Osprey - a regular ‘flyover’ delight in spring

Osprey - a regular ‘flyover’ delight in spring

The North Norfolk Year - Spring

Spring is everyone’s favourite season as the leaves burst forth, daylight increases rapidly and we enjoy the first warm days of the year as well as the welcome return of our summer visitors. The woods, hedgerows and reedbeds fill up with the songs of newly-arrived warblers, Swifts and hirundines return to the skies and Wheatears and Yellow Wagtails appear at suitable coastal sites.

Key local ‘speciality’ species to be enjoyed at this time of year include breeding Marsh Harrier, Avocet, Little Egret and Bearded Tit, and passage waders in full breeding plumage are a delight, particularly the large flocks of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits. This is a time of great species diversity and regular scarcer birds to be looked out for include Garganey, Osprey, Spoonbill, Common Crane, Mediterranean Gull, Black Tern, Little Gull, Wood Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart and Firecrest.

At traditional locations the large colonies of Black-headed Gulls and Common, Arctic, Sandwich and Little Terns are a great draw and, inland, favoured sites attract roding Woodcock and singing Nightingales and Nightjars as well as Hobbies and even Honey Buzzards. In mid to late spring the prospects of a rare bird from Europe are high, maybe a Hoopoe, a Woodchat Shrike or a Red-footed Falcon.