Day Two Of Custom Three Day Best Of North Wales A Day On The Dee 7 September 2020

Spoonbills Cley 3

Wonderful to see a flock of Spoonbills on day two of our three day tour.

We picked up Richard and Julie from their cottage in the Conwy Valley at 8.30am for a day exploring the Dee Estuary. A Red Kite soared over the cottage as we were about to set off a wonderful start to any day.

First stop was RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands where we hoped to see a Spotted Crake that had been seen on and off at this wonderful reserve. The sightings notice board was just being up dated as we arrived and good to see the crake had already been seen. We took the short walk to a new viewing area that gives super views of the main lagoon and joined several other birders. The Spotted Crake had been showing on and off in the near left corner of the lagoon and good directions from the birders had us looking in just the right spot. Then out popped the bird! Brilliant this small but beautifully marked bird crept along the base of some rushes and occasionally allowed views of the whole bird. It had been a good few years since any of us had seen a Spotted Crake so a real thrill to see this rare bird.

Avocet Titchwell

Perhaps the last Avocet of the summer was enjoyed at Burton Mere Wetlands.

Of course there were lots of other birds to enjoy from this great vantage point and we spent a long time soaking up all the sights. A lone Avocet was great to see loafing around in the shallow waters and other waders included Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlin, many Lapwings and some twenty Common Snipe. Wildfowl included a Barnacle Goose, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall. Huge flocks of Canada and Greylag Geese flew in from nearby fields making a tremendous noise! A juvenile Marsh Harrier flew across the reserve scattering ducks and waders all over the place.

We then headed over to Parkgate Marsh further north on the Dee Estuary where we hoped to see 7 Spoonbills seen here recently. Parking at the Old Bath’s car-park we then walked south along the promenade scanning the vast marsh off to our right. On the first pool we saw a gang of Little Egrets resting on a grassy island with a single Dunlin and 8 Common Redshank feeding in the shallows with lots of Teal. Further out on the marsh two Great White Egrets could be seen both inflight and striding through the long grass. A Kestrel hovered over the marsh and a Sparrowhawk shot past.

Reaching the next flash we could see large white lumps and through the binoculars we could see these lumps were the 7 Spoonbills. Setting up the scopes we had great views and one bird even woke up showing off that famous spoon bill. On the same flash we picked out a lovely juvenile Curlew Sandpiper feeding with Dunlin, a Greenshank, lots of Common Redshank and then Ruth spotted a Water Rail at the back of the area and luckily it showed regularly giving us all good scope views. A Marsh Harrier hunted the vast sea of grass behind the flash. We could see rain coming from the north so Alan raced back to the car and drove back to pick everyone up before the rain hit. With weather rather grim we opted for lunch in the Boathouse Restaurant overlooking Parkgate Marsh and enjoyed a lovely meal. We also enjoyed great birds from the window including two Marsh Harriers that gave super views; the 7 Spoonbills flew around the marsh, at least two Great White Egrets, lots of Little Egrets, flocks of Lapwings, Kestrel, Common Buzzard and a Stock Dove not a bad list from the lunch table!

After a very long lunch, so many birds distracting us, we headed for the Welsh side of the Dee Estuary and Flint Castle. When we arrived the tide was already very high so no mudflats but a large flock of Common Redshank were roosting below the castle and we picked out a Spotted Redshank amongst them. A smart male Peregrine Falcon was on a post out on the marsh and we had great looks through the scopes.

RSPB Conwy Sept

The view looking south from above RSPB Conwy, not taken to today, but it was stunning today too.

On the way back we stopped at the viewpoint overlooking RSPB Conwy and enjoyed lots of birds and stunning scenery. Another Spotted Redshank was picked out roosting amongst a big flock of Common Redshank along with 4 Greenshank. Tufted Ducks and Little Grebes dived in the lagoon and on the adjacent estuary a single Great Crested Grebe was seen.

We dropped Richard and Julie back at their cottage after another lovely day with some very special birds.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales, and once the world returns to normal, we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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