In collaboration with RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve, Anglian Chauffeur Service provides VIP Door-to-Door service to enable you to relax and gain the greatest benefit from a visit to the UK’s most important area for wetland birds.
Prices stated include entry for up to 4 to the event on the days shown and a door to door service up to 50 miles radius from Fakenham and allows for an 8 hour day. Anglian Chauffeur Service can travel further, please email info@anglianchauffeurservice for a bespoke quote.
The Nature Experiences take place at RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve and RSPB Snettisham Reserve.
The reserves consist of a variety of coastal habitats including lagoons, tidal mudflats, shingle beach and saltmarsh. These habitats form part of the wider Wash which is an internationally important area providing refuge for vast numbers of wildfowl and wading birds.
Dawn Chorus at RSPB Titchwell Marsh Reserve £380
Saturday 2nd May 2020 at 0500hrs (5am)
Join Titchwell’s expert guide for an early morning walk around Titchwell Marsh reserve listening to the melodies of the dawn chorus. Your guide will introduce you a variety of common and less known bird songs which will enhance your birdwatching experience for years to come. You’ll learn tips on how to distinguish bird calls and songs and how some species are able to mimic others. Following the walk you’ll enjoy a full English breakfast in the Feeding Station and a chance to recap the sights and sounds of the morning.
Whirling Waders at RSPB Snettisham Reserve £380
Thursday 20th August 2020 at 0600hrs (6am)
Friday 21st August 2020 at 0630hrs (6.30am)
Saturday 19th September 2020 at 0600hrs (6am)
Sunday 20th September 2020 at 0700hrs (7am)
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 0600hrs (6am)
Monday 19th October 2020 at 0630hrs (6.30am)
During late summer tens of thousands of wading birds settle on the vast mudflats of Snettisham reserve. Feasting on inter-tidal invertebrates during the day, the birds are pushed off their feeding grounds by high incoming tides. This causes them to take to the air in mighty flocks before settling in saline lagoons in the safety of Snettisham reserve. The magic of the whirling waders can only be seen on a spring high tide and is best witnessed in the company of a knowledgeable guide. This event will include privileged access to the new hide which has been especially designed with photographers in mind.
Pink-footed Geese Walks at RSPB Snettisham Reserve £380
Dates tbc Nov, Dec, Jan 2021 from 0630hrs (6.30am)
Tens of thousands of pink footed geese overwinter on the mudflats of Snettisham reserve. As the first rays of daylight stretch across The Wash large groups of pinkies lift from their night time roost and fly inland to feed. The sight and sounds of trailing skeins of geese calling to each other on the wing is a magical experience that brings hundreds of visitors to Snettisham each year.
Harrier Survey and Breakfast at RSPB Titchwell Marsh £500
Dates tbc Jan and Feb 2021 from 0630hrs (6.30am)
In this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you'll get behind the scenes and help the reserve team to monitor our resident marsh harriers, learn about the incredible story of their breeding success at Titchwell Marsh and get closer to these magnificent birds of prey. You’ll be taken to the warden’s observation hides which are not open to members of the public. This VIP event is a must for photographers and budding wardens and will finish with a hearty breakfast baguette and hot drink at our Feeding Station café with the reserve team.
Bespoke Guided Walk £360
A guided walk tailored to the needs to the client(s). Suggested time 2-3 hours, mornings usually offer a wider variety of wildlife. Sundays are not available at present.
About RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve
Titchwell is renowned for its wading birds, wildfowl and geese. These gather in significant numbers from mid-autumn onwards and with the arrival of migrant birds from Scandanavia and Northern Europe the fresh water lagoons are soon filled with a variety of resident species and visitors.
During autumn, marsh harriers can be seen soaring low over reedbeds as the light falls but in spring, visitors can watch them spiralling high overhead in a courtship skydance.
Avocets, the RSPB emblem bird, can be seen on the fresh marsh all year round but in late spring they will be guarding newly hatched fluffy chicks. At this time of year it's possible to hear the mating calls of two wetland birds familiar to Titchwell's visitors. Listen out for the booming call of the bittern from deep within the reedbeds whilst alongside the West Bank path, the metallic 'ping-ping' of the much smaller bearded tits can be heard above the rustle of the reeds.
Reedbeds are home to breeding bitterns, bearded tits and harriers. Freshmarsh lagoons are a motorway service station for migrating wading birds and wildfowl. Land, once farmed, has been reclaimed by the sea to form saltmarsh which is home to little egrets, water pipits and Chinese water deer.
Once part of Norfolk's sea defences, it is now home to resident and migrant seabirds and a plethora of marine life. In spring, quiet woodland copses are full of bird song. Listen out for Cetti's warblers, spotted flycatchers and the soulful purr of the turtle dove.
The freshwater reedbeds are incredibly important for a wide variety of species including rare breeding birds such as bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. Otters and water voles are also well established here. Ongoing management work in the reedbeds such as winter reed cutting helps to create and maintain a mosaic of habitats including reedbed edges and muddy margins which benefit these species.
The freshwater lagoon and islands are important habitats for other breeding species including avocets, black-headed gulls and Mediterranean gulls; as well as being vital for wintering wildfowl and wading birds. Subtle management of the water levels and control of vegetation are all part of making the freshmarsh so special.
Wild and windswept at times, our coastline has a great variety of wildlife. In the summer, ringed plovers breed within protective cordons and annual surveys monitor tiny dune tiger beetles. Other coastal habitats including saltmarsh, shingle and sand dunes are allowed to develop through natural processes and account for the changing landscape on this part of the reserve.
We are also managing woodland and grassland areas around the reserve for their wildlife. The coastline at Titchwell is eroding and we know that the site is becoming more vulnerable to damage caused by surge tides and storms.
The nature reserve has been under threat from the effects of coastal change, the impact of sea level rise and increasing storm events. The Titchwell Coastal Change Project was designed to save the reserve from the effect of these coastal changes. We are pleased to say we have now successfully completed the project. We have realigned the sea defences to the north and reinforced the sea banks around parts of the reserve to the west and east. The future of the reserve and its wildlife is assured for at least the next fifty years.
An easy walk leads from the car park through woodland glades to the Visitor Centre and Cafe. From here, the West Bank path opens up to wild landscapes of saltmarsh, reedbeds and freshwater lagoons fed by a natural spring and on to Titchwell's vast and undeveloped beach. The East Trail lends itself to quiet contemplation with outlooks across quiet pools full of wildlife. Secluded seating set amidst vistas of wildflowers and yellow gorse affords views of raptors scoping reedbeds and marsh for prey.
Remnants of a prehistoric age and a time when the Norfolk coast formed part of Britain's sea defences can be seen sporadically across the reserve and form the boundary of Titchwell's seascape.
About RSPB Snettisham Reserve
Snettisham has three wildlife observation hides (two are all-weather and wheelchair friendly), all offering views across the lagoons and one has dual aspect views across lagoons and The Wash.
From late summer to early winter tens of thousands of wading birds gather on the mudflats where they roost overnight. During an incoming tide, these birds are pushed closer to the beach and on a high spring tide vast flocks of knot, dunlin and oystercatchers take to the air en masse as the high tides cover the mudflats. The commotion of thousands of wingbeats, excited calls and swirling flocks creates an exhilarating nature spectacle.
During winter months up to 40,000 pink-footed geese make their way from Iceland and Greenland to gather on the The Wash. At first light they take flight in close V-shaped formations of trailing skeins across the pale sky of a Norfolk dawn. The high-pitched 'wink-wink' sound of geese calling to each other resonates across the seascape then slowly diffuses as they head inland to find food for the day.
In winter, huge numbers of waterfowl gather on the lagoons and out in The Wash, while peregrines and hen harriers actively hunt on the saltmarsh. Goldeneyes also gather on the lagoons and begin displaying in preparation for the coming spring.
In spring, black-headed gulls and avocets take up residence on the islands. Wading birds in their colourful breeding plumage pass through on their way to the Arctic. Barn owls can been seen at dawn and dusk hunting over the saltmarsh.
In summer, yellow-horned poppies and viper's bugloss flower on the shingle whilst on the islands, common terns are at the height of their breeding activity. Later in the summer, flocks of knots wheel in vast numbers at sunset.
Autumn sees thousands of thrushes and finches migrate overhead. Wigeon and Brent geese start to arrive back from breeding grounds, calling noisily to each other.
The time given is when to leave the RSPB car park (not the time of high tide), which allows enough time to walk to the Wader Watch-point at a moderate pace and witness the spectacular in average conditions.
For some of these dates, particularly the pink-footed goose dates, the walk to or from the reserve may be in semi-darkness, so you may find a torch useful.
Please do not use the torch once you are on the beach as it may cause disturbance to the birds, particularly roosting pink-footed geese.
The path may be wet, muddy and slippery in places.
Please note this is a natural event, therefore there is no guarantee the birds will perform every time but you can still enjoy the fresh air, landscape and other wildlife of the Wash.
Numbers of waders present on the Wash fluctuate through the course of the year, greatest numbers generally being present from mid-autumn to mid-winter.
The tide does not affect the geese, but the time of year does. If the tide is high the geese float on the water.
The walk to the Wader Watch-point and back to the car park is approximately 3 miles (5 km). Strong southerly winds slow down the incoming tide and can delay or exceptionally prevent the spectacular from occurring, waders may not fly into the lagoons if some of the mudflats remain exposed. Winds from the north may cause the spectacular to occur earlier than expected.