Trip reports

Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB

Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB
Whooper & Mute swans - Steve Settle

Saturday, 13 October 2018

The original plan was to go to Doxey Marshes near Stafford, but a few days of heavy rain meant that as the area was prone to flooding, the alternative venue of Burton Mere Wetlands was chosen.

The weather was rainy, and on arriving the stove in the hide was very welcoming.

In the hide viewing the nearby pools through the horizontal rain there was a nice selection of birds.

A water rail flew across the ditch in front of the hide, and on the main pool the selection of ducks comprised shelduck, wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler, and tufted duck. These were joined by a small party of swans, mainly mute swans but also including a couple of whooper swans.

A few waders were also present in the form of snipe, black tailed godwit, curlew, lapwing, redshank and spotted redshank. Cormorant, moorhen, and coot were also present along with black headed gulls and lesser black backed gulls. In the fields beyond the main pool a couple of little egret foraged for food and a cattle egret accompanied the roaming cows. At a further distance the flock of Canada geese and greylag geese also included a number of pink footed geese. A few pied wagtails and a number of starlings were also seen on the islands in the main pool. A marsh harrier made a short appearance gradually getting closer before drifting off.

The rain eased a little so we ventured off to the new reedbed hide. Here a Cetti's warble was heard and a buzzard soared in the distance, but the ducks here were similar to those already seen with only a green sandpiper being of note.

The feeding station had attracted great tit, nuthatch, and goldfinch, with a woodpigeon hoovering up the spoils.

We then headed off to the car park at the Old baths at Parkgate for lunch.

Here the star bird was a hen harrier hunting the saltmarsh, and a great white egret popped up a couple of times from the ditches. Grey heron, magpie and carrion crow were the only other birds to add to the days list before the rain started again and it was time to head home.

3 attended, 40 species seen.