• reserve round-up: week commencing 10 June

    Recent sightings

    With heavy downpours this past week most of the pools and some paths had become flooded, however for many intrepid visitors who braved the weather there was still plenty to see. A new spoonbill has joined the group, bringing the group up to four individuals this week. The spoonbills are still hanging around the pools at mash covert hide and the bridge screen. Over in marsh covert woods the cattle eg…

    • 16 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
  • a bird in the hand...

    Earlier this year, the reserve was approached by nearby Leahurst College about the possibility of hosting a bird ringing demonstration for a group of their students. The reserve team having agreed, I relished the opportunity to get a taste of a whole new experience, and in preparation for this I was tasked with filling the feeders in the back garden to attract some birds a few weeks in advance.

    The feeders hadn’t been…

    • 22 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
  • My journey so far!

    Well, I’ve been here for just over four months now and I’m still loving it!! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. It feels like just yesterday I was starting my first day, but as I was looking back over my time here in preparation for this blog I’ve realised just how much I’ve learned and achieved in such a short amount of time. 

    So, where to begin? On the warden side of the placement…

    • 11 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 1 April

    Recent sightings  

    The scrape is still bustling with activity, with over 115 avocets pairing up for the breeding season. Black-tailed godwits are starting to change into their wonderful breeding colors, other waders include ruffs, oystercatchers, lapwings and redshank. In amongst the black headed gulls the Mediterranean gulls are still displaying. Marsh harriers have become an uncommon visitor only stopping by for a quick…

    • 5 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 18 March

    Recent sightings

    Even though the sun has been out the wind has still been bitterly cold, but that’s not stopped the wildlife this week. On the scrape the Avocets are still rising in number, with well over 110 at the moment, along with redshanks, lapwings and black-tailed godwits and over at marsh covert hide eight spotted redshanks are still around hanging around. Also on the scrape there has been the two mediterranean…

    • 24 Mar 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 11 February

    Recent sightings

    This week’s sightings have been filled with spectacular wildlife, including plenty of Great white egrets being seen from Burton Point and occasionally the wet grassland and 2 Egyptian geese have been spotted mixed in with the flock of mute swans in the far field. Kingfisher have also been spotted from the reed bed screen along with cetti’s warblers and the elusive bearded tits. On the main scrape…

    • 14 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
  • Warden’s Wanderings- My first five months as assistant warden.

    Hello! Let me start by introducing myself; I’m Liz and I’ve been working at the Dee Estuary reserve for five months now, and it’s been brilliant.

    So where have I come from?

    I’ve always known I wanted to have a career of some form in conservation. However it wasn’t until I joined the Aberystwyth conservation volunteers at university, that I realised my true passion was practical conservation and protecting…

    • 4 Feb 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 28 January

    Recent sightings

    A week with ever changing weather has meant we have been looking out for the more hidden, shy and secretive birds like water rail, from the visitor center and the reedbed screen, cettis warbler and bearded tit from reedbed screen, kingfisher near burton mere loop and green woodpecker on top of burton point. Marsh covert hide, the bridge screen and the scrape have had fantastic views of the ducks and waders…

    • 1 Feb 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 21 January

    Posted on behalf of residential volunteer Jake Phillips:

    Recent sightings

    Marsh harriers have been showing well in the mornings with other raptors including kestrel, merlin, peregrine and buzzard hunting over the wet grassland through the day. On the main scrape there are a collection of ducks comprising of shelduck, teal, wigeon, gadwall and shoveler. A flock of 50 curlews have also been seen feeding on the scrape…

    • 25 Jan 2019