• Burton Mere Wetlands' car park conundrum

    Easter is here, often marking the start of a busy spring season for Burton Mere Wetlands. As migrant birds roll in, bluebells bloom and – hopefully, at least – the weather warms and dries up a bit, inevitably people want to spend more time immersed in the joys of nature at a welcoming reserve like ours.

    However, the team have somewhat appreciated the slight March lull after an incredibly busy second half of…

  • Reserve Round-Up – Week Commencing 11 March 2024

    It certainly feels like Spring has sprung, and the colder winter days are now hopefully behind us. The wildlife on the reserve has started to react to the warmer weather and there is lots of birdsong to be heard, whilst there are increasing numbers of breeding birds right across the reserve. The vegetation is showing signs of life after the long winter, and we have the flowering of the bluebells to look forward to in…

  • Reserve Round-Up – Week Commencing 29 January 2024

    Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year? Probably, but Happy New Year nevertheless.

    Anyway, January has been a real mixed bag for weather, with some freezing spells, some warm(ish) spells but the most noticeable thing has been the storms that have battered the UK through the month. The storms have had a big effect on the reserve and the birdlife – more of which to come later.    

    Hopefully, by the time the next…

  • Reserve Round-up Week Commencing 11 December 2023

    Reserve Round-Up – Week Commencing 11 December 2023

    Has it stopped raining yet? It seems that the last couple of weeks have been nothing but wet, wet, wet. This seemingly never-ending rain has been occasionally punctuated by some freezing cold spells, leading to short periods of ice on the reserve. It has to be expected in December, I suppose! As I write this, it’s a truly beautiful day, sunny and crisp, so let…

  • Reserve Round-up Autumn 2023

    Posted on behalf of James Smith - Visitor Experience Assistant 

    Recent Sightings

    For many people, the period where we move from Autumn into Winter is the most exciting for wildlife sightings on the Dee Estuary and Burton Mere Wetlands. This is because many species of passage birds will be using the wider reserve to rest and refuel, whilst many winter visitors will be arriving, often in great numbers, to call the estuary…

  • Neston Reedbed Improvement Project

    The memory will never leave me; stepping up to my kitchen window and catching sight of the thick, dark plume rising ominously into the crystal blue sky of a fine early spring evening, I knew instantly the smoke’s origin and lurched into a primal fight or flight response.

    Once the dust had settled and media fuss faded, the subsequent 18 months since the devastating fire destroying the majority of Neston Reedbed have…

  • Reception Pool Revamp

     Reception Pool in 2017 (A.Grubb)

    It’s that time of year again when breeding season for Burton Mere Wetlands’ priority ground-nesting wetland birds is over, but by no means does anything slow down. Quite the opposite, as the crucial habitat management work that takes a spring break to avoid impacting birds’ nesting, enters its busy autumn regime.

    Not helped by the recent unseasonal weather, the summer…

  • Reserve round-up: Week commencing 26 June

    Recent sightings

    Well, the weather over the last couple months had us all wishing we were ducks, paddling about in the cool water. Finally, the last couple weeks it has turned a little cooler and we’ve had some much-needed rain. I’m sure all your garden wildlife and flowers will be grateful. One of the best things you can do during those scorching days is to pop a small shallow “birdbath” out  for…

  • Reserve Round-up May 2023

    Recent sightings

    It has been a great spring so far, especially for nesting Lapwing and Redshank. With half-grown chicks running around the wet grassland area and the first Avocet chicks have now hatched with more nests at the far end of the reserve viewable from the Border hide. 

    Speaking of chicks, our heronry has been causing a real stir for the visitors, with Grey Heron chicks already fledging. Then the Little Egrets can still…

  • Reserve round-up: January 2023

    It’s an overdue first blog of the year, with lots of delightful winter sightings offering plenty of reasons to visit, plus other work and news to share.

     

    Recent sightings

    After a settled, dry start to the month, we’ve had some persistent winds followed by this week's cold snap, making it at times more appealing to stay at home. Despite that, the birds have been on top form, with often a brilliant array of waders…

  • Festive Opening Times and Cafe Update

    The year has flown by and we've reached another Christmas; we're open for the majority of the festive season, with just a couple of days off and a couple of early closes. See the details in the image below.

    Work on our new cafe has finished until the New Year, with the concrete poured this week for the base on which the modular building will sit. There are four days early in the new year when the reserve will…

  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 31 October

    Recent Sightings

    After the breathless start to autumn captured in our last round-up blog, October at Burton Mere Wetlands has continued to deliver excellent birdwatching along with unseasonably mild, and relatively dry weather.

    With water levels still held low to aid the wardens' cutting of the wet grassland, the shallow scrape, pools and exposed mud have attracted growing flocks of lapwings, snipe, black-tailed …

  • Burton Mere Wetlands closed Monday 24 October due to cafe building work

    After weeks of anticipation, the groundwork started this week on preparing the site for the installation of our new, prefabricated modular cafe. Contractors arrived on Monday, and the main tasks so far have been setting up their fenced compound to keep everybody safe, and building a new vehicle access track for occasional use by the wardens to access the wetlands, replacing the route lost due to the cafe's situation.…

  • Reserve round-up: Autumn 2022

    It’s been a good while since our last reserve round-up blog, purely due to such a busy summer of visitors and work beginning on our exciting café build. If you don’t already, it’s worth checking in on our Facebook or Twitter accounts – search RSPB Burton Mere for both – for daily updates on what’s happening on the reserve, including bird sightings.

     

    Recent Sightings

    It’s been…

  • Burton Mere Wetlands is getting a café

    It’s been years in the making, but we’re delighted to be nearing the delivery of the latest project we’ve been developing to offer more to Burton Mere Wetlands’ loyal visitors - and hopefully plenty of new ones in the years ahead.

    Part of a national RSPB project, we are one of four reserves having a café installed (or in Conwy’s case, an expansion and improvement of their existing one) through…

  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 27 June

    Recent sightings

    With the daylight at its longest as we pass by the summer solstice, the reserve is open late into the evening to enjoy all the wonderful summer sights and sounds around us. Orchids are a highlight of June, there’s been an abundance of southern marsh orchids, a few spotted orchids and only a couple of bee orchids this year. The Farmland Trail has been a good spot to find them and our volunteer Tom got…

  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 6 June

    Recent Sightings

    As we reach June and the beginning of summer, the excitement of the spring migration may wane but the reserve still offers a wide range of wildlife to enjoy when visiting.

    Avocets are one of the reserve's star breeding birds, with over seventy pairs recorded nesting across Burton Mere Wetlands this year and several half-grown chicks now readily watched from the comfort of the visitor centre, or equally…

  • Have a Big Picnic this half term and bank holiday weekend

    This half term and Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, we're holding a Big Picnic event and everyone is invited!

    As part of the celebrations, families can get involved in having a Big Picnic at the reserve – whether bringing your own or purchasing from our visitor centre, we want to encourage sustainable picnic options for the whole family – to have fun outdoors together and help the environment. Other fun activities…

  • Reserve round up: week commencing 9 May

    Recent sightings

    A real wet start to May, after barely any rain at all in April; on Sunday 1 May we had our Dawn Chorus event and it rained! Thankfully it wasn’t too bad, and the event was great with a fantastic array of species being heard including grasshopper, sedge and reed warblers, whitethroat and the smallest bird in the UK, the goldcrest. Let’s hope the rain doesn’t persist throughout the breeding season…

  • Reserve round up: week commencing 18 April

    Recent sightings

    The reserve is literally bubbling with life at the moment! Particularly with the little egrets making their fantastically strange breeding calls up in the woods opposite our Marsh Covert hide where they are making nests alongside the grey herons. Great egret and cattle egret have been seen in breeding plumage, so hopefully they will have a successful breeding season again this year. This time last year…

  • Neston Reedbed fire: the view from the ground

    Heartbroken. Angry. Rueful. Just three of the many emotions coursing through my body and brain since Saturday evening.

    Heartbroken for the marsh harrier pair that had started nest building just days before the fire, now flying around aimlessly and confused by the dramatic change in appearance of their home.

    Angry that for the third time in my eleven years working here, I’ve witnessed this precious wild habitat going up…

  • Reserve round up: week commencing 14 March

    Posted on behalf of Fiona Wistow 

    Recent sightings 

    We are now halfway through March and it is definitely spring-like at Burton Mere Wetlands. Warmer weather and lengthening days, with the spring equinox this Sunday, accompany the spring migrants’ return. Chiffchaffs are making their arrival known, ‘chiffchaffing’ around the reserve, wheatears were spotted in the fields behind the car park and Burton Point…

  • Reserve round-up: Week commencing 21 February

    Recent sightings 

    February has continued to be a wild month for us! We’ve been enduring the gusts and gales of the three storms which blew our way last weekend, once again leaving us with fallen trees, a power cut and also epic surge tides on the estuary...

  • Celebrating 10 years of RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

    As part of RSPB England's #WinterWetlands series, communications officer Richard Morris looks back over a decade of Burton Mere Wetlands in this guest blog.

    Last September we were thrilled to mark 10 years since RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands officially opened its doors, evolving from the site formerly known as Inner Marsh Farm to serve as the heart of the sprawling RSPB Dee Estuary reserve. Over the past decade the site…

  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 7 February

    Recent Sightings

    After January's fair weather, February has started in stark contrast, with almost ten days of wild weather including some severe gales as well as some heavy rain showers. Nevertheless, there remains plenty to see across the Dee Estuary as we approach the end of winter and enjoy the rapidly lengthening days.

    Recent rain has caused the water levels to rise on most of Burton Mere Wetlands' pools, meaning…