The Dee Estuary and the surrounding area is incredibly rich in bird life. For experienced birdwatchers, budding twitchers and everything in between, here are some suggestions for where to go to see an impressive range of birds in their natural habitat.
RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands
Combining freshwater wetlands, woodland and farmland, the Dee Estuary reserve is teeming with birdlife. You’ll have the chance to see harriers, redshanks, avocets, egrets, swifts and swallows. With a visitor centre, picnic area, toilets, play area and shop, the whole family can enjoy a day out here.
Perfect for a gentle walk, and a wonderful place to feed the ducks (don’t forget to bring bird food), Raby Mere plays host to a range of fascinating birds. In addition to the more common coots, moorhens and seagulls, you might catch sight of a delightfully fluffy reed bunting or a small, olive-brown chiffchaff.
Located at the mouth of the Dee Estuary, Hilbre Island is, in fact, an archipelago of several unbridged, tidal islands that are accessible on foot at low tide. At the Hilbre Bird Observatory, volunteers study migration patterns and bird population trends. Species visiting have included surf scoters, red-throated divers, white-winged black terns, little shearwaters and woodchat shrikes.
The Wirral area, particularly the Dee Estuary, is of international importance for the black-tailed godwit, the redshank shelduck, pintail and oystercatcher. All along the estuary waterline, estuary birds, seabirds, migrating land birds and breeding birds flourish in an ideal habitat.
So, get your walking boots, waterproofs and binoculars at the ready for a birdwatching bonanza!