Day Two A Day On The Dee With Iolo Williams Best Of North Wales 20 February 2023

Avocet pair North Cave 1

Wonderful to see Pied Avocets at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands such beautiful birds.

The day started on the doorstep of the hotel looking for Woodcock, we had seen these lovely birds regularly on our last stay at the hotel. Sadly, on this tour we didn’t see any, perhaps they had already returned to their breeding grounds? It was lovely to hear bird song though and each day more songsters joined the dawn chorus. Always plenty to see from the hotel over looking the Conwy river and valley. We enjoyed seeing drake Mandarin, Goosander, Kingfishers, Great and Little Egrets, Grey Wagtails, Redpolls and Red Kites on our pre-breakfast walks during the tour.

Our Day on the Dee Tours are always to enjoy lots of waders - Spotted Redshank.

After a wonderful freshly cooked breakfast we headed out for the Dee Estuary. First stop was at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands nature reserve where welcome hot drinks and lots of birds awaited. Pink-footed Geese were all over the place with flocks in the fields and wet grasslands and more back and forth overhead giving their lovely “wink-wink” calls. On the lagoon newly arrived Pied Avocets swept their amazing up turned bills through the water, Ruff joined lots of Black-tailed Godwits, six Spotted Redshank loafed on the edge of the lagoon, Northern Lapwings, Common Redshank and Dunlin all feeding in the shallows. An adult Mediterranean Gull put in a brief appearance amongst the masses of Black-headed Gulls. A flock of Whooper Swans was visible on an arable field just off the reserve.

We then headed down to Burton Marsh where there was not a lot to see surprisingly but Skylarks were on the wing singing above us and plenty of Great Egrets out on the saltmarsh.

A short drive took us to Parkgate Marsh, where we had booked a table for lunch. The food here at the Boathouse Restaurant is wonderful and it has spectacular views across the Dee marshes. As we tucked into delicious food, we were able to marvel at a stunning male Hen Harrier! This “grey-ghost” of a raptor floated over the marsh and sparred with Marsh Harriers. It was fantastic to see the two species of harrier in the same binocular view. As you can imagine lunch took a while with so much to see! Not just the harriers there were plenty of Pink-footed Geese, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews, Kestrels, Skylarks and Stock Doves and more. After lunch we walked north to the Old Baths car park and again enjoyed more of the same birds.

Two drake Surf Scoters with Velvet Scoters photographed at Llanddulas beach by Tony Pope.

As it was calm and bright, and we had seen so much on the Dee, we decided to head west and return to Llanddulas Beach where we had not see the Surf Scoters earlier in the tour. This time the light was so much better and the sea was somewhat calmer. Again lots of Common Scoter offshore here and luckily others bird watchers told us roughly where the Surf Scoters had been seen earlier that day. Armed with this information we concentrated our search in that area and sure enough, bingo! The two drake Surf Scoters were out there and gleaming in the sunshine, wow! The rare visitors from North America really stood out with their white patches on the head and orange beaks. Alongside the Surf Scoters were a small group of Velvet Scoters another great bird to see in North Wales. The top of the range telescopes really came into their own here allowing good views of these rare ducks and everyone enjoyed prolonged views. A super end to a bird filled day.

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….

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

Contact us

* * *



Our Tweets

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.