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Biggest Twitch
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A Day on the Dee with Bridget and John

A day's custom guided birdwatching on the Dee Estuary

We met Bridget and John on Deeside and enjoyed a coffee as we planned the birding day ahead. First stop was Burton Marsh where we enjoyed a walk alongside the marsh. Lots of birds to savour here and we soon picked out a lovely adult summer Mediterranean Gull amongst Common and Black-headed Gulls, what a stunner. Flocks of Pink-footed Geese and a gang of Whooper Swans were further out on the marsh. Closer in Reed Buntings and Linnets were feeding on the tide line and a pair of Stonechats added a splash of colour.

Stonechat on Anglesey

Stonechat hops up in view

We enjoyed great views of wildfowl on the pools including a single Pintail, flocks of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. A Peregrine Falcon was perched on a post out on the marsh but best of all was a cracking Merlin that posed for us. Through the Leica scopes we could see every feather detail on this tiny falcon.

Shoveler drake Sept Cley

Shoveler stretching

We moved up to Parkgate Marsh where we enjoyed views views of six Common Snipe out in the open. Suddenly many birds were up and flying over marsh, we saw why: a ring-tail Hen Harrier was flying low over the ground in the sun, wow! This graceful raptor really showed off turning and twisting flushing waders and wildfowl in front of it!


Lunch stop at the Marsh Cat!

Birding can give you a real appetite and we tucked into a lovely lunch at the Marsh Cat on the front at Parkgate. We had booked a window table so we could continue birding as we ate, perfect!

Parkgate Marsh

Parkgate Marsh

After the excellent meal we again scanned Parkgate Marsh and again enjoyed great raptors with Peregrine, two Hen Harriers and another perched Merlin! Lots of Little Egrets here and more waders and wildfowl.

Merlin at Parkgate

Obliging Merlin perched at Parkgate

It was that big

It was only that big...Alan, Bridget and John discussing relative bird sizes

A short drive took us to Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB Reserve where the lagoon in front of the visitor centre was alive with birds. Pintail, Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall were all feeding here. Waders were around the edges and we enjoyed Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Dunlin. Burton Mere Wetlands Reception hide

Looking back at Burton Mere Reception Hide

We headed out onto the reserve and were again thrilled by a sighting of a Merlin! This time the falcon was on the move tearing across the sky in pursuit of a flock of Lapwing and Dunlin. Breath-taking stuff as the hunter and hunted twisted and turned in the air above us.

Blk t Godwit ad LM

Black-tailed Godwit in winter plumage

From the Marsh Covert hide we watched a calmer scene as Black-tailed Godwits fed in the shallows with Shoveler and Teal. Little Egrets and Grey Herons commuted from the nearby heronry to the pools and back.

A real great day, loads of special birds, relaxed pace, lovely food and great company! A top day on the Dee!


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