Bird Watching in Norfolk

By webcoreadmin On November 12, 2013 · Add Comment · Bird Watching in Norfolk

Kelling Quags

An hour to spare and a library card can lead to some funny things. For instance I had little or nothing much to do in North Walsham, a medium sized market town in Norfolk near to the coast.

Market day is Thursday and the place bustles but on a quiet afternoon I thought an hour in the library and brush up on local knowledge would be a good use of time.

I’m not really ‘with it’ when it comes to bird watching; however, the county is famous for it, mostly on the coast to the west of Sheringham from what I can gather. So I thought I’d research a piece for days out in the ‘Barn & Beach’ bible that I display in both the B&B and the Beach House.


Geese in Flight (Courtesy of K. Yerril)
Geese in Flight (Courtesy of K. Yerril)

Reading a book of best bird watching sites I came across it, what a great name ‘Kelling Quags’, first reaction nothing to do with the birds what’s a Quag? I thought. And so I was hooked, another day out formulated in an instant.

The dictionary definition of Quag – well its not really there, but Quagmire is – ‘a soft wet area of land that gives way under feet’

A bit of Internet research backed up that the Quags were indeed Quagmire, didn’t sound so nice but I was determined to go and see for myself.

The hamlet of Kelling is a delight. I got to see it from both sides as being small as it is I completely missed the car park and was out the other side of the village in a minute! Quick turn the car around on a farm track and back into the village this time from the west. The 20mph signs are hard to stick to but they do bring the village into focus. With the car park located and a rather splendid old bookshop that doubles as a café on the radar I could set about preparing myself for the ‘quags’.

A lovely autumnal day meant the waterproofs and gaiters were redundant and it was a simple matter of hiking boots, shoulder bag and a field guide to the birds of Britain and Europe (apparently there are a lot of migratory species along the coast). A small set of Samsung field glasses and off I went.

Good signage and even information boards on what you may see on the marshes were most helpful. The walk out too the quags was fairly level, dry and very picturesque. The quags themselves consisted of one rather large lake, fresh water, inside the sea defence. Rather lower than the sea level I think. It is beautiful spot to visit and with my limited skills I even managed to prepare a list of what I thought I saw;- wrens, mute swans, redshanks, oystercatchers, numerous gulls (that I cant identify) male and female mallard and garganey plus numerous finches and tits among the hawthorn..

Done with the ‘twitching’ I climbed over the huge shingle sea barrier to sit in the watery sunshine and watch the waves lap at the shoreline, a warning of undercurrents tells one not to venture into the sea. I had no intention. I had in my minds eye formed a circular walk back to Kelling over a ridge above the lake and back down into the village from its eastern end.

Maybe a visit to the bookshop for a good old mug of coffee and a browse of some ornithology books might finish what had been a perfect day, before the thirty five minute drive back to Meadowside Barn Bed & Breakfast.


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