Bird watching hotspots on the Suffolk Coast

The Suffolk Coast has long been a popular destination for birdwatchers. The coast’s marshes, heaths and wetlands boast a rich variety of bird species, with over four hundred different species identified in the area. Whether you are an experienced birdwatcher, or just starting to spread your wings, this list of bird watching hotspots along the Suffolk Coast could help you find the species that interest you.

Benacre Broad

North of Southwold, this site used to be a network of peat-diggings in the 1700s, before being flooded with seawater to become a broad. Today Benacre is a great place to spot wheatears, meadow pipits and linnets. Further inland on the rougher denes, it’s possible to spot short-eared owls, kestrels, hen and marsh harriers and wintering geese.

Blyth Estuary

The Blyth Estuary near Walberswick is open to birdwatchers all year round, and from the bird hide you might see avocets, black-tailed godwits, bitterns, marsh harriers and woodlarks.

Dunwich Heath

This remarkably beautiful heathland is a remaining fragment of the ancient Sandlings heath. Dunwich offers great walks and panoramic views, and the opportunity to spot bearded tits, nightingales, and the resident Dartford warblers. For more information, please call 01263 733 471.

Havergate Island

This small island is situated where the River Ore and the River Butley converge, and is accessible by boat from Orford Quay. A crucial breeding ground for common terns and avocets, during the spring and autumn Havergate is home to numerous wading birds, which can be watched from any of the eight bird hides.


Landguard offers guided bird watching trips with a Ranger, which are excellent for spotting migrant birds like little tern, black redstart and wheatear. To book a guided visit, call 01394 673782.


This famous RSPB reserve near Aldeburgh boasts a huge variety of birds, thanks to the four different habitats contained within the area. Minsmere offers many guided nature walks for all experience levels, and is a great place to spot avocets, bearded tits, bitterns and marsh harriers, among others. For more information, or to book a guided walk, please call 01603 661 662.

Trimley Marshes

Conditions in this wetland reserve alongside the River Orwell are perfect for wintering wildfowl and breeding waders, such as redshank, avocet, oystercatchers and black-tailed godwits. The reserve’s lagoon and island are also the perfect habitat for plovers, ducks, sandpipers and greenshanks. For more information, please call 01473 710 032.

Image by the RSPB