The Norfolk Ornithologists' Association (NOA) noa.org.uk is an independent Norfolk-based charity, dedicated to the scientific study of birds. It focuses primarily on bird migration and population dynamics through bird ringing and daily monitoring, and the information collected acts as an indicator of environmental health locally, nationally and internationally. All our work is funded by membership subscriptions, donations and permit sales. Members’ observations and sightings play an important role in ensuring that bird numbers are monitored accurately. The NOA aims to take a friendly and personal approach in sharing its knowledge and enthusiasm with people of all ages, and draws its membership from throughout the UK and also from abroad.
Holme Bird Observatory is the only accredited bird observatory in Norfolk, and is one of only 17 observatories in the British Isles, under the auspices of the Bird Observatories Council (BOC). In recent years the NOA has sought to build on its scientific objectives, for instance working with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to pilot a standardised sea-watching project at Holme which has now been running since 2005.
As well as birds, daily records of moths, butterflies and dragonflies are also kept at Holme Bird Observatory. Moths are trapped and released almost daily from March through to the end of October, and butterflies and dragonflies are also recorded daily.
In addition to the reserve at Holme Bird Observatory, the NOA manages three other reserves that are open to members and to the general public; Redwell Marsh, Walsey Hills and Hempton Marsh. Each reserve is monitored through ringing and wildlife recording. There are a further three small sites belonging to NOA with no formal access; grazing land at Kelling Quags, an old orchard in Holme village (Whiddington Wood) and a small area of land at Salthouse Heath.
Benefits of NOA membership include dawn to dusk access to reserves with visitor access, quarterly newsletters and an annual report, the entitlement to purchase a key to access hides on NOA's reserves, opportunities for involvement in projects, and social events. Volunteers are encouraged to undertake a variety of tasks, and make a vital contribution to the Association’s work.