Trip reports

Chester Meadows

Chester Meadows
Nick Carey

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

This evening walk was made around the "local jewel" that comprises a patchwork of grassland and wetlands by the side of Chester's River Dee close to the city centre. The area is divided into three differently managed and owned areas, some of which has been less cultivated this year and an area of summer grazing by cattle to provide all in all the perfect habitat for a range of flora and fauna.

This local popular area walk was led by Andy Ingham, nine others and Shelley turned out on this late spring evening to take advantage of the slight breeze and Andy's knowledge of the area since he has been involved in recording birds here for many years.

In the first section, close to the start at Bottoms Lane, whitethroats were immediately seen followed by two linnets which was a good start. Goldfinch, reed bunting and sedge warbler were also seen. A buzzard was seen sitting on top of a bush in the distance.

Walking on to the meadow area by the river Dee with its wetland / reeds, a greenfinch flew across together with willow warbler and a chiffchaff could be heard. Optimal hearing was needed to hear blackcap and two members heard a grasshopper warbler and another linnet was seen.

A hedge had several long tailed tits present. A sparrowhawk flew across us as did another greenfinch, a common species for the meadows. This provoked a comment from Andy about the demise of certain species from this area, most notable being skylarks and pipits. A Kestrel was seen on the upper meadows hovering in classic pose.

Three swifts flew across the lower area probably from the sizeable population in Handbridge.

Julie found time to educate us in a rare umbellifer plant species (Tubular Water-droplet) searched and located in a wet reed area.

In total 28 species were seen in the 2 hr walk and certainly warrants a regular return.
An excellent evening. Thanks are due to Andy for the expert information during the evening.