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Experience the egret empire at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

Last modified: 05 August 2014

Little egret hunting for fish

Marvel at one of the UK’s largest little egret colonies

Image: Jodie Randall

As dusk falls over RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, one of the region’s greatest natural spectacles unfolds: the nature reserve is awash with birds settling down for the night, not least one of the country’s most elegant and exotic-looking, the little egret.

This month, with the help of RSPB wardens, visitors are invited to enjoy ‘An Evening with Egrets’ to marvel at one of the UK’s largest little egret colonies, which makes its home at Burton Mere Wetlands. As dusk approaches, hundreds of the birds gather from across the estuary, ready to fly into the treetops to roost overnight – a remarkable sight.

Dan Trotman, Visitor Development Officer at RSPB Dee Estuary reserve, said: “Whilst these birds are seen regularly feeding across the estuary’s saltmarsh during the day, nothing compares to the sight and sound of dozens flying together into the tree-tops next to the nature reserve for the night. It’s an amazing sight to watch. Plus the event is a great opportunity to learn about the birds’ troubled past and their current success.

“There have been evenings when I’ve been here alone and seeing the little egret colony in all its glory makes all the hard work we’ve put into managing this wetland over the years seem all the more worthwhile. They’ve become a common sight on the estuary, but nothing quite prepares you for watching these large, graceful birds take to the treetops in the numbers we see here – last year, 380 were counted flying into the roost one night!”

The event will be held on Friday 15 August, starting at 6.30pm. The cost for the walk is £5 per adult (£3 for RSPB members) and includes a hot drink and snack in the Reception Hide.

For more information on the reserve and its activities, please call the reserve on 0151 353 8478, or check out the website

How you can help

From scrub bashing to guided walks, the RSPB run events all around the UK