Tens of thousands of birds put on dramatic display during spring tide at Snettisham

Thousands of Knot flocking over Snettisham beach. Credit: ITV Anglia

Thousands of wading birds have put on a spectacular aerial display over the mudflats at Snettisham in West Norfolk.

See Kate Prout's report by click above

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've been out feeding in the mudflats. There are huge areas of mud flats in the Wash, when the tide is out at its fullest extent it goes out several kilometres. "And there's masses of food out there so we get up to 400,000 waders and wildfowl in the whole Wash and about a third of that come here"

Jim Scott, Manager RSPB Snettisham

Many of these waders will migrate south during the summer but are likely to return on their way back north to breed again next year