• Reserve round up; week commencing 18 October

     Autumn colours at Burton Mere Wetlands (Paul Jubb)

    Recent Sightings

    Autumn has made its arrival with leaves tumbling down off the trees, lining the paths with wonderful seasonal colours. A few cold snaps and blustery days have encouraged us to light the visitor centre fire and with Halloween around the corner we’ve introduced some seasonal snacks and activities.

    Winter wildlife is also beginning to arrive back…

    • 20 Oct 2021
  • Reserve round-up; week commencing 27 September

    Recent sightings

    It’s been a few weeks since our last round-up blog and there has been quite a bit of excitement across the reserve, from a first record ever at Burton Mere Wetlands to an almost record number of great egrets. We have welcomed some brand new visitors over the 10 year anniversary weekend, and they have given us some wonderful feedback on the reserve, the volunteers, and the other visitors. We are so pleased…

    • 30 Sep 2021
  • Ten years of Burton Mere Wetlands: where did the time go?

    It's only a couple of years since our last major milestone, as we celebrated 40 years since the foundation of the RSPB Dee Estuary reserve with the acquisition of precious tidal habitats at Parkgate in 1979. It's hard to believe that Burton Mere Wetlands, the much-loved heart of the vast reserve, clocks up its first decade this week.

     Burton Mere Wetlands' visitor centre in 2011 (RSPB Dee Estuary)

    Whilst for…

    • 22 Sep 2021
  • Reserve round-up; week commencing 16 August

    Recent sightings

    Well, the recent drop in temperature and the change in wildlife certainly feels like autumn is just around the corner. This only means new and exciting wildlife around the corner too!

    In the last couple of weeks, we have had a nice mix of waders turning up, all viewed from the recently reopened visitor centre or Bunker hide looking at the Scrape and from Border hide on Centenary Pool. The wonderful usual…

    • 19 Aug 2021
  • Reserve round-up; week commencing 26 July

    Recent sightings

    It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for both weather and sightings, with the scorching hot days followed with stormy conditions making venturing out onto the reserve quite challenging at times! Those who have come to visit have been rewarded with some great sightings and there are plenty of changes to the birds we are seeing showing signs the seasons are once again changing.  

    Migrating sandpipers…

    • 29 Jul 2021
  • July access update: visitor centre reopens

    With the end of Government restrictions on Monday 19 July, we're delighted to take the final step in reopening the reserve facilities by allowing visitors to enjoy the unique views from our visitor centre.

    There's a slightly different look and feel to the room than before the pandemic in order to keep everyone safe, with visitors using one side door to enter and the other side door to exit, and for comfortable…

    • 19 Jul 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 12 July

    Recent Sightings

    What a fantastic month it’s been since our last reserve round-up blog. We have had some great fledgling numbers from the breeding season and in particular our waders did better than expected after the initial unfavourable weather of the cold, dry April and wet May.  Lapwings had around ninety pairs with between 40 and 50 chicks fledged, whilst redshank and avocet had better years with around seventy…

    • 14 Jul 2021
  • Get ready for a Big Wild Summer

    Somehow it's July already, we're well past the longest day and breeding season is drawing to a close for most of our birds, from the exotic avocets to the everyday blue tits. In fact, the majority of our avocets have gone, heading south on their autumn migration already!

    However, for most of us, we're just getting into the swing of summer and we hope to welcome plenty of you to enjoy a season of (hopefully…

    • 5 Jul 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 14 June

    After a soggy May, we’ve welcomed in June with wonderful sunshine and the reserve is bursting with swathes of lush green vegetation. The scrape is busy with avocet chicks quickly growing and feeding on the muddy edges of the islands, along with plenty of black-headed gull chicks and a few ducklings; shoveler, teal, tufted duck, gadwall and shelduck are also busy feeding, along with black-tailed godwits and occasional…

    • 10 Jun 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 17 May

    Recent sightings

    What a wild couple of weeks we have had weather-wise! Huge amounts of rain have really tested the warden team with their closely managed water levels. Sleepless nights worrying if the nesting birds around the islands would make it overnight or be washed out by the next morning. It is the finest of margins trying to way up how much it will rain vs letting out too much water and risk the muddy edges drying…

    • 29 May 2021
  • Hides are open and sandwiches return

    After months of having to keep our hides closed to visitors, the changes in Government guidance that came into effect on Monday 17 May mean we’re delighted to have reopened our three hides this week.

    Not only is this good news to have some shelter from the erratic spring weather we’ve been having lately, it also allowed the delayed, much-anticipated opening of the new Border hide that was finished way back in November…

    • 19 May 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 10 May

    Recent Sightings

    With the height of spring here, the reserve feels at its best with bluebells in full bloom, avocet chicks hatching and lots of warblers singing. The weather has been keeping us on our toes with regular changes of blustery rain showers to glorious sunshine.

     Bluebells in full bloom - Elizabeth Maddock 

    We’re all watching excitedly out to the scrape and wet grassland, monitoring the nesting avocets

    • 11 May 2021
  • Early birding around Burton

    Despite the traditional bank holiday weekend blip, we’ve enjoyed some unseasonably dry weather so far this spring. That’s not such good news for managing a wet grassland site like Burton Mere Wetlands for breeding waders, but it’s presented many lovely, bright mornings perfect for getting out for some early morning birdwatching.

    Whilst Burton Mere Wetlands is very much the focal point of this reserve…

    • 3 May 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 19 April

    Recent sightings

    The reserve is just absolutely buzzing with wildlife right now. Every day we get reports of stoats across the reserve and water vole sightings have increased too. With this gorgeously warmer weather, we have had at least eight species of butterfly now.

    Out on the main scrape, it’s a hive of activity and full of drama. From the fantastically noisy black-headed gulls squabbling between each other to…

    • 22 Apr 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 5 April

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    There’s been plenty to keep us busy at the reserve over the last few weeks! We’ve been welcoming back our spring birds, replacing Bridge screen and relaunching our visitor welcome along with lots of essential jobs to complete. Sand martins, house martins and swallows have returned, coming into view on more overcast days over The Mere and pools. Chiffchaffs

    • 8 Apr 2021
  • Easter access update

     Marsh marigold (Paul Jubb)

    Easter is here, and despite the chilly temperatures there are sights and sounds of spring all around. With the easing of the Government's lockdown restrictions, we have been able to gradually reopen facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands through the second half of March.

    We were fortunate enough to keep the reserve open through lockdown as a place for local exercise; this is now extended to…

    • 3 Apr 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 15 March

    Recent sightings

    This is a great time of year, with the reserve just bursting at the seams with wildlife. The team have been spotting the new spring arrivals, trying to catch the last glimpse of our winter birds and watching out for those birds migrating through. Not to mention weasels playing on the boardwalk, water voles balancing on piles of cut reeds, toads strutting across the paths and some interesting signs of otter…

    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Reserve round-up: February 2021

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    We’ve seen February off with some bright skies and the feeling that spring has sprung! The reserve is transforming with spring scenes and sounds all around; songs from our well-known songbirds are gradually strengthening, declaring their territories and courtship beginning.  Buzzards are back circling their breeding sites over the woodlands, whilst lapwings and r…

    • 3 Mar 2021
  • Spring Sprucing and Hope on the Horizon

    As spring approaches, it is only natural for us to think about new beginnings. After one of the most challenging years most of us have ever endured, the thought of fresh starts serves well to lift our collective spirits, and the Government's roadmap out of lockdown this week tells us we should be able to get outside more and enjoy most of the forthcoming season.

    It’s certainly no secret that nature has played a huge…

    • 12 Feb 2021
  • The Parkgate High Tide Phenomenon

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    This time of year, our famed high tide watches at Parkgate Old Baths would usually be in full swing, with some of the best wildlife spectacles the Dee Estuary has to offer. Hosting these events is one of my favourite parts of working in the Dee Estuary reserve’s visitor experience team, sharing with the public the history, science and wildlife that makes the estuary so special.

    • 12 Feb 2021
  • Early signs of spring

    Early signs of spring!

    Winter can be a spectacular time of year with its stunning frozen sceneries and the sheer masses of wildfowl we get, yet I still find spring to be my favourite time of the year. With the days already longer and little glimmers of hope appearing on brighter, warmer days, new life is emerging all around us.

    Now I know it may seem a bit early to be talking about spring with the cold wet weather we…

    • 5 Feb 2021
  • Temporary East Bank viewpoint to close for bird breeding season

    With the long slog of January over, February marks the last month of winter and increasing daylight sparks some early signs of spring. With that in mind, our focus turns to the impending bird breeding season, and doing everything in our gift to help the reserve’s priority wildlife have its most successful season possible.

    Since the reserve is currently open only for local exercise, it is markedly quiet compared…

    • 2 Feb 2021
  • Reserve round-up: January 2021

    Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis

    Recent sightings

    January has greeted us with frosty mornings, gorgeous sunsets and plenty of rain! Other than the weather, the start to 2021 has been very different to any other new year, with the need to stay at home once again. We’ve been fortunate enough to keep the reserve open during this lockdown as somewhere for people who live locally to take their permitted daily exercise and…

    • 29 Jan 2021
  • The Wonder of WeBS

    My blog this week is a little insight into something called WeBS. Nope, not the amazing creations that spiders build to catch their prey, but the Wetland Bird Survey.

    Carrying on a tradition that began in 1947, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) is nationally synchronised across the UK and co-ordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The key project partners that are involved along with the RSPB are The Wildfowl…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • Burton Mere Wetlands remains open during third lockdown

    In line with Government guidance on essential, daily exercise outdoors, during the third lockdown, Burton Mere Wetlands' car park, trails and toilets remain open for local, essential exercise only. Our visitor centre, hides, refreshments and mail-order shop will be closed for the duration of this lockdown. We are also not running events.

    Please follow all current Government guidance around social distancing, who you…

    • 7 Jan 2021