Red kite was extinct as breeding bird in the UK, except for a small population in Wales (photo Chris Mills) 1/4
Marsh harriers have the broadest wings of all the harrier species (photo Jo Reeve) 2/4
The buzzard’s mating flight is called the rollercoaster (photo Paul Taylor) 3/4
The visitor centre at Hickling will be open Friday - Sunday over winter (photo Steve Cox) 4/4

Friday openings celebrate Winter Wildlife Spectacle

Friday 22 November, 2019

The refurbished visitor centre at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Hickling Broad and Marshes National Nature Reserve will be open for long weekends – Friday to Sunday – all through the winter for the first time, to celebrate one of Norfolk’s winter wildlife spectaculars.  

The raptor roost at Hickling Broad provides excellent views of raptors as they fly in to roost. As dusk falls, hundreds of marsh harriers – a bird which remains rarer than golden eagles as a British breeding species – plus hen harriers, merlin and barn owl can be watched coming in to roost. It is also possibly the best place in Britain to view wild common cranes.

To mark the popularity of the Raptor Roost and longer opening times at Hickling Broad Visitor Centre, NWT’s winter wildlife survey is all about raptors. Each season, we ask local people and visitors to record three species on our map to help monitor wildlife across the county and gain an understanding of the distribution of a species. Sightings can help identify areas that are especially important for wildlife and identify species in decline or under threat.


Winter raptor survey

This winter we are asking you to turn your heads to the sky and go in search of three iconic raptor species: marsh harriers, red kites and buzzards. All three may be seen at Hickling, but we are keen for sightings everywhere in Norfolk.

The visitor centre at Hickling Broad provides light refreshments, hot drinks (which will be welcome after a bracing dusk walk in the Broads!) a seating area, gift shop and toilets.

Every fortnight from January, NWT is running guided walks to the raptor roost, listed by Patrick Barkham in the Guardian as one of the best guided nature walks in the UK. Cost: £3 for NWT members and children, £3.50 for non-members plus nature reserve entry fee. Booking essential: 01692 598276. Starts Sunday 5 January.
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