With the Christmas countdown well underway, get into the festive spirit at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands. For those wanting a break from the hustle and bustle of the high streets, a visit to the nature reserve is the perfect way to unwind this winter.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Experience Manager at the RSPB Dee Estuary reserve said: "The reserve is at its busiest in winter, playing host to tens of thousands of wetland birds visiting from the far north - just like Father Christmas!
"Not only are the large flocks a sight to behold, a visit from mid-afternoon offers the chance to see our growing starling murmuration plus maybe even a barn owl hunting the fields; all of this can be enjoyed beside our pellet stove with a mince pie and a hot drink in the Reception Hide. You can even grab a hot soup or toasted sandwich from our catering van in the car park too."
The site offers plenty for families to do, with free seasonal quizzes to follow around the nature trails. Wildlife Explorer backpacks are available to hire daily for £2.50, complete with binoculars and other nature detective equipment, and there's even a den building area in the woodland to make a shelter from the chillier weather.
Dan added: "For the more adventurous visitor, we also have a 'Winter Waders and Wildfowl' guided walk at the wilder part of the reserve, the Point of Ayr - perfect for close views of thousands of pintails, curlews and godwits as they gather on the saltmarsh at high tide."
The 'Winter Waders and Wildfowl' event takes place at the Point of Ayr, Talacre on Saturday 17 December from 11 am-2 pm, free of charge but donations welcomed on the day. A reasonable level of fitness is required and booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 8478 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The on-site catering van is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30 am-3.30 pm. For more information on other events and wildlife spectacles on the Dee Estuary, visit www.rspb.org.uk/deeestuary