• Reserve round up: week commencing 12 August

    Recent sightings

    Yet another mixed unsettled week, with the weather reports always needing to be taken with a big pinch of salt here at Burton Mere Wetlands.

    When the sun has made an appearance, the usual gorgeous butterflies have been out like painted lady, wall brown, speckled wood and fabulous dragonflies like southern hawker and emperor. The common lizards have also been catching the eye of our more observant young…

    • 16 Aug 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 29 July

    This weeks blog is being posted on behalf of Emma Drainey.

    Recent sightings

    This week marks the return of the geese onto the scrape with Canada geese and greylag geese both building in numbers. Snipe and water rail are also increasing in number with them being spotted on the scrape and at Marsh Covet Hide. A great egret has been making an appearance in and around the reception pool, joining the green sandpiper as an almost…

    • 2 Aug 2019
  • Time flies when you're having fun!

    It only seems like yesterday that I posted Emma's first blog but this is her last week of her short stint as a residential volunteer here at the Dee Estuary reserve. Here's her farewell blog, rounding up her experiences and highlights from her time here.

    I have spent just over two months here at Burton Mere Wetlands, half of that for dissertation research, and already my time as a residential volunteer is coming…

    • 30 Jul 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 22 July

    This weeks blog is being posted on behalf of Emma Drainey.

    Recent sightings

    The hot weather this week has let the butterflies and dragonflies steal the show, with peacock butterfly, brown hawker dragonfly and a hummingbird hawkmoth.

     Image: Brown hawker by Neil Francis

    Luckily the thunderstorms didn’t scare away any of the birds with great white egret juveniles still being seen with the adults. A spotted redshan…

    • 27 Jul 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 15 July

    This weeks blog is being posted on behalf of Emma Drainey.

    Recent sightings

    The waders this week have stayed consistent with avocet, lapwing and redshank all feeding up for their upcoming migrations. Green sandpiper and ruff have continued to hang around the scrape, with the spotted redshank remaining at Inner Marsh Farm hide. Once again, the Mediterranean gulls have been showing nicely, both adults and juvenile alike…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 8 July

    Recent sightings

    A wealth of waders have decorated the reserve this week, with the breeding avocets gathering for migration, lapwings and redshank joined by south-bound black-tailed godwits, a couple of greenshank, single common and green sandpipers on Reception Pool, plus occasional ruff, little ringed plover, dunlin and snipe on the main scrape - all whetting the appetite for this year's Wirral Wader Festival, being held…

    • 12 Jul 2019
  • Another new face in the team

    You may have noticed a new face around the place in the past month or so, and sure enough we have another residential volunteer on site! Emma wrote this introductory blog about what she initially came here for and how she's evolved into our latest resi-vol:

    The end of my university semester saw me quickly move onto collecting data for my third year dissertation project which I had chosen to conduct here at Burton…

    • 4 Jul 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 17 June

    Recent sightings

    Well the weather has finally turned for the better! This, and the resulting receding water level has seen the return of the avocets to the Main Scrape along with lots of feeding black-tailed godwits, lapwings and redshanks. We are still seeing broods of shovelers and adorable tufted ducklings on Reception Pool.

     Avocets by Paul Jubb

    After last week's appearance of a fourth spoonbill, they mysteriously went…

    • 23 Jun 2019
  • Look a little closer with RSPB binoculars and telescopes

    Every keen birdwatcher needs a good pair of birdwatching binoculars. Whether you've just discovered a love for birding, or you've been a keen birder for years, we have a fantastic range of binoculars to suit everyone, even kids!

    Children are some of the most enthusiastic birders, so getting them their very own pair of binoculars is a great way of encouraging their interest in nature. Kid's binoculars can be…

    • 19 Jun 2019
  • New signs, same times

    As we’re just about to install some new signs on the reserve, we’d like to remind all visitors of Burton Mere Wetlands’ opening hours.

    Despite the new signs, opening times are the same as they have been since we opened in 2011; the site opens to visitors at 9am, with the visitor centre opening at 9.30am.

    Recently we have had an increasing number of visitors arriving before 9am and queuing outside the…

    • 13 Jun 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 27 May

    Recent sightings

    A changeable week of weather meant a lot less activity from our colourful winged insects, but the birds once again did not disappoint. The three spoonbills are still present, and have spent a lot of time on Bridge Pool offering good views from Marsh Covert hide and Bridge screen, but also still spending time in the treetops. One cattle egret was also on Bridge Pool for much of Wednesday, with another…

    • 30 May 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 20 May

    Recent sightings

    A mostly bright and sunny week for us here. Lots of beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies and even a bat was seen during the day over the meres. Common lizards surprising some visitor appearing inside the Bunker Hide. Some of the orchids are showing at the moment. The marsh orchid is flowering, and the spotted orchids are just showing some leaves as are the bee orchids.

     Marsh orchid by Roy …

    • 26 May 2019
  • A quintet of herons makes the Dee feel like the Med

    An incredible five different species of heron, some more commonly seen in the Mediterranean, have arrived at Burton Mere Wetlands this spring and are showing positive signs of breeding, which is very exciting! Here, our Site Manager, Graham Jones comments on this wonderful spectacle: 

    Burton Mere Wetlands is well-known for its grey heron and little egret breeding colonies, but this year, those two more regular types of…

    • 23 May 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 13 May

    Recent sightings

    Yet another fantastic week of wildlife! The wall brown butterfly has been showing well now on the reserve seen typically near the railway end but occasionally near the visitor centre. There have also been some azure and large red damselflies and four spot chaser dragonflies around the boardwalk pools and the garden ponds.

    On the main scrape we have had great views of three male garganey, wood sandpiper…

    • 18 May 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 29 April and 6 May

    Recent sightings

    The end of April and beginning of May brought characteristically unsettled spring weather, but a flurry of notable birds. Swifts and a hobby were first seen at the start of last week, with sightings throughout the first week of May.

    Marsh Covert hide was the best spot for passage waders, with spotted redshank, greenshank and common sandpiper on show, plus a couple of water voles in the ditch close to the…

    • 5 May 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 15 and 22 April

    Recent sightings

    We have a busy Easter weekend. Huge numbers of new visitors to the reserve. New and returning visitors have had some fantastic weather along with some fantastic wildlife.

    A few more species of butterfly to add to this year’s list like, small copper, holly blue and green hairstreak along with a bold stoat mother moving her kits from one den to another right in from of Marsh Covert Hide. Some lucky visitors…

    • 26 Apr 2019
  • Warden's Wanderings - My time at Woolston so far

    Hi all! I’m Dan, the new assistant warden at Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve in Warrington. I say new, but I’ve actually been here for about four months now…. Time flies when you’re having fun! So here’s a bit of a blog post to introduce myself and let you know what I have been up to.

    So, about me…

    I knew I wanted a career in conservation from quite early on, so I tried to get my foot…

    • 24 Apr 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 8 April

    Recent sightings

    A brilliant week with gorgeous weather has meant we have had lots of beautiful butterflies like red admiral, comma, peacock, small tortoiseshell, orange tip and brimstone along with the common lizard basking in the sunshine.

    From the visitor centre we have had up to nine Mediterranean gulls showing off on the scrape and the black-tailed godwits are looking very smart in their rusty summer plumage now…

    • 13 Apr 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 25 March

    Recent sightings

    Avocets continue to be the star attraction on the main scrape, but up to four Mediterranean gulls in amongst the vast numbers of black-headed gulls are great to see sticking around and will hopefully nest again. In addition to our resident little grebes, a pair of great crested grebes have taken up residence on Bridge Pool. A few pintails in exquisite breeding plumage are still clinging on to their wintering…

    • 1 Apr 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 11 March

    Recent Sightings

    A windy and at times wet week has reminded us spring hasn't fully arrived, and the presence of small numbers of siskins, redwings and a merlin have reinforced the sentiment. However, avocet numbers continue to build, up to around 80 this week, and up to eight spotted redshanks and an occasional ruff have teased us with the beginning of the wader migration.

     Spotted redshank with common redshank and…

    • 16 Mar 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 4 March

    Recent sightings 

    We're seeing increasing activity from the great egrets, being seen more on the wettest parts of the wet grassland area from the visitor centre and aroung the large ditch that is near the barn. The grey herons are still building in numbers, with regularly 30 plus have been on the banks of Bridge Pool, best seen from Marsh Covert Hide, and spending more time in the treetops in preparation for nesting…

    • 10 Mar 2019
  • Warden's wanderings: breeding beardies?

    Dee Estuary warden, Al gives an insight into one of our much-talked-about recent stars at Burton Mere Wetlands.

    What's that wigwam?

    Up to six bearded tits have decided to call Burton Mere Wetlands home since October, following a periodic "irruption" of them to various new parts of the UK. They have been hanging around the reedbed, often offering fantastic - if occasional - views to many patient visitors. We have…

    • 8 Mar 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 25 February

    Recent sightings

    The week started with an influx of avocets at Burton Mere Wetlands, with 48 counted on Monday and numbers remaining steady through the week, mainly preferring the main scrape and offering great views from the visitor centre. As well as sizeable flocks of lapwings and black-tailed godwits and small numbers of redshanks remaining, a single ruff has been intermittently on the main scrape whilst a green s…

    • 2 Mar 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 18 February

    Recent sightings

    What a spectacular week filled with lots of new wildlife. Yet more Avocets arrived, two mediterranean gull, red admiral butterfly, the common lizards have been soaking up the sunshine and more spotted redshank have been seen around Marsh Covert Hide. Our bearded tits are still being around, so fingers crossed they will be settled now and decide to breed here. Likewise the great egrets keep appearing…

    • 23 Feb 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 04 February

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis:

    Recent sightings

    A slightly milder week of weather has welcomed back lots of wildlife to the scrape. We’ve seen plenty of our regulars including black-tailed godwits, redshanks, dunlin and good numbers of curlew. Also, seven spotted redshank appeared on Friday afternoon. Around reception pool and on the scrape there’s been lots of ducks including shoveler, shelduck, wigeon…

    • 9 Feb 2019