As summer draws to a close, the Dee Estuary enters arguably its most exciting time of year due to the arrival of vast flocks of birds returning from their Arctic breeding grounds. The RSPB is inviting visitors to take part in a series of events across their Dee Estuary nature reserve to share some of the most impressive natural spectacles in this region.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Experience Manager for RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve, said: "I'm a huge fan of autumn, it could even be my favourite season of the year. The reserve here comes into its own, supporting thousands of wetland birds as they swap the cold Arctic for our warmer climes. High tides around the equinox make for some excellent wildlife watching too, pushing the vast swathes of ducks and wading birds into closer view along with the birds of prey that hunt them."
The Dee Estuary is home to the largest little egret colony in Northern England and, with earlier sunsets which are another special autumn attraction on the Wirral, it becomes easier to witness the daily spectacle of over 300 flying in from the marsh to their night-time roost. To celebrate this wild wonder, 'An Evening with Egrets' guided walk is taking place on Saturday 8 October at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands. The event costs £6.50 per person (£5 for RSPB members), half price for children. Booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 8478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors can also take part in 'Autumn Arrivals' on Saturday 15 October at RSPB Point of Ayr near Talacre. This short guided walk involves crossing beach and sand dunes so suitable footwear and a decent level of fitness are required. The event is free of charge, but donations are welcome. Booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 8478 or email email@example.com.
To experience the autumn tidal phenomenon, join 'Parkgate High Tide Watch' events on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 October at the Donkey Stand and the Old Baths car park on Parkgate parade. Suitable for people of all ages and abilities, these events are free of charge, but donations are welcome. RSPB staff and volunteers will be on hand with telescopes and binoculars to enhance the impressive views. Timings vary depending on the tides, so visit rspb.org.uk/deeestuary for more details.
Dan added: "You don't have to be an avid birdwatcher to appreciate the vast numbers of birds that call the Dee their home at this time of year. These upcoming events are planned to showcase these awesome natural occurances and show why it's so important for the RSPB to keep almost half of the estuary under its protection. So pop on an extra layer or two, and come along, we'd love to see you!"
For further information on events and wildlife at RSPB Dee Estuary, visit rspb.org.uk/deeestuary.