Whilst some people lament the passing of summer, 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 make for some excellent wildlife watching too, pushing the vast swathes of wildfowl and wading birds into closer view along with the birds of prey that hunt them.”
Visitors can take part in ‘Autumn Arrivals’ on Saturday 21 October at RSPB Point of Ayr near Talacre. This short guided walk follows a surfaced path along the sea wall from Talacre to the hide overlooking the reserve, but 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The heart of the RSPB Dee Estuary reserve, Burton Mere Wetlands, is renowned for its number and variety of ducks, geese and wading birds at this time of year, but telling them apart is never easy. Visitors seeking help with identifying these birds can enjoy ‘Wetland Wonders, Wildfowl and Waders’ on Sunday 22 October for a guided walk around the trails with tips on learning to identify these birds. The event costs £8 per person (£6.50 for RSPB members). Booking is essential by phoning 0151 353 8478 or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, with earlier sunsets - another special autumn attraction on the Wirral - it becomes easier to witness the daily spectacle of northern England’s largest little egret colony flying in from the marsh to their night-time roost. In celebration of this wild wonder and other dusk and night-time activity at Burton Mere Wetlands, families are invited to go wild this half term with a Halloween-themed ‘Creatures of the Night” trail to follow around the reserve’s surfaced paths. The trail is free of charge and runs from Monday 23 October to Friday 3 November between 9.30am and 3.30pm.
Elsewhere, to experience the autumn tidal phenomenon, drop in on ‘High Tide Raptor Watch’ events on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 November at the Old Baths car park on Parkgate promenade. 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. These spectacles are perfect to wow families, and kids will love kicking fallen leaves and a bit of den building at Burton Mere Wetlands. 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
Last Updated: Tuesday 17 October 2017