Trip reports

Visit to Dee Estuary

Visit to Dee Estuary
The Breakwater at New Brighton (Photo: Peter Berrill)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Geoff the coach driver dropped us off outside the Boathouse Inn and we walked to the first viewing point. A peregrine was quickly found resting on a distant dead branch and a ringtail harrier hunted low over the salt marsh. Little egret and curlew fed alongside mallard, gadwall and teal around an open pool. Moving further down the estuary we had a brief glimpse of a young merlin feeding on prey in the vegetation. Shelduck occasionally appeared on the tideline and small groups of brent geese flew towards the sea. A buzzard and sparrowhawk flew overhead and long-tailed tits fed in the hedgerow behind us where a brambling was also discovered on the golf course.

At the turn of the tide we took the coach up to New Brighton and watched the waders coming in to feed. Redshank were followed by oystercatcher, godwit, knot, sanderling and finally turnstone. A large flock of starling fed voraciously on the newly exposed breakwater and black-headed gulls were joined on the sand bar by common, lesser black-backed, herring and great black-backed gulls.

The glorious weather continued until we hit rain just south of Birmingham with the setting sun producing a couple of rainbows.

Peter and Lesley Berrill