Visit to Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve – see unique natural spectacle of thousands of birds in flight on the highest tide of the year.
High tide roosts are a natural spectacle that reach their peak on spring high tides. Although the spectacle still happens outside of the highest tide and the geese are consistent during the Autumn and winter months.
At RSPB Snettisham, the highest tides give rise to an astonishing phenomenon. A natural wonder of the world, these epic aerial displays happen just a few times a year and are never the same twice.
This a wild, liminal land of lagoons, tidal mudflats, shingle beach and saltmarsh. Part of the wider Wash, it’s a refuge for many thousands of wildfowl and wading birds including Red Knot, Dunlin, Plovers, Oystercatchers and Bar-tailed Godwits who stalk the mud hunting for shellfish and worms. During the highest tides, known as Spring or King Tides, salt water completely covers the mud. Only then will these thousands of birds take to the air in a fluid symphony of sound and movement. This extraordinary winged ballet is choreographed by instinct, season and weather.
Because Spring Tides are rare, it’s essential to check the date and time before your trip.
If you can’t make a high tide, how about a frosty sunrise? Winter is the season of pink-footed geese, arriving in their thousands from summer breeding grounds in Iceland. Roosting on The Wash mudflats, vast skeins of beating wings fill the skies at first light as they fly inland to feast on sugar beet fields. On icy mornings, it’s tempting to stay tucked up in bed, but witnessing the haunting calls of wild geese at first light is one of life’s most exhilarating and unforgettable experiences. Truly a Norfolk spectacle not to be missed.