Restored fen – waders, wildfowl and migrants
STIFFKEY SALTMARSHES WERE acquired by the National Trust in 1976 and form part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve. The area offers a vast open expanse of saltmarsh along with a wonderful walk along part of the Norfolk coastal path, which stretches for 62 miles in total. It is well known for its breeding birds, as well as a mixture of rare migrants being so close to Blakeney Point, another National Trust property. The car park offers views across the marsh and you may see Little Egrets all year round, Hen Harrier in winter along with possible Short-eared Owl and even a Rough-legged Buzzard newly arrived over the North Sea. The Sycamores along the front near the car park can give you Pied Flycatcher and Redstart in both spring and autumn. A good easterly wind in autumn may add Barred, Dusky, Pallas’s, Yellow-browed and Greenish Warblers. The marsh has plenty of feeding waders, with Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint most autumns. Look for Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher and Curlew moving with the tide. The fen itself has breeding Avocets and Little Ringed Plover while the number of Spoonbills has been as high as 27. Black Terns have graced the water along with Little Gulls while in winter dark-bellied Brent Geese have topped 2,500 along with European Whitefronts and even a Black Brant.