Breydon water and Great Yarmouth

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Halvergate Fleet reaches Breydon Water  Copyright Julie Williams and licensed for reuse under creative commons.click image for info
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

A huge tidal estuary and meeting point of three Norfolk rivers;- the Bure, the Waveney and the Yare.Breydon water has extensive areas of mud-flats that are exposed at low tide and these form the only tidal flats on the east coast of Norfolk. There are also extensive areas of floodplain grassland adjacent to the intertidal areas. Breydon Water is internationally important for wintering waterbirds, some of which feed in the Broadland SPA that adjoins this site at Halvergate Marshes.
During the breeding season;artificial islands support Common Tern Sterna hirundo, 155 pairs representing up to 1.3% of the breeding population in Great Britain (4 count mean, 1992-1994 & 1996)
Over winter, the area regularly supports 43,225 individual waterfowl and waders (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Shoveler Anas clypeata, Wigeon Anas penelope, White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons albifrons, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta,Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa , Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii.Source JNCC. jncc.gov.uk
Many migrant waders and gulls are recorded each year and the RSPB operates a boat trip around Breydon offering superb views of the birds.As with any estuary - arrive an hour before high tide.
Can be spectacular for passage waders including whimbrel, greenshank, ruff (left), spotted redshank, green sandpiper, curlew sanpiper, wood sandpiper,little stint and godwits including black-tailed godwit (below).

Click here for a map of the best viewing area....

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) Picture by Marek Szczepanek

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)
Winter plumage Red Knot feeding.Image taken by Andrew Easton at Breydon Water, UK, 30th December 2004.
Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Like many east coast 'woodlands' (especially in populated areas) Great Yarmouth cemetery has, over the years built up quite a reputation amongst twitchers and local patch birders for its rare and scarce migrant birds that have been found here. I remember visiting myself in the late 1980's and being confronted by hundreds of common migrants (particularly redstart and goldcrest).
In what seemed like minutes, the whole place was bulging with twitchers looking for a 'birdline' 'collared fly' (right). After hours of scouring the place it tuned out that the bird was a pied flycather.However the well watched red-flanked bluetail in the mid 90's was a major attraction adding to the countless other 'megas' and ' lifers' that have been recorded here.

Click here for a location map.....

Recommended reading:The Birds of Norfolk
As a result of its unique position on the east coast, Norfolk is arguably the premier county for birds in Britain. Its diversity of habitats attracts and shelters a wide range of breeding species, and its coastline facing the North Sea ensures a wealth of migrant visitors. Norfolks probably also attracts more visiting birdwatchers than any other county.
This book, the most comprehensive work so far on the county's avifauna, brings the record up to date. It has been written by a team of almost forty experts from within the county, and includes many of the evocative and atmospheric passages from earlier works, as well as presenting all relevant records up to the end of 1998'.... The Birds of Norfolk 552 pp.
This landmark volume was first published in hardback in 1999, and reprinted with revisions in paperback in 2000. This is a hardback reprint of the paperback edition.

Click here for ordering details....
Recommended reading:The Birds of Norfolk
Recent bird photographs from Breydon Water
Birding Video from Breydon Water
Breydon area & local patch Tweets
Breydon Water Links
Great Yarmouth Local services and accommodation
Suggested Birdwatching walks around Breydon Water

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