Thanks to its diverse landscape, which includes marshes, dunes and heathland, Suffolk has been declared as one of the best counties in England for bird watching – and log cabin holidays in the countryside offer the perfect opportunity to appreciate the area's wonderful wildlife.
If you enjoy a spot of birding, then Windmill Lodges are well-placed for this. Just bring along your binoculars and a picnic and head towards any of the well known sites for bird watching. These include the world famous RSPB Minsmere reserve, the Blyth Estuary near Walberswick, the RSPB's North Warren site close to Aldeburgh, Landguard Point at Felixstowe, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Trimley Marshes, RSPB Havergate Island and Shingle Street.
The majority of these sites are open all year round and there is even an annual competition held by Suffolk Birders Information Networked Service (BINS) on how many birds you can sight – with the top figure in January 2008 put at an incredible 130 species.
As Windmill Lodges is open to guests at any time of year, it’s a fantastic base for bird watching. The site is at Saxtead, right in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, and just 13 miles from the most famous site for birders, Minsmere.
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Top Sites for Birdwatching
There are many top sites for birdwatching near Windmill Lodges and these offer perfect opportunities to see a host of beautiful wildlife during your holiday in the Suffolk countryside.
RSPB Minsmere: The charity's flagship reserve on the Suffolk Heritage Coast near Leiston has become famed around the world for its rich habitats – including reed beds, grassland and shingle – and its impressive range of birds. The most famous Minsmere success story is the return of the avocet, a black and white wading bird with a long curved beak which was extinct in the UK for a century until a few pairs returned to breed at Minsmere in 1947, the year that the RSPB took over the site. The bird is now the emblem of the RSPB, with around 900 breeding pairs in the UK including a large number at Minsmere.
Other birds you might see here include the rare bittern with its distinctive booming call, the marsh harrier, the nightingale, the sand martin and the bearded tit, as well as a host of wading birds. There are often unusual visitors, too, such as spoonbills. But it's not just birds at Minsmere – there are also other creatures, including a large herd of red deer, whose rutting season in September and October is well worth seeing. Minsmere is open all year round and makes a great day out in itself, but you could also combine your visit with fish and chips on the beach at Dunwich.
RSPB North Warren: Near the resorts of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, this reserve is open all year round and has a mix of habitats, including reed beds and marshes as well as heathland and woods. The birds you might spot here include the woodlark as well as the bittern and marsh harrier. You could combine a visit here with a trip to historic Aldeburgh.
RSPB Havergate Island: Suffolk's only island, on the River Ore, can only be reached by boat on a pre-booked trip from Orford Quay – bookings can be made by contacting the Minsmere reserve. The trips take place on the first Saturday of each month, although there are some special events on other days. Birds on the island include avocets and terns, and you might also spot a brown hare. The trips last for most of the day and are likely to be a real highlight of your holiday.
Trimley Marshes: This Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve near Felixstowe is a wetland site where you might spot species such as the redshank, little grebe and oystercatcher. It's a two mile walk from the car park to the hides and it can be muddy, so don't forget your wellies! The site is open all year round and you could combine a visit with a trip to Felixstowe.
Landguard Nature Reserve, Felixstowe: Landguard Point is the most southerly point in Suffolk, and the local nature reserve on this shingle spit is a good spot to see migrating birds as well as unusual plants. The wheatear is among the birds which pass through, as well as many warblers and seabirds. The site is open all through the year.
Shingle Street: At the mouth of Orford Ness, Shingle Street is a popular spot to see birds because of its mix of shingle, lagoons and salt marshes. Cormorant can be seen here and it is also a good spot for seeing migrant birds. As it is so near to Orford, you could combine it with a visit to the castle.
Blyth Estuary near Walberswick: There is a hide here which is open all year round and the birds you might see including avocets, bitterns and woodlarks. You could go crabbing after visiting the site or, on a good day, have a picnic amid the sand dunes.
About Windmill Lodges
When you are heading to Suffolk for log cabin holidays, Windmill Lodges offers a wonderful chance to combine luxury with a natural setting. Our cabins offer excellent facilities including your own private hot tub, a fishing lake and an on-site swimming pool for the summer months.
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