One of the nearest estuaries to me; a wonderful site for watching geese, ducks, waders and other seabirds on the vast sands and mud flats from both the English and Welsh shores of the Dee. Also, birds of prey such as hen harrier, peregrine and merlin can be observed.
We were all at Parkgate today. Bitterly cold but wonderful. Had the best spec - outside a pub - with a chippy dinner and loads of really nice people. Didn't know whether to bird watch, dog watch, or people watch. Never seen the place so busy, and never seen the water so high. Fabulous.
Saw water vole, red kite getting chased by a mob of crows, and Herons doing that spooky thing they do. Dropped prey (black headed gull) and a possible 'scooter'? Help us out please guys - it was larger than a moorhen - though not much - and had a long yellow beak - not sure what it could be?
Thanks guys - hope chaos is removed for at least four weeks till the next high tide:)
Sorry for not getting back sooner.
Two points - Red Kite? are you sure that would be a very good rcord for the reserve-can you be sure it wasn't a marsh harrier, hen harrier or buzzard?
The unid'ed bird - water rail? What colour was it?
although not a bird watcher at heart, I do from time to time watch the antics of birds. Last year my wife and I spent some time in Flintshire and I often walked the beach at Talacre. At low tide I would turn right upon entering the beach by the yellow flag and walk the high tide line towards Mostyn. My purpose was initially just to chill out, meditate and take in the sea air.
As the days became weeks and the weeks became months; I was surprised by the number of dead birds and sea creatures that I came across. Sadly I didn't keep a diary but eventually started to record my finds photographically.
Two finds struck me as being very odd indeed. One, I think, was a curlew and the other was a shell duck. Both had not a feather out of place, but both were minus their head and left leg. Off clean as a whistle. I have been given a number of explanations to account for most of the deaths but nothing satisfactory for two headless birds. One young lady suggested that they may have been peregrine kills!
As soon as I find my way round the site and the group, I will post some of the photographs that I took during the season
I was also amazed by the amount of broken glass and plastic rubbish on the sands. Because I was there any way; I decided to pick up the broken glass and bin it. After the first month or so I decided save the glass and see just how much would eventually turn up. In the 2010 season I collected 10kgs of assorted broken glass. Some was as sharp a razor and would have given you a nasty cut. I also came across three hypodermic syringes.
Take great care on this section of beach. The hypodermics that I found; turned up in the flotsam on the high tide line and they were amidst the very light flotsam. One had no needle guard on it! I do believe that they float in on the high tide; rather than junkies shooting up on the beach.
Just came across an excellent documentary on wintering birds in the Dee Estuary, produced by Scott Reid who spent a work placement year with the RSPB. I hope you all enjoy this film as much as I did.
Bumping this back up to the top as you must see it folks !!
cheers Alan, it is one of the best documentaries I have seen, well worth viewing, beautiful footage.
Oh my - I am pinching myself I am here! We have just moved to North East Wales - a stone throw from here! Can't wait to visit - super documentary! Will separately post elsewhere about my recent re-location.
Hi Jan, I first spotted this documentary posted on another birding website and was so taken with the footage I thought more people should see this film by Scott Reid. Totally captivating 20 mins. viewing and so glad you found this thread; good luck in your new home of N.E.Wales, it's a beautiful area to live ..... there is so much to see on your doorstep so am look forward to reading your posts.
Thank you for your welcome - yes indeed so much to see and explore! Even from my own front door! We are opposite Erddig National Trust. My joy at the footage was - having lived in the north East Of Scotland for 7 years - (a while back now) I fell in love with waders and water birds! Unlike woodland species they are there on show! Lol So many happy hours!
Sounds wonderful Jan, you will certainly have a lot of new exploring to do and winter time is the best for seeing lots of visiting birds around The Wirral and Dee Estuary areas, happy bird watching to you and look forward to hearing how you get on.
Wow Alan, well done, thats a long stretch of the legs, hope it was fine weather for you; we've had a lot of cloud here but it remained dry throughout the day. Enjoy that documentary, there is an Owl hovering in it just for you !!
Glad you enjoyed it Alan, I thought the footage was amazing and really beautiful; pleased a few of the folks here have managed to view this lovely documentary.
Hope your feet are resting, you did great ! Been quiet here today, unlike yesterday when birds were flying everywhere. We saw the little Grey Wagger yesterday and 3 x GSW's parents and I think Miss G.S. Woodpecker (seemed to have a slightly shorter tail than the adult female) !