A Day On The Dee Birdwatching Trips Day Tour 8 November 2021

Pink footed Geese sky full 2

Huge numbers of Pink-footed Geese winter on the Dee Estuary so good to have them so close to home.

We run our very popular “Day on the Dee” Birdwatching Trips tour throughout the year and offer set departure days, please check our website for latest dates, and custom tours on a date perfect for you. We would love you to join us always so many birds to enjoy and very different species depending on the season.

Two Whooper Swans

Whooper Swans were a lovely surprise dropping in right in front of us.

We met Duncan and Angela over on the Dee Estuary at 8.30am on the 8th November at Burton Marsh and it was bird overload immediately! So many birds were in view here all at once and it really was a case of where to look first. A huge movement of Redwings was underway and literally thousands of these wonderful Scandinavian thrushes were streaming south right over our heads a real bird spectacle. Amongst the Redwings were surprisingly few Fieldfares often these two thrushes move together but on this occasion it was nearly all Redwings and what a wonderful migration to witness from our pre-arranged meeting point. Tearing our eyes away from the sky above we scanned the vast marshland in front of which that was alive with birds. Huge numbers of Canada Geese were on the recently flooded marshland here and amongst them we watched four Egyptian Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Curlew, Common Redshank and Little Egrets. More scanning produced more birds, as always the case, a male Merlin was also watching the scene from a fence post, two juvenile Marsh Harriers floated over the marsh flushing huge flocks of Pintail and Dunlin. Then three swans appeared coming in from the north and they came closer and closer we could see they were Whooper Swans! These true wild swans may well have literally just arrived from Iceland where they breed. The huge swans lost height and to our delight landed on the flood close to our position and we had superb views of these elegant winter visitors. All the time more and more Redwings pouring south above us what a fantastic start to our Day on the Dee.

A very short drive took us to the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere Wetlands where the loos and a hot chocolate were very welcome! The reserve had fewer birds than usual we think many had “hopped” over to nearby Burton Marsh where the recent tidal flooding had created great feeding. But still plenty to see of course and it was great to see some woodland birds including wonderful Nuthatches and we were able to watch Redwings in the hedgerows as opposed to flying over also a single Fieldfare in one hedge. We had a glimpse of a Cetti’s Warbler and heard at least three more calling from the reed-beds. A Little Grebe allowed prolonged close views on one of the smaller pools and there were lots of Teal from the Marsh Covert hide where a Little Egret fed so close.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at nearby Ness Gardens then drove a short way to Parkgate Marsh. Here we scanned the vast rough grassland and pools and enjoyed lots of birds. Four Kestrels were hunting over the area along with at least three Marsh Harriers hunting low over the marsh and great excitement when a ring-tail Hen Harrier floated over the grassland but it didn’t stay in view long sadly. Lots of Pink-footed Geese were on the move and so lovely to hear their “wink-wink” calls and some of these beautiful geese dropped down onto a nearby pool allowing super views. At least two Great Egrets were out on the marsh with their impossibly long necks.

We then moved back south a few miles to Little Neston and again scanned the huge marsh. A flock of 21 Little Egrets were feeding close to where we parked and a Marsh Harrier swept back and forth over the area before our hoped for bird was spotted. A beautiful Short-eared Owl floated over the marsh what a thrill to see this superb bird hunting back and forth and the views through the telescopes were just breath-taking. At two probably three of these most amazing birds were watched and one coming pretty close allowing us to soak up the views a real wow moment. As we watched the owls we had a real surprise two Ruddy Shelducks flew south past us and appeared to land on Burton Marsh where we had begun our day.

Short eared Owl Dee Jan 1

What a wonderful finale to a fantastic day - hunting Short-eared Owls.

A wonderful day full of fantastic birds and both Duncan and Angela really enjoyed the day and were amazed by how species and individual birds we had enjoyed. Come and join us for Birdwatching Trips tour soon.


We look forward to enjoying great birds and wildlife with you soon.

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