Trip reports

Burton Mere RSPB & Parkgate

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Killing time before the reserve opened we drove down to Denhall Lane overlooking the saltmarsh.

Here there was plenty of visible water holding Wigeon and Teal.
3 Bewick Swans were seen but they soon relocated at a much further distance from us.
There were plenty of Little Egret out on the marshes with a few Grey Heron, and occasionally a Great White Egret showed well.

At the main reserve the near pools held Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin and Lapwing. The wildfowl included Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Teal and Mallard.
More distant, among the grazing cattle were the eponymous Cattle Egret, 5 or 6 in number, with a few Little Egret confusing the matter.

Our aim then was to walk to the far side of the reserve in hope of seeing a Long Eared Owl which had a winter roost on the Inner March Farm side of the reserve. On the way round at one of the hides we saw 2 Green Sandpiper, but they quickly departed to a further pool.
We found where the owl was roosting (or should I say, we found where half a dozen telescopes were pointing at a mass of tree, shrub and ramble).
The owl could be discerned by a slightly different colouring of its feathers tucked into the tangle, though no shape or form could be picked out in the time we were there.
We did however walk down to the original Inner Marsh Farm hide where we had much better view of the Green Sandpipers

We then went for lunch at the Old Baths car park at Parkgate.
The high point being for some of those who stopped at the chippy for lunch and were treated to a male Hen Harrier flying by as they walked back to the car with their chips.
Other than that there wasn't much.

We then headed up to Riverbank Road at Heswall for the high tide, though this only seemed to push a few redshank and teal into view.
We did however have the male Hen Harrier then flying north giving all the party a view.
After that the rain started to threaten so we headed off home