Day Four Of Four Best Of Wales Custom Tour For Two 15 February 2024



Norfolk Pink footed Geese snow

We enjoyed watching thousands of Pink-footed Geese and some at very close range.



Last day of our four day “Tour for Two” and as Peter and Margret were heading home back to northern England, we decided to take two cars to RSPB Burton Mere on the border and all meet there. The advantage of this was to save Peter and Margert some driving time at the end of the day.

As we arrived at the visitor centre we were met by excited volunteers – a Kingfisher was showing right now! We hurried to the window and there was a splash of blue and orange on a branch, Kingfisher! Wow what a beautiful bird and showing off in the open. We watched this stunning bird for about ten minutes before it whizzed off. No time to relax Alan spotted a “ring-tail” Hen Harrier low over the reeds opposite the visitor centre! This fantastic bird of prey cruised slow towards the nearby Dee Estuary, another wow moment! More scanning produced four Barnacle Geese on the wetland grassland beyond the lagoon, a smart male Marsh Harrier over the reedbed and lots of ducks.

We then headed out onto the reserve and down to the reedbed screen where a few birders were gathered looking intently into the reeds. A Bittern had just dropped in and landed out of sight on the left hand side of the pool. We scanned the reeds carefully and after several minutes there was movement in the reeds, the Bittern was there! Fantastic now we had to get Peter and Margret onto it. Both telescopes where focused on the spot and after a bit of hard staring the Bittern could be seen moving oh so slowly through the dense reeds. Occasionally, the bird lifted its head, and it was easier to see then, what a thrill to see such an amazing bird.

We walked on to a viewpoint overlooking the flooded Burton Marsh, what a spectacle was laid our below us. A vast saltmarsh teaming with thousands of birds! Where to look first! Great Egrets strode about, huge flocks of Pink-footed Geese grazed the marsh, a gang of Whooper Swans were off to the left with an Egyptian Goose amongst Canada Geese, enormous flocks of waders – mostly Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Dunlin roosted here, and we picked out a single Ruff on a grass island. Ruth spotted a Peregrine on the ground and the high-powered scopes allowed good views. At least two Marsh Harriers patrolled the marsh scattering flocks of waders and ducks before then – what a bird spectacle we were witnessing! As we turned to head back to the Visitor Centre another birder was looking intently down the hill, a Green Woodpecker! This wonderful bird was in a hawthorn bush posing in the weak sunshine – wow! We quickly had this most colourful bird in the telescopes and enjoyed frame filling views. After a long while the woodpecker dropped on a fence post and then climbed backwards down the post to the ground, so funny to watch. The Green Woodpecker then fed on the ground pecking at anthills and again allowing us a wonderful encounter with a special bird.

We enjoyed a wonderful late lunch at a restaurant overlooking the marshes and what a perfect location. The food was delicious, and we could watch Marsh Harriers, Pink-footed Geese, Great Egrets, huge flocks of Lapwings and so much more a fantastic place.

Long lunch done and full of great food we headed a little way south to another part of the Dee Estuary where a drake American Wigeon had been seen, sadly no sign of the rarity but again so many birds here! Another wonderful view of a Hen Harrier hunting back and forth over the marsh was without doubt the highlight here! What a fantastic high to end the four day “Tour for Two” with Peter and Margret, huge thanks to them both for their wonderful company, a real pleasure to spend time together.

We run our Birdwatching Trips throughout the year a mix of set departure tours and custom-made trips perfect for you! To book your custom tour or any of our set departure trips please email us here….

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We can then make all the arrangements for your perfect Birdwatching Trips tour.





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