One of the tracks I have gone down is looking at the different naturalists that have taken an interest in the area. Of these, probably the most extraordinary for her time was Emma Turner
Emma Turner spent 20 years from the beginning of the 20th century living on a house boat and small island photographing birds on and around Hickling broad less than a mile from Halcyon. She is best known for proving that the Bittern, which had been presumed extinct in the UK, was alive and breeding by producing the picture below of a Bittern chick.
This BBC Radio 4 programme was made about her in 2012 which talks about the book she wrote 'Broadland Birds' a copy of which I have managed to track down and buy.
Update: After a short conversation with the Google Books Project, they have made a copy of Emma Turner's book Broadland Birds available free and online here. The book is recently out of copyright.
The earliest writing about the natural history of the broads I have tracked down is Notes and Letters on the Natural History of Norfolk based on notes and letters written in the mid 17th century by Sir Thomas Browne
To Do Notes:
spontanious generation. frogs. bittern sound
shot every thing
covered life cycle
Book: Rough Notes