th October 2021

Mon 11th October 2021

  • Spaces

Tour Cost: 4 Days from £595 from Old Hunstanton (or Norwich railway station)

Deposit: £150Single Supp: £70Group Size: 8Leaders:  David Walsh

What's Included?

  • Limosa Tour Leader
  • 3 nights accommodation in Norfolk, based at a comfortable seaside hotel in Old Hunstanton *1
  • All main meals (from dinner on the evening of Day 1 through to a packed lunch on Day 4)
  • Minibus transport
  • All excursions, entry fees, permits
  • All tour-based tips and taxes
  • Limosa Checklist of birds
  • Free pick up and drop off at Norwich Station for rail travellers, as described *2

Cost Excludes

Insurance, drinks & other items of a personal nature.

View or Download Tour Info Pack

Notes

*1 Option to stay an extra night at the hotel before or after the break available at additional cost, and payable locally, for those that wish to extend their stay in Norfolk or wanting to allow time for a more leisurely journey home after breakfast the next morning. Please ask for a quote and availability at time of booking.*2 Tour starts/finishes at the hotel in Old Hunstanton or with collection from/drop off at Norwich railway station. There is NO additional charge for pick up and drop off at Norwich railway station, as described.

Tour Cost: 4 Days from £595* from Old Hunstanton (or Norwich railway station)

Deposit: £150Single Supp: £70*Group Size: 8Leaders: TBA

* 2020 tour costs shown. Please note costs for our 2021 tour TBA (available summer 2020)

What's Included?

  • Limosa Tour Leader
  • 3 nights accommodation in Norfolk, based at a comfortable seaside hotel in Old Hunstanton *1
  • All main meals (from dinner on the evening of Day 1 through to a packed lunch on Day 4)
  • Minibus transport
  • All excursions, entry fees, permits
  • All tour-based tips and taxes
  • Limosa Checklist of birds
  • Free pick up and drop off at Norwich Station for rail travellers, as described *2

Cost Excludes

Insurance, drinks & other items of a personal nature

View or Download Tour Info Pack

Notes

*1 Option to stay an extra night at the hotel before or after the break available at additional cost, and payable locally, for those that wish to extend their stay in Norfolk or wanting to allow time for a more leisurely journey home after breakfast the next morning. Please ask for a quote and availability at time of booking.*2 Tour starts/finishes at the hotel in Old Hunstanton or with collection from/drop off at Norwich railway station. There is NO additional charge for pick up and drop off at Norwich railway station, as described.

Tour Highlights

  • Autumn bird migration along the beautiful North Norfolk coast
  • Arrivals of Wigeon, Pintail and other winter wildfowl - including big flocks of geese
  • Impressive build up of waders on coastal wetlands and shore
  • 'Falls' of warblers, crests, thrushes, finches and other passerines to watch for
  • Resident Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Red Kite, Avocet, Barn Owl, Bearded Tit
  • It's autumn in North Norfolk - always a chance of something unexpected!
  • Small party size - maximum of 8 participants
  • Relaxed, friendly and informal, with as much help with bird identification as you need
  • Expertly led by Limosa guide David Walsh

Outline Itinerary

  • Meet for dinner at our seaside hotel on the North Norfolk coast. Night Old Hunstanton

  • Two full days of guided birdwatching in North Norfolk. Old Hunstanton (2 nights)

  • After enjoying some further birdwatching and our picnic lunch today, we return to our hotel around 2.30pm this afternoon for farewells and departure for home

Overview
Itinerary
Trip Info
Trip Reports
yellow-browed warbler portugal fernando enrique.jpg
If the weather is right, Yellow-browed Warblers can be seen and heard along coastal trees and bushes © Fernando Enrique, Limosa

Little Egrets dancing across the saltings... the low grumbling of Brent Geese newly arrived from their Arctic breeding grounds... a ghostly Barn Owl hunting close by... Bearded Tits ‘pinging’ in the reeds... the vivid flash of a Redstart's tail in the coastal pines... a tiny Yellow-browed Warbler flitting through the autumnal birch tops...  

It’s easy to see why the North Norfolk coast has been such a mecca for generations of British birdwatchers! Now you can experience the magic yourself on an all-inclusive long weekend break with Limosa - easy-paced, small group tours that are designed to help you make the most of your birding.

With tens of thousands of wildfowl, waders and passerine migrants to watch for in autumn, an October visit to Norfolk brings falls of Skylarks, winter thrushes, finches and ‘crests. We'll check the coastal bushes for newly arrived migrants, scan for winter visitors passing along the shore and visit wader hotspots that can hold twenty or more species at this exciting time of year. We’ll help you to learn how to separate Ringed from Little Ringed Plovers, Redshank from Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed from Bar-tailed Godwits and Dunlin from Little Stint; watch for Marsh Harriers sailing effortlessly over coastal marshes; and listen for the evocative music of Pink-footed Geese flighting overhead.

Each trip will have its own special moments... Our autumn birdwatching tours may witness exciting 'falls' of warblers, chats and winter visitors; seabirds including Gannets, gulls, terns and skuas will be passing offshore; and more unusual species - such as Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Jack Snipe and Yellow-browed Warbler - are often about, too.

Being Norfolk, there's every chance of coming across a real rarity - such as the drake Hooded Merganser and a party of 7 Cattle Egrets we saw on our October 2019 trip! And with 35 years of Norfolk birdwatching tours behind us, unexpected surprises for our autumn groups over the years have included everything from Northern Harrier and Red-breasted Goose to Radde’s Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatch!

Our autumn tours are based in comfort at one conveniently located hotel - the Le Strange Arms, set beside the sea in Old Hunstanton - right on the bend of the North Norfolk coast and close to many of the region's top birding sites.

Whether you are new to birdwatching or more experienced, guide David Walsh will be on hand to take you to the best spots and ensure you have as much fun as possible whilst enjoying seeing lots of great birds and wildlife.

Limosa has been operating birding tours in Norfolk for 35 years now... Join us in autumn and treat yourself to the very best of British birding!

great egret suffolk norfolk brian small.jpg
Remarkably, three species of egret - Great (pictured here), Little and Cattle - were seen by participants on this tour in October 2019... What will come our way in autumn 2020? © Brian Small, Limosa

Our birdwatching tours to the North Norfolk Coast commence with arrival at the hotel on the evening of Day 1, where we meet for a welcome drink and informal get-together in the bar around 7.00pm prior to enjoying dinner.

The next two days are spent in the field, with packed lunches and flasks of hot tea and coffee available on demand. We return to the hotel again each evening in time for a delicious dinner, followed by the day’s log call over coffee and the chance to relax and chat informally about the day’s events.

After enjoying a full morning of birdwatching and packed lunch in the field on Day 4, the break concludes back at the hotel at around 2.30pm that afternoon to allow good time for farewells and departure for home.

Destinations will be chosen from the following outline programme to ensure your visit is both worthwhile and rewarding. We leave the final choice of places to visit to the discretion of our expert guide, according to the weather, local conditions and what’s about at the time.

BIRDS & PLACES
The RSPB’s flagship reserve of Titchwell lies within a short drive of our hotel and a visit there should get our trip off to a flying start! Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Avocet, Mediterranean Gull and Bearded Tit are among many exciting resident species to look for here in autumn. Persil-white Little Egrets are firmly established on the Norfolk scene - and easy to spot as they prance energetically along the tidal creeks.

Given the right winds in autumn, just about anything can - and does - turn up on the North Norfolk coast. Come October, the first big flocks of Pink-footed Geese will already be present and migrants dropping into coastal woods include Redwing, Fieldfare, Brambling and Siskin; Brent Geese graze the marshes and flocks of winter waders bustle along the tideline. Offshore, Red-throated Divers are generally about and we have good chances of seeing Gannet, various auks, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Skua and other seabirds passing along the coast.

Tides, timing, wind direction and weather on the day will all have a bearing on the number, variety and location of the birds, of course. But we should find plenty of Oystercatchers, Curlews, Ringed, Golden and Grey Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Knot and Redshank along the shore, while the adjacent freshwater marshes hold the prospect of Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank and Ruff.

Heading east along the coast, the sweeping saltmarshes at Holkham and Wells are backed by woodlands of birch and pine. They provide a welcome sight for weary passerine migrants and an autumn visit here could produce anything from Redstart and Pied Flycatcher to Ring Ouzel or Red-backed Shrike. This is an excellent time of year to come across windblown waifs such as Firecrest and Yellow-browed Warbler - the latter has become an increasingly regular feature of October visits in recent years.

Further east, we may visit the celebrated coastal marshes at Morston, Blakeney, Salthouse or Cley. If conditions are right, few sights are more stirring in autumn than watching fresh arrivals of winter thrushes, finches, larks, Starlings - and even the odd Short-eared Owl - coming in over the sea! Wildfowl can be numerous, with flocks of newly arrived Brent Geese, Teal and Wigeon streaming past just offshore.

As dusk descends over the coast, Barn Owls drift silently back and forth over the marshes, and Marsh Harriers quarter the reedbeds before finally dropping in to roost. Red Kite, Peregrine and Common Buzzard have all been recorded with increasing frequency in recent years, too.

The North Norfolk coast has a long history of turning up rarities and the chance of stumbling across something unexpected invariably adds a little extra spice to our autumn birding. Our October 2019 group certainly struck gold, being on the spot to see a drake Hooded Merganser at Titchwell, plus 7 Cattle Egrets and 3 Great Egrets (along with the expected Little Egrets, too) at Burnham Overy Marshes!

As with all our Norfolk breaks, we may vary the above itinerary to take best advantage of the weather and other local conditions, as well as what birds happen to be about at the time of your visit. And while our guides can't promise to find you a rarity on every trip, one thing’s for certain - whenever you decide to come and whatever we choose to do, in Norfolk there will always be plenty of birds to see!

CommonSnipeJTL(2427).JPG
Common Snipe is a regular passage migrant and over-wintering visitor to North Norfolk © tour prticipant Jo Latham, wildlifephotocards.co.uk

WHAT TO EXPECT
Autumn on the beautiful North Norfolk coast - and migration is in full flow. Seabirds are passing offshore and numbers of ducks, geese and waders are building daily. With tens of thousands of shorebirds also on the move, plus exciting passerine arrivals to watch for, an October visit brings flocks of winter thrushes, finches and ‘crests - and Siberian Yellow-browed Warblers are often about, too.

Led by Limosa’s friendly expert guides, these holidays are suitable for birdwatchers of all levels of ability, interest and experience. Our helpful guides will be on hand to help you with your bird identification skills, too. Just bring your bins and your enthusiasm for birds - we’ll do the rest!

The UK's climate is famous for its unpredictability, but extremes are rare. Expect a mix of sunshine and showers in autumn, with daytime temperatures in the range of 7-15C (45-59F). It can sometimes feel chilly at the coast, especially if there’s an onshore wind blowing - for migration, we hope for an easterly wind!

Norfolk is one of the driest parts of the UK, but some rainfall is of course possible at any season so come prepared with rainwear and lightweight layers of clothing, just in case - and join us for some of the very best birding in Britain!

BIRDS
90-120 species

ACCOMMODATION
3 nights accommodation at the comfortable Le Strange Arms Hotel, overlooking the sea in Old Hunstanton - and perfectly situated for easy exploration of the top birding spots along the celebrated North Norfolk coast. All rooms are en suite.

MEALS
All main meals are included in the price, commencing with dinner on arrival at the hotel on the evening of Day 1 and concluding with a packed lunch on Day 4.

Breakfasts and dinners will be taken at the hotel. Participants regularly tell us that meals at the hotel are excellent. Lunches will be picnics taken in the field to help make the most of each day.

WALKING
Easy walks (approx. 1-3 miles) at a gentle pace over good trails and mostly flat terrain. Sturdy waterproof walking shoes or boots recommended. Wellies will be useful in wet weather and can be handy first thing, when the grass can be damp with overnight dew.

TRAVEL
Excursions will be by minibus.


HOW TO GET THERE

Participants arriving in Norfolk by car will be sent a map and joining instructions for the hotel. We meet for an informal get-together in the hotel bar at 7.00pm on the first evening.

For those without their own transport, we pick up at Norwich railway station at approx. 4.45-5.00pm on the first afternoon (most routes arrive into Norwich just ahead of this time). We are able to drop off there again by about 4.45pm on the last afternoon.

There is NO extra cost for pick-up and drop-off at Norwich station as outlined above.


Please note
: if you intend to travel by rail and wish to spend an extra night or two at the hotel before or after the tour, we are unable to offer return transport to/from the station. Instead, it will be necessary for you to arrange a taxi from Norwich to Old Hunstanton or vice versa (a distance of approx. 45 miles) or to the nearest station at Kings Lynn (approx. 17 miles).

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A Champagne Moment! Our groups really enjoy views of Bearded Reedling at Titchwell © Brian Small, Limosa

Ask About This Tour

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