Holme Bird Observatory ("The Obs") is the home of the Norfolk Ornithologists’ Association (NOA)

Visiting the Obs Directions


The Observatory is manned throughout the year and on all days of the week and visitors are welcome.

We aim to provide a warm welcome at the reserve and a café and toilets are available between approximately 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the NWT Holme Dunes visitor centre next door daily over the summer months, but only at weekends during the winter. Toilet facilities are limited, and visitors arriving by car might wish to consider stopping en route at the Public Conveniences at the northern end of Beach Road. Day permits for the Observatory are £3 per person, with reductions for groups of 10 or more people. Information on membership is always available to anyone who is interested in joining the NOA.



Grant aid from the Norfolk Coast Partnership in 2009 allowed the NOA to construct a ramp, making the Observatory accessible for wheelchairs. A viewing platform next to the Observatory building was constructed in 2012, and is also wheelchair-accessible. Nearby are the ringing laboratory and a purpose built sea-watching hide. The latter stands high in the pine trees looking north over the dunes out to sea, and is ideal for use during autumn storms.

There are five other hides; one looking over the Broad Water a short distance along the east bank, and three viewing hides along the main bank west of the Observatory building, which look into the scrub that grows in the shelter of the pines. These are good places to look for skulking warblers, and a feeding station at the Dell hide nearest the Observatory building sometimes draws in Bramblings, Mealy Redpolls, and even Water Rails on occasion. There is a further hide adjacent to the NOA car park, overlooking the Broad Water.









This Tawny Owl was sitting in the pines, photographed from the Dell hide


Ringing takes place whenever possible, and visitors are always welcome to observe the process. However, this is restricted by weather conditions, as windy or wet weather prevents mist netting from taking place. Ringing activities are usually most productive in the first few hours after dawn, but on days when birds are arriving through the day it will carry on well into the afternoon. Two moth traps are opened daily between March and October, and we welcome anyone interested in seeing these fascinating creatures at close hand.








Poplar Hawk Moth









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Norfolk Ornithologists Association, registered charity no. 267670, Broadwater Road, Holme Next The Sea, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 6LQ