Viking Optical News

Great Places to Go Birdwatching in the UK

We have compiled a list of some fantastic locations to go on an adventure with your binoculars and scopes. We are spoiled with bird watching spots here in the UK due to our diverse weather front and supportive ecosystems. Now more than ever, we are being encouraged to travel within our country’s borders, it’s a good time to delve into the natural riches the UK has to offer. 

Strumpshaw Fen – North Norfolk

Strumpshaw Fen is yet another nature reserve located in Norfolk. Sitting beside the river Yare, Strumpshaw Fen is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and is very popular for its spectacular meadows of orchid blooms in the summer. The star species is without a doubt the Barn Owl. When Barn Owls have young, and are actively feeding, you could spot them at any time of day. Bitterns are common in the reedbeds here too and Marsh Harriers slice the skyline, often showing off their spectacular ‘quartering’ hunting method, as they dive onto their prey. The RSPB oversees the conservation work here, ‘managing wet woodland for key breeding birds, including Cetti’s warblers, willow tits and bullfinches.’ They are also keen to express that their ‘intervention here is minimal, except to control alien plants, protect standing dead wood and keep water levels high enough from April to July.’ (RSPB)

Attenborough – Nottinghamshire

Situated only a few miles outside of Nottingham City Centre, this modern bird watching centre is ideal for city folk looking for their closest nature fix. Easy to get around, and accessible to all, the centre provides a sheltered bird watching experience that looks out across the beautifully maintained lakes and reedbeds. This reserve was actually opened by David Attenborough himself in 1966 and has since flourished in terms of wildlife and conservation work. Fully facilitated, this spot in particular would be great for new bird watchers or even young children who have an interest in wildlife. Despite the city being in such close proximity, it offers a fantastic array of wonderful birds. To name a few, Sand Martins, Bitterns, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Shelducks, Terns and Shovelers. ( 

RSPB Nags Head – Gloucestershire  

Located in the South West of England, Nags Head borders the gorgeous Cotswolds. This location is not to be mistaken by the reserve of the same name in the Forest of Dean. Nags Head, Gloucester is not as well known but is a hidden gem for bird watching if you prefer the smaller and less busy reserves. The walks, unsurprisingly for the cotswolds, are steep and often a bit of a hike, but you will soon enough be rewarded by spectacular 360 views of the rolling greenery. In the wooded areas, nesting boxes have been attached to the trees. Nagshead Reserve is renowned in particular for its pied flycatchers. Whilst they spend their winters in West Africa, Pied flycatchers are ample in the summer and more common in the west of the UK. More rare sightings of woodland predators like the Goshawk and other raptors such as the impressive Peregrine Falcon.

Wye Valley AONB – English/Welsh Border

If birds of prey are of particular interest to you, this location is worth visiting. Between the months of April and August you can watch peregrines hunt and feed their young from a viewing point at Symonds Yat Rock. You will also be able to see other residents of Wye like the Goshawk, Sparrow Hawk and Common Buzzard. The river that meanders the Valley floor attracts Kingfishers, Swifts and House martins who’s habitats lie in the river banks and beds. Well disguised but here all the same, Night Jars have been known to reside here too. Their brown and dappled plumage and elongated body can make spotting them a real talk. But if spotted, what a treat to behold. Birds aside, this location is of outstanding natural beauty and worth a visit for any avid walker or nature lover.

We hope you’ve found a nature reserve in our list that has inspired you to get your scopes out and plan an adventure. At Viking Optical Centres we love all things conservation, and the locations listed above are living talismans of the hard work these protection schemes and conservation organisations put in every day. If you are interested in conservation projects take a look at our sister company Viking Optical and the conservation work our binoculars support. We provide optics that get you closer to nature and closer to the reason why we channel so much passion into preserving the future of bird species and wildlife as a whole. 

Call us today on 01986 875315 and let us know how we can help you find your perfect optics to suit your next birding excursion. You can email us instead on if you have any questions at all about our products or conservation work through our sister company. We look forward to hearing from you soon.