Where would you go in England this weekend to see amazing wildlife?

I am having a dreadful week after a friend died very suddenly and unexpectedly and would like to go somewhere outstanding to see loads of birdlife this weekend to think and get away from it all.  Ideally raptors, but I'm happy as long as there's loads going on.  :)  looking for somewhere within 2-3 hours drive from Sheffield - I can stay overnight!  All ideas gratefully received. 

  • Sorry to hear about your loss Kiera.
    At the limit of your 2-3 hour drive is Leighton Moss with an early start and overnight stay you could have two days there, if you've not been is a cracking site.

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  • I assume you've been to places nearer home like Old Moor or up near Leeds Fairburn Ings.
    One other place is Muddy Boots cafe at Harewood for the Red Kites.

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  • Leighton Moss there are a lot showing not sure about Old Moor But Alan knows more about that place I have only been twice.


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  • Sorry about the loss of your friend, Kiera.
    How about heading east. Frampton Marsh near Boston Lincs is supposed to be pretty good although I've not been there myself. A little further is the north Norfolk coast with Titchwell Marsh being the main reserve. With an overnight stop you might be able to combine both. Don't forget though it's half term in many areas so booking an overnight stay might be more tricky.
    Here's a link to the Twitter feed for RSPB Norfolk & Lincs



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  • Thanks so much for the suggestions! Lots of lovely ideas to make my mind think of positive things :) I appreciate it.

    Never been to Leighton Moss - it sounds amazing. I am pretty regular at Old Moor/Fairburn Ings, both lovely, but they don't seem to get those big winter flocks that you see at the coast! I went to Frampton a couple of weekends back, and what a site! The salt marsh/freshwater divide is just amazing. There was a ton of stuff there - only problem was that it was blowing an absolute hoolie (that day of the big gales). I think I got my first glimpse of a hen harrier, but it was very brief and I would love to see one for a bit longer. Going somewhere like that would be ideal.

    Anyone been to Great Fen/Wicken Fen? Is there much there at the moment? I am a bit owl obsessed and would love to see one, I hear there are some shorties around? :)

    I'd forgotten about half term, too, thanks for the reminder!
  • If you can stretch the journey to Suffolk, Havergate Island has some trips on Sunday (you need to catch a boat, so it's always a bit of an adventure).  Minsmere's just up the coast - I can guarantee you Marsh Harriers there!  If the sun's out, Adders have appeared too.  North Norfolk coast on the way if you prefer, Snettisham, Titchwell, Cley Marshes.  It's certainly where I shall be this weekend - Minsmere on Saturday, Havergate Sunday (got to check on the Hares :-))


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  • In reply to Kiera:

    Sorry for your loss Kiera, You've had lots of good suggestions but one missing from East Anglia, not RSPB but WWT at Welney, there should be loads of wildfowl and visiting swans, they feed about 3.0/4.00pm each day so loads fly in. I've been to Wicken Fen, its NT and never really seen very much, loads of roadbeds with little open water.
    It is definitely half term, I was on N Norfolk coast at Holkham on Tues and it was heaving with familes & dogs but still very nice . Hope you can book somewhere.



  • In reply to Kiera:

    Kiera said:

    Anyone been to Great Fen/Wicken Fen? Is there much there at the moment? I am a bit owl obsessed and would love to see one, I hear there are some shorties around? :)

    I would think so Kiera, I was there November last LINK >>>>>> SEO


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  • Minsmere is one of my favourite places! I'm from Suffolk, though now live in Sheffield for work. I'm headed there for a whole week at Easter :) :) :) I am super jealous of those of you who can get there often!

    Those are some lovely pictures of the owl, Jim!

    I'm wondering about the North Norfolk coast/ around the Wash - whether I can get somewhere that's a bit away from it all. I don't think I'm very fit for human consumption at the moment, so a bit of peace and quiet would be good.
  • Sorry for your loss. If you want clouds of birds then Snettisham on the wash is the place and you need to be there at high tide so you would need to check the tide tables. You could also get round to stitch well from there.

    If you went north towards Middlesbrough you could visit RSPB Saltholme with a good chance of seeing Hare and a roosting LOng Eared Owl. Then in the afternoon you could pop up to South Gate near Sestin Carew and watch some Short Eared Owls at play. Feel free to message me if you want more specific directions.




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