Use the tides
It may seem very obvious, but the reason we include tide tables in this the most practical section of the magazine, is because they can be very useful in planning your birdwatching. Take an extreme case such as Snettisham RSPB on the ‘shore’ of The Wash in north-west Norfolk. At low tide, the extent of mud is massive and the tens of thousands of waders will be distant at best. Even on a relatively low high tide, there will still be plenty of mud. Only on the highest ‘spring tides’ are the waders forced to seek refuge in their vast masses in the lagoons by the reserve’s hides. Though less extreme, similar tidal effects, moving wading birds closer or further from where you can see them or even encouraging seabirds inland, can be seen. So, before you plan to go to the coast or any tidally affected area, check the tide tables, carefully.