Spotted flycatcher: This is one of at least four young found feeding around the car park and woodlands at Burton Mere Wetlands.
A really nice site as this bird has declined by 80% in recent years. We know of at least 4 pairs that have bred locally though :)
Fantastic news for us as our single pair of nesting terns have fledged a chick :)
This may not sound that impressive to all of you that have visited the northeast and other tern strongholds but it is only our 2nd ever nest and perhaps more importantly the very 1st time they have fledged, a small step in the right direction for a bird that is increasingly struggling in the northern parts of its range.
And perhaps even more impressive is the sight of a second pair ... what are they up to then?
In stark contrast, until recently the estuary held the second largest colony of common terns in the country which, for some reason have up and left the particular non-RSPB, privately managed site???
If its terns you like (and I do) then now is your chance to see a thousand of them feasting on the outer estuary, in particular at the Point of Ayr on Saturday 4th August (www.rspb.org.uk/pointofayr) we are taking a guided walk to showcase the "swallows of the sea" and show you first hand how important our estuaries and coastal waters are.
So book now to guarantee your place by phoning 0151 353 8478.
Other recent sightings: black-tailed godwit x500, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, little egret x70 nests, 3 pairs of oystercatcher feeding young, spotted flycatcher, kingfisher, hobby.
With all this rain maybe we should be building an ark .... come to think of it the reception building here is a safe bet if we get any floods!
Returning waders are stealing the show at the moment and despite what you may have heard on the news this week some waders do return this early.
Despite the rather damp weather today has been a good day for sightings with two spotted redshank, two greenshank and guess how may ruff ... yes two!
The most numerous waders at the moment is a close call between lapwings and black-winged godwits with around 500 of each, quite spectacular when the local peregrine flies through. The keen eyed amongst you may even spot a green sandpiper (like a large house martin in flight) or the rather rapid snipe (up to seven seen).
Another bonus for the day was a singing yellowhammer beyond the path to the "bunker hide". This area of farmland has traditionally held one or two pairs but this is the first time this year that I have heard them.
And to bring you fully up to date: the oystercatchers are busy feeding young on drowned earthworms from a nearby field; the common terns are feeding yound on a mixture of small fish caught spectacularly in the meres; and the avocets have mostly dispersed due to chicks fledging.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring .....
If you want to see and learn more about the Dee Estuary's wildlife spectacles don't forget to check out our events and remember to book your place early to avoid disappointment www.rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands
Last night a regular visitor found a pectoral sandpiper feeding in front of the Marsh Covert hide which means that we are just one away from the magical 30 wading birds barrier .
To put this in context the "RSPB Handbook of British Birds" only lists 34 wading birds in its main section with a further 4 listed in its "Rarities" section. Will you help us push past the 30 barrier?
The bogey bird so far this year has been the elegant wood sandpiper ... can somebody come and find one for us please? And in August last year, just before we opened to the public we had a couple of wood sandpiper on the main scrape.
Now traditionally many birders think of June and July as the quiet months for scarce birds but the records show that a fair share often turn up in these summer months and last nights find was no exception. This scarce North American wader is usually recorded from September through to October and we had one here last September and can be told by its distinct and abrupt end to its finely marked chest.
Other recent sightings: Cuckoo (seen 4 out of last 6 days), greenshank (x5), peregrine, green woodpecker (Inner Marsh Farm), long-eared owl (Marsh Road towards Decca Pools), juvenile redstart (Marsh Road towards Decca Pools).
If you believe the wading birds then perhaps it is ... or is it?
Not many people know this but long distance migrating waders actually start returning to their wintering grounds in June!
The evidence is clear here at Burton Mere Wetlands too as several spotted redshanks are present in full summer plumage (Left hand image - stonking glossy,smoky black!) whilst a few greenshanks (right hand image - also in their more subtle summer plumage) are also present.
Both these birds are regular on passge through the Dee Estuary with a few spending the winter here instead of their more typical wintering grounds of South and West Africa.
The birds here presently are probably females as they leave the breeding ground almost as soon as the chicks have hatched ... no comment needed!
Other passage waders already seen are common sandpiper and their scarcer cousin the green sandpiper.
The reserve has a fantastic history of attracting rare waders on passage from North America in particular (lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitcher and pectoral sandpiper amongst the last few year's highlights) so keep your eyes peeled when you next visit as you may find yourself looking at the a bird that has gotten lost and travelled inadvertently a very long way.
On the wildfowl front a few teal and a few shoveler are present thus reminding us that we have already passed the longest day.
Other notable sightings: spoonbill, cuckoo, hobby, red kite, common tern, little egret, great white egret (Parkgate), crossbill x6 (flyover)