The 2nd February and day three of our Best of North Wales Tour with Iolo Williams

Short eared Owl Dee Jan 1

We enjoyed fantastic views of Short-eared Owls on today's tour.

Today day three of our Best of North Wales Tour, 2nd February, we headed east towards the Dee Estuary. We made a stop on route at Llanddulas Beach and saw huge numbers of Common Scoter offshore despite a choppy sea. A few folks were lucky enough to see a drake Velvet Scoter fly west also here Great Crested Grebes, Fulmars, Shags and Curlew.

First stop over at the Dee Estuary was at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands and Alan checked his phone on arrival and was delighted to see several messages from birding friends. Amazingly a Snow Goose was at guess where? Yes Burton Mere Wetlands fantastic! We quickly set up the scopes in the car park and almost at once picked out the rare North American goose amongst a big flock of Pink-footed Geese – Snow Geese are white! What a start to our Dee Estuary day.

From the visitor centre we had more views of the Snow Goose before it flew west with the Pink-feet some twenty minutes after we arrived we were so lucky. Also on the reserve we found an adult Mediterranean Gull, watched three Marsh Harriers in the air together, three Spotted Redshank, two Knot, and much more.

A short drive took us to nearby Burton Marsh where we scanned the vast area in front of us. Common Buzzard and Kestrel showed well along with Stonechat and a very distant Great Egret. Lots of Pink-footed Geese and Lapwings were over the marsh along with a singing Skylark a joy to see and hear. Then we spotted a wonderful adult male Hen Harrier sweeping low over the marshland oh wow! Always a real thrill to see one of these rare and beautiful birds of prey we really do love Hen Harriers.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch overlooking the Dee Estuary and watched Marsh Harriers, Pink-footed Geese, masses of Lapwing and more from our table.

Next we moved a little south along the estuary and immediately saw a Short-eared Owl over the wet grassland another stunning bird! We spent a long time here watching this and four more owls hunting just fantastic birding. We also saw a male Hen Harrier, several Marsh Harriers, Great Egrets, sixteen Common Snipe, lots of Skylarks and more.

What a wonderful day three of this five day tour come and join us!

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