15 pictures from EDP photographer of the most spectacular wildlife sights at Snettisham

Scenes from the Wader Spectacular at RSPB Snettisham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the Wader Spectacular at RSPB Snettisham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

It's one of the highlights of the Norfolk birding calendar, an incredible show of nature that never fails to amaze.

A few times every year higher-than-average tides force thousands of waders including knot, black and bar tailed godwit to take flight, and advance up the mud flats in search of food. And hundreds of people gather at RSPB's Snettisham nature reserve to see the wading birds literally being pushed off the mudflats by the fast, incoming tide.

They take off in one great throng, a mass of swarming birds, only to settle a little further along the mudflat, for it all to happen again and again, until they have to rest on the lagoon the other side of the sand bank when they are finally defeated by the incoming tide.

Against the water's edge of the lagoon is a carpet of what looks like, stone, but is in fact a mass of knot.

And they'll patiently wait until the tide goes out again, which is about an hour later, and fly back to the increasingly exposed mudflats. Jim Scott, site manager for North West Norfolk Reserves, said: 'It really is an incredible spectacle, and no wonder it's called the Snettisham spectacular.'

Visitors can catch the 'Snettisham spectacular' in daylight hours until Monday. High tides times are: today, 7.09am and 7.16pm, tomorrow, 7.51am, Saturday, 8.33am, Sunday, 9.14am and Monday, 9.55am.

The Snettisham RSPB site borders the beach – park at the designated RSPB car park just before Snettisham beach car park, and walk to the viewing site towards the sea. Visitors need to be in position about an hour to an hour-and-a-half before high tide to catch the best of the waders.

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