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Little owl - in tree by barn
Hobby - Flew over Burton Point
Green woodpecker - Burton Point
Garganey - 2 on scrape
Little ringed plover - 1 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Posted by Helen B
Dunlin - 1 on scrape
Little ringed plover - 2 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Common tern - 1 on scrape
Hobby - 1 flew over
Ringed plover - 3 on scrape
Redshank - 1 in front of Marsh Covert hide
Wigeon - 2 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Little stint - 1 on scrape
Raven - 2 flew over
Little ringed plover - 2 on scrape
Wigeon - 3 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Redshank - 1 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Green woodpecker - 1 on Burton Point
Marsh harrier - 1 hunting over reedbed
Garganey - 2 drake on scrape
Oystercatcher - 1 on scrape
Yellow wagtail - 1 behind scrape
Greenshank - 1 on scrape
Black-tailed godwit - 125 on scrape
Avocet chicks - 25 on scrape
Yellow wagtail - 2 on scrape
Oystercatcher - 2 on scrape
Little ringed plover - 1 on scrape
Ringed plover - 12 flew over scrape
Wigeon - 1 in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide
Redshank - 2 in front of Marsh Covert hide
Our woodland is a sea of violet-blue flowers, English bluebells are now in full bloom bringing their sweet delicate scent to the Gorse Covert Woodland trail.
English bluebells by Helen Bannister
The reserve is alive with youngsters at the moment. Our avocets are doing well with 25 chicks from 9 broods wandering around the scrape in front of the reception hide, giving clear views all day of these amazing birds. With many more adult birds still sat on their nests these numbers will hopefully increase daily.
Recent sightings on the reserve include the return of a female marsh harrier and 4 drake garganey. A cuckoo has been seen and heard, a pair of common tern are constantly on the scrape and using the mere pools to fish. The reed beds are full of warblers with reed, sedge, grasshopper and cetti's singing beautifully, blackcap and whitethroat can be heard all around the paths with the occasional lesser whitethroat spotted too. Hobby, whimbrel, ruff, dunlin and little owl are being seen daily as are stoats and weasels.
Join us on Friday 22 May for our Burton history walk on which you will hear all about the history of the land that now forms Burton Mere Wetlands and the surrounding area. Booking is essential, there are a few places left, to find out more please follow the link.
Our first avocet has arrived at the reserve, a good sign that Spring is on its way.
The high tides last week were as spectacular as usual on the Dee Estuary with the 10m tides reaching the wall at Parkgate.
The views of the 5 short-eared owls hunting were a highlight along with the 2 ringtail hen harriers and large numbers of pink-footed geese.
Recent sightings on the reserve include a long-eared owl which has been roosting in the same place on most days over the last 3 weeks,
2 water rail in front of the reception hide, 2 ringtail hen harriers hunt daily over the scrape, green woodpecker, avocet, great white egret, pintail, ruff, dunlin,
black-tailed godwit, kingfisher, oystercatcher and merlin.
In the evenings we are being treated to the amazing spectacle of 4000 plus pink-footed geese flying over the reserve from the Shotwick fields
heading towards the Dee Estuary for the night.
Winter has arrived, with the first snow flurries falling at the reserve and snow on the Welsh hills visible from the reception hide.
Recent sightings on the reserve have included two ring tail hen harriers, brilliant to have these stunning birds back for the winter months on the estuary, two marsh harriers which are still on the estuary and hopefully will be for a while yet, a cattle egret which first appeared on the reserve in early September, 100+ golden plover, curlew sandpiper, redshank, a pair of mandarin, kingfisher which is seen daily at the back of the mere, water rail which can be often viewed along the edges of the reed beds, merlin, peregrine, teal, whooper swans and pink-footed geese.
Upcoming events include...
Plant a tree for Christmas on Saturday 20th December, come along and plant a small tree in our Gorse covert woodland.
Twelve birds of Burton Mere Christmas trail, follow the clues around the Mere trail, pick up a quiz sheet from the reception hide.
Skydancers on the Dee, join us at Parkgate on Sunday 21st December to find out about the hen harrier with staff and volunteers on hand to show you these beautiful birds.
Meet Harry the hen harrier. He is currently on the decking outside our reception building.
Harry is the wonderful creation of Findlay Wilde, aged 12 from Cheshire, and his father for their village scarecrow festival earlier this year. He is made from a variety of materials including insulation boards and roofing felt.
Findlay is a keen birder and a big supporter of the RSPB's Skydancer project, which is helping to raise awareness and conservation of hen harriers in Northern England, and Findlay wanted his scarecrow to reflect this. He also writes a regular blog about his birding called Wilde About Birds.
In mid-August, the inaugural Hen Harrier Day was established by BAWC (Birders Against Wildlife Crime), Findlay and his family attended the event in the Peak District, and took Harry along as a mascot which served to attract lots of attention.
The following weekend, Harry was used on the RSPB stand at the annual Birdfair event at Rutland Water in Leicestershire. After that, Harry ended up at The Lodge and it was Findlay's idea for it to be brought to the Dee Estuary reserve as this is his closest reserve and one of the hotspots for hen harriers in the Winter months. Harry arrived on Monday 13 October and is set to stay until spring, apart from a brief flight to Leighton Moss for an appearance on BBC Autumnwatch later this month.
Come along to Parkgate and join us for our Skydancers on the Dee events, there will be staff and volunteers on hand to show you these beautiful birds hunting over the marsh. We will be there on one Sunday each month until March 15, follow the link to see the full list of dates.
Latest sightings here on the Dee Estuary have included a male hen harrier and 2 ringtails.
Next time you visit Burton Mere Wetlands why not take a "selfie" photo with Harry? You can upload your selfie to twitter and share it with @WildeAboutBirds and #HenHarriers. We look forward to seeing them.
A very busy week on the reserve with bird numbers increasing. A count of 1,800 teal gathering from Northern Europe and 1,600 pink-footed geese arriving from their breeding ground in the Arctic Circle and Greenland. As the days are now starting off chilly we are lighting the fire in the reception building to allow for birdwatching in the warm, a great place to sit with a cup of tea to start the day in comfort.
The cattle egret is still here, arriving on 3 september. These birds which are smaller than a little egret and have a bright yellow bill are usually resident in France and Spain but after breeding will randomly disperse and wander during Autumn and Winter.
Sightings this week include grey wagtail, little stint, 2 x marsh harriers, hen harrier, 7 x avocets, merlin, 7 x whooper swans, and green sandpiper. Just in front of reception hide have been a couple of water rail, always amazing to see these small birds close up.
Upcoming events include Skydancers on the Dee, Sunday 26 October - Sunday 29 March 2015. In support of the RSPB's Skydancer project, we will be bringing you a series of events to show you these amazing birds of prey which use the Dee Estuary marshes as their home for the Winter months. The events are free and are from 12 noon - dusk, please click on the link for more information and full list of dates.
Grid reference: SJ2778 (+2km)
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