Holme Bird Observatory (Header)

This is a polite reminder to all our members that our subscription rates have increased from 1st January. If you pay by standing order and have not yet done so, please amend your standing order to the new rate. More details can be found here. We are small charity reliant on the generosity of our supporters through membership subscriptions and donations. Why not become a member. For a minimum of £25 you can get all the benefits of being a member of the NOA. Just click the button on the right below. Or, if you would like to support us with a donation, it is very easy to do through our portal at VirginMoneyGiving. Just click the button on the right to go to our dedicated page. Thank you.


The NOA is opening hides on all reserves to members again from 14th September 2020. There are still some restrictions and please be aware that these are: Face coverings will be required in all NOA hides until further notice, unless you are exempt for wearing them. Only 2 people from different households may use any hide at one time. A single household of more than two people is permitted, provided no-one else is using it. We are still not able to admit visitors inside the Observatory centre at present. We regret the inconvenience to all our members and visitors caused by the loss of use of these facilities during the first five months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be considerate of the restrictions we have put in place, allowing us to restore access as safely as possible. Thank you for your understanding.


A huge thank you to everyone involved in our new event 'Go Wild at Drove' which took place at Drove Orchards on Saturday. The event was a great success and attracted NOA members and the general public throughout the day.

Beautiful weather helped to make this a great day, with a very interesting tour of the orchards led by owner Andrew Jamieson, and two wildlife walks led by Estate Manager Sue Hall, and NOA Warden Sophie Barker.

The NOA welcomed visitors to displays about moths and caterpillars, feathers and nests, ringing and migration, and a slideshow of the wildlife to be found on the estate was running throughout the day.

Two moth traps were run in the reedbeds on the north side of the estate, producing a superb catch of moths. A total of 71 species were recorded including Webb's, Brown-veined, Fen and Silky Wainscots, Saltmarsh Plume, Oak Hook-tip, Pine Hawk Moth, White Satin Moth and Garden Tiger to name just a few.

Bird highlights included over 2000 gulls flocking over the south side of the marshes during the afternoon to feed on hatching insects, a Peregrine which came up to join them, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Kestrel out over the marsh, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker and Jay around the orchards, and at least 20 Swallows around the farm shop.

Eleven species of butterflies were also recorded including Large and Small Skipper, Ringlet, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood and Common Blue. Common and Ruddy Darter dragonflies were also plentiful, with Southern Hawker also seen.

The wildlife walks also drew attention to the varied and valuable habitats on the estate, much of which is in Higher Level Stewardship, and features a wonderful array of different trees, shrubs and wild flowers. One of the highlights was flowering Grass Vetch found on the route of the walk, and extensive patches of Fleabane which attracted lots of butterflies.

On the second wildlife walk a young Swift which had become stranded on the ground was rescued and later taken to the RSPCA wildlife hospital at East Winch. Staff there confirmed the bird was not injured and needed feeding for about another week, then it should be fit for release, and the bird was left in their care.

The NOA would like to thank Drove Orchards for making this event possible, for all their support in organising and running the event. And thank you to everyone who came to take part, it really was a special day. See you next year!