coastal birdwatching trail
Donna Nook National Nature Reserve Birdwatching
Coastline between Grainthorpe Haven in the north and Saltfleet
Well-known as a breeding colony for grey seals, Donna Nook is also a great birdwatching site with over 250 species recorded on the reserve and surrounding farmland. Habitats include sea, intertidal mudflats/ sandflats, saltmarsh, sand dunes, dune scrub, dune slacks and saline lagoons.
Managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust in agreement with the Ministry of Defence. This site is an active air weapons range and visitors should note that access is restricted. There is no access to the beach frontage and beyond when the red flags are flying. Please refer to on site signage.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
dog access & seasonal information
Due to the breeding grey seal colony access restrictions apply from late October until the end of December. Please adhere to signage and guidance from patrolling wardens.
Dogs are not permitted in the seal viewing area from late October until the end of December.
The reserve and Stonebridge car park are open all year.
Access is restricted to north of the car park and a 600m seal viewing area.
During busy weekends Stonebridge car park is prioritised for blue badge holders.
Easy access Stonebridge car park has limited spaces.
entry & prices
A main car park (privately owned) operates October to December.
Charges apply at the privately-owned car park.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
The trust is an incredible local wildlife conservation charity looking after nearly 100 nature reserves and helping to give wildlife a voice, and inspiring people of all ages to take action for wildlife.
find out more about Donna Nook
what species and habitats can you find?
The dune scrub includes sea buckthorn, elder and hawthorn providing excellent foraging, shelter and nesting areas for resident and migrant birds.
North from Stonebridge car park is Pyes Hall, a managed realignment area attracting waders and wildfowl throughout the year.
Sea watching with a scope is worthwhile for passing terns, skuas, auks, divers and sea duck.
From October to January, when the reserve is home to a breeding colony of grey seals, a wide variety of passerines (perching or songbirds), waders and wildfowl can be seen feeding out on the saltmarsh between the seals.
Brent goose, shelduck, knot, lapwing, twite, snow bunting, Lapland bunting, stonechat, short-eared owl, hen harrier, peregrine, redwing, fieldfare, rock pipit.
Skylark, meadow pipit, ring ouzel, wheatear, whinchat, hirundines (swallows and house martin), goldfinch, linnet, marsh harrier, merlin.
Avocet, little egret, cuckoo, grasshopper warbler, common whitethroat, willow warbler, sedge warbler, yellowhammer, hobby.
Pink-footed goose, whooper swan, redshank, curlew, oyster catcher, black-tailed godwit, greenshank, golden plover, starling, goldcrest, rare migrants.
plan your visit to donna nook
useful hints and tips
Pyes Hall is a great place to see waders and wildfowl at closer quarters. Bird numbers increase on higher tides.
Winter high tides deposit seeds from the saltmarsh closer to the sand dunes, providing good opportunities to view feeding passerines.
Setting up a scope along the viewing area gives you great views beyond the saltmarsh out towards the Humber with Spurn Point in the distance.
Listen out for the distinctive call of a kingfisher fishing on saltmarsh creeks.
A wildlife sightings board is updated daily during seal season.
The nearest public toilets are in North Somercotes opposite the Bay Horse Inn.