Magical waterland springs to life

With spring on the way, now is a really exciting time on the Broads. The first leaves are beginning to bud on the trees and some of our birds are pairing up and thinking about nesting. We have even had a visit from a large dog otter which popped up in Broads Tours’ Boat Yard in Wroxham. Not a bad view from the office!

To have an otter appear in the middle of the day so close to people really highlights how these beautiful creatures, which not so long ago were threatened by extinction, have recovered and expanded their territories.

Moving on to birds, now is a great time to see both overwintering and summer species. There is a full complement of ducks and geese on the river: a few Canada, Greylag and Egyptians dotted around in territorial pairs- some more territorial than others (Egyptian geese, we’re looking at you), and our glossy Mallards resplendent with bright green-blue heads showing off their colours for the beginning of breeding season.

mallard ducks swimming on water

The ducks that are more visible in winter are still about and showing us a little more variety; droves of Tufted Ducks on Wroxham and Salhouse Broads, and then, tucked away in a quiet corner on Salhouse, two pairs of Russet Headed Pochards. These two types of duck prefer to secret themselves away for courtship rituals and nesting duties.

There are also other early signs of nesting. A Greylag goose is already building its nest close to Wroxham Broad, as shown by these fantastic pictures taken by Tobi:

greylag goose sitting on nest of dried reeds on river bankgreylag goose on dry nest stretching neck forward

We spotted a pair of Great Crested Grebes, gathering foliage for their floating nest on Salhouse Broad.

two great crested grebes swimming next to each other

Crows have been gathering goose feathers to build their nests in the trees, as shown by this picture taken by Tobi:

two crows in a tree with a silhouette of a nest

Finally, there are hundreds of Black Headed Gulls on Wroxham Broad, but we couldn’t resist posting a picture of this one – looking postcard perfect on a sign for Wroxham Broad in the sunshine, taken by Oliver:

black headed gull standing on Wroxham Broad sign

Want to see the wildlife for yourself? Then come along on one of our daily boat trips!

Our Skippers will point out the wildlife in their entertaining live commentary and you are welcome to ask them any questions about the Broads.