Birding Site: Buckenham Marshes RSPB

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Bearded Tit by Sue Lawlor

Bearded Tit by Sue Lawlor 


Bearded Tit by Sue Lawlor

Bearded Tit by Sue Lawlor 



A wet meadow reserve close to Norwich.


  • TG349050
  • 52.591999, 1.466622

A very pleasant and quiet reserve a short drive or train ride from Norwich. Arguably the reserve's most important bird is the Taiga Bean Goose which spends a few months here and at the nearby Cantley Marshes during the winter. The birds come from breeding grounds in Sweden and are only found, in the UK, here and at one site in Scotland.


The area is also famous for its Corvid roost in nearby Buckenham Carrs wood.


The reserve through the seasons


The usual time of year to visit is Winter, birds reach a spectacular peak, with thousands of Wigeon, Teal, Lapwings and Golden Plovers. Marsh Harriers and Peregrines often cause large flocks of the wintering birds to take to the air, creating quite a spectacle. The Bean Geese flock is usually swelled by a few hundred White-fronted Geese. On the pools you might see Water Pipit and if lucky a Jack Snipe. At dusk, tens of thousands of Rooks and Jackdaws fill the sky as they fly in to roost in nearby woods.


During spring the marshes become alive with breeding wading birds, including Lapwings, Redshanks, Snipes, Avocets and Oystercatchers. Barn Owls and Yellow Wagtails also breed here. Hunting Marsh Harriers can be seen usually being mobbed by the Lapwings and Avocets. Cettiā€™s Warblers are very vocal at this time of year and Garganey may come through on passage.


Summer is a quieter time of year but Avocet and Lapwing chicks can be seen feeding with their parents, Barn Owls hunt in daylight to feed their growing young and in late summer, a variety of waders return on passage to feed on the shallow pools.


Autumn see the return of large numbers of ducks. Wintering Lapwing and Golden Plover start to increase in numbers which in turn attracts Peregrines and Marsh Harriers.

Target Species

Taiga Bean Geese and White-fronted Geese