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Star species

Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.


Watch elegant avocets 'scooping up' microscopic, aquatic life in their amazing, sickle-shaped beaks. They nest in mini colonies on the islands. Normally present on the reserve from March to August.


Bar-tailed godwit

The Wash holds internationally important numbers of bar-tailed godwits in winter - they are attracted as it provides safe feeding and roosting places.

Bar-tailed godwit - non-breeding plumage


As the tide comes in, the 'clouds' of hundreds of thousands of knots shimmer over the mudflats as they are pushed further towards the land. On very high tides, the birds come onto the pits to roost.

Knot - winter plumage

Pink-footed goose

Thousands of pink-footed geese assemble here from mid-October to February (main period being mid-November to late-January). The birds roost on The Wash but fly inland at dawn to feed on sugar beet remnants.

Pink-footed goose


You can see shelducks - big, black and white ducks - dabbling for food on the mudflats at any time of year.

Shelduck - male

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Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 52.86822,0.45139
  • Grid reference: TF650328
  • Nearest town: Hunstanton, Norfolk
  • County: Norfolk
  • Country: England

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