Norfolk Wildlife

Norfolk is home to some rare and exclusive wildlife. You can read our article on spotting Norfolk wildlife here, or read on to find out what kinds of creatures you could expect to see on your travels!

With their teddy-bear faces and small stature, the Chinese Water Deer is more common in Norfolk than they are in China! Often mistaken for muntjac or roe, these small deer are missing white on the rumps and grow two tusks rather than antlers.

Norfolk Wildlife: Chinese Water Deer

Credit: Elizabeth Dack

Common on the coast, particularly towards North Norfolk, are seals. With both grey and common varieties, you can even see these seals with their pups during the breeding season! The pups tend to be white and fluffy – but their parents can be aggressive, so keep your distance from this species of Norfolk wildlife!

Short and dumpy, water voles are often noted as being like an aquatic guinea pig. Whilst you may confuse these rotund rodents with a brown rat, you can easily tell between them due to the vole’s blunt and round snout, and almost-invisible ears. An endangered species, the Broads has the strongest population of this Norfolk wildlife species.

The largest butterfly in Britain, the Swallowtail Butterfly is exclusive to the Norfolk Broads. Taking its name from the tips of its tail, which resemble a swallow’s tail, this species of Norfolk wildlife has a wingspan of up to 9cm and it black and yellow in colour.

The kingfisher, a small, distinctive bird, is electric blue on top and orange underneath. It is very plump and round with short legs – so short that often just the bird’s feet are visible – and a short tail.

Norfolk Wildlife: Kingfisher

Credit: Elizabeth Dack

One of Europe’s largest birds, the common crane is distinguishable by its mostly grey body, and black wing plumes which give the appearance of a large bushy tail when stood. Adults have a red crown patch, and its wingspan can reach a massive 240cm. It is visible in the coastal areas of the Norfolk Broads most commonly.

Norfolk Wildlife: Common Crane

Credit: Amy Lewis

One of the United Kingdom’s rarest dragonflies, the Norfolk Hawker has clear wings, green eyes, and a yellow patch on its body. These features are key to distinguishing it from the more common brown hawker, which has brown wings and eyes.

With its rounded body and low position when in the water, the Great Crested Grebe have very long necks and a dark back and dark stripe on the back of their necks. Chestnut flanks and white breasts help to make these water birds distinguishable, helped by their black crests and chestnut cheek-ruffs.

Norfolk Wildlife: Great Crested Grebe

Credit: Elizabeth Dack

Find out more about Norfolk wildlife on the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s website here.

Last reviewed 19th June 2017.

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