Salthouse Marshes is an area of small pools and extensive grazing marsh offering close views of waders and wildfowl.
The site comes alive in winter when wintering snow buntings usually take up residence. In some years, rarer lapland buntings and shore larks also join them. Barn owls can regularly be seen hunting over the marshes, as well as marsh harriers. The site is a good location from which to look for seabirds, and the small, isolated clumps of bushes can be good in spring and autumn for tired migrants.
A little bigger than a sparrow and with predominantly white plumage, mixed with patches of warm brown and chestnut, the snow bunting is a frosty jewel of a bird. They visit the UK’s coastline in small numbers each winter, with around a thousand individuals settling on the beaches of Norfolk between November and March. Salthouse is arguably the best site in the county to watch this species, with a small flock often present near the shingle bank.
A rare visitor to the UK until the 1990s, this delightful small white heron now breeds in increasing numbers and is a common sight around the coast (and even inland). Salthouse Marshes is a particularly good place to see the species, with several usually present around the pools and dykes – their dazzling plumage is quite easy to pick out.