Trip reports

FIELD TRIP TO BURTON MERE WETLANDS - 07/10/18

FIELD TRIP TO BURTON MERE WETLANDS - 07/10/18

Sunday, 7 October 2018

On a frosty and rather cold morning eleven members me at the reserve almost an hour before the reserve officially opened, we were so keen!
Nevertheless, from the carpark we recorded Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Nuthatch, Goldfinch and Dunnock.
From the main centre (sadly, the Spotted Crake, seen for over a week, had departed) overlooking the pools and fields we had a range of waterfowl, including Wigeon, Shoveler, Tufted, Mallard and Teal, with a number of Coot and Moorhen gazing on the grassy banks.
We were amused by a Little Grebe which was wrestling with a fish and having to dive several times to retrieve as it tried to escape its fate!
Waders showed well. Black-tailed Godwit were feeding furiously, a Cattle Egret was spotted with Heron, Ruff, Snipe, Curlew and Lapwing.
Three species of Gull were present: Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Blackback.
There were a few Greylag and Canada Geese, but the greatest treat were the skeins of Pinkfoot, with their unmistakable calls, flying over (an estimated 2100 on the site) whiffling as they came in to land in the fields.
Deciding to walk straight to Inner Marsh, from the corner screens we added Pintail, Gadwall, Shelduck and Mute Swan and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over.
Before continuing up the permissive path to afford stunning view over the saltmarsh on the Dee Estuary, we paused at the stone railway bridge. The prolific vegetation along the steep banks sheltered Chiffchaff, a female Reed Bunting, Wren, and Linnet. A Sparrowhawk swooped in, tempted by the prospect of a meal.
Eagle-eyed Sue spotted a Peregrine perched on a low post across the saltmarsh which took off to bomb a Carrion Crow several times. Raven, Rook, Jay, Magpie and Jackdaw completed the Corvid list.
Little Egret, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel were seen and a Wheatear perched on a nearby wall, having landed by Yvonne's feet - unnoticed until Helen spotted it!
From the hide we enjoyed a spectacular display from a beautiful female Hen Harrier which one lucky couple saw catching a duck - what a meal!
The Golden Plover among the Lapwing looked stunning in the perfect afternoon light while the wader list grew with the addition of Curlew and Green Sandpiper, Dunlin and Redshank. A solitary Whooper Swan grazed on the bank and a Stonechat seen.
Passing Marsh Covert on our return, a Cettis Warbler sang softly in the reeds and several Pied Wagtail completed the day.
With around 66 species recorded by the group, this increasingly popular and important reserve affords a very rewarding day, not just for bird-watchers, but for those interested in other aspects of the natural world.