News archive

October 2009

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Adult black-tailed godwit in summer plummage, at the RSPB Snettisham nature reserve, Norfolk

Connahs Quay to success !

The groups visit to the reserve at Connahs Quay, run by the Deeside Naturalists Society, was a massive success. Met by Walter Griffiths, the society's membership secretary, we were given a short talk of the history of the reserve, from its humble origins to the first class facility it now is. Much of this is due not only to the dedication of the members of the society but also the willingness of the land owners (E.on) to provide support to such an environmental adventure. As we settled into the first hide (a double decker!) we watched the large numbers of black-tailed godwit, redshank, dunlin, knot, curlew, oystercatcher and grey plover come closer as the tide pushed them up the gullies in the mud banks of the river Dee towards our position on the bank. Often many different types of waders would be in close proximity to each other - giving us ample opportunity to 'compare and contrast'. The ever present little egrets mooched around, moving up and down the creeks looking for food. All the while teal, shellduck and mallard added to the mass of birds moving inexorably towards the bank, driven in by the incoming tide. Several large flocks of canada geese flew in coming to rest on the rough pasture just beyond the bank. On a small pond in the rough pasture tufted duck and a goldeneye dived for food amongst the teal and mallard. With the tide at full flow - bringing the odd cormorant and great crested grebe past the hide - we moved on to the other end of the reserve to see what delights could be found from the other smaller hides. And didn't we strike lucky ..... excellent views of at least 11 greenshank and 4 spotted redshank in amongst the commoner (and more numerous) redshank and dunlin. All too soon our time ran out and we had to leave this lovely reserve. Walter was very proud of 'his' reserve, and rightly so, as this is certainly a place were you could wind away a few very productive hours in autumn / winter.