• New year, new 'resi-vol'

    With the turn of the year, we welcomed our latest residential volunteer - affectionately known as 'resi-vols' - to the Dee team. Here's Jake's first impressions of the reserve he'll be calling home for the next three months. Check back for his ongoing updates through the coming weeks.

    The start of a new year brings with it a plethora of new opportunities and experiences. For me this past week I have…

    • 17 Jan 2019
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 8 January

    Recent sightings

    It was yet another wonderful week filled with some spectacular wildlife. The raptors have been entertaining us over the main scrape. The marsh harrier, peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel, merlin, hen harrier (ringtail) and even a red kite all made an appearance.

    The bearded tits have still been showing well from the reedbed screen, it just needs plenty of persistence. Marsh Covert Hide and Bridge Screen…

    • 15 Jan 2019
  • TTFN - Ta Ta for now!

    This last month I have continued to support the visitor operations here at Burton Mere Wetlands. It’s been great welcoming guests to the reserve and being able to talk about this wonderful place I’ve got to know over the past eight months.

    In November, I accompanied Liz the assistant warden along with a group of our volunteers over at the Point of Ayr. We went to support the land management team from the…

    • 19 Dec 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 10 December

    Recent sightings

    It’s been a busy week in front of the visitor centre as the work continues for the extension of the electric fence. Despite the recent work and the birds moving off the main scrape the reserve as a whole has still had some fantastic wildlife, in particular the raptors. The marsh harrier, peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel, merlin and hen harrier (ringtail) have all been showing exceptionally well from…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 3 December

    Recent Sightings

    A week of stormy weather meant sightings were somewhat less extensive than usual, with generally fewer people visiting Burton Mere Wetlands. Still vast flocks of lapwings, but up to 40 curlews have been a nice addition alongside the usual black-tailed godwits, whilst a single spotted redshank was seen a couple of times around the reserve, and snipe were regularly exposed on muddy edges.

    A peak of four…

    • 9 Dec 2018
  • A volunteer blog for the festive season

    The Christmas robin is out in front of the visitor center, the tree is up and almost the first half of the month has passed signalling a countdown to the last of 2018 with the heavy twinkling of lights on the industrial horizon here holding the tone of the season in their own way. Winter skies fleck with the brightest of stars able to penetrate the light pollution as I walk back late from Neston some nights. Christmas…

    • 5 Dec 2018
  • Why birders have got it all right

    New Year often inspires people to start a new hobby, so what better time to take a closer look at one of the main activities people visit the Dee Estuary reserve for; birdwatching.


    Yes, I understand. To the outside world, the concept of birdwatching is often-maligned and looked upon as a bit, well not very cool really.

    "Isn't it a bit like train spotting?"

    "Don't you just run off…

    • 29 Nov 2018
  • Reserve round-up week commencing 26 November

    Recent sightings

    We continue to have several hundred lapwings gathering in groups swirling around over the reserve, along with growing numbers of teal, wigeon, shoveler and this week a small number of pintail dotted around the pools. There’s been good numbers of snipe especially on the main scrape and groups of curlew dropping in to feed.

    The estuary's wintering raptors are taking advantage, with up to two peregrines…

    • 28 Nov 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 19 November

    Recent sightings

    Several hundred lapwing take to the air shoaling and reforming. Amongst them a scattering of dunlin form a small silver ball against the shades of a winter sky, smeared clouds thick and heavy, the sun's light streaked into a faint gold on the horizon. Away to the east from Inner Marsh Farm hide is a good place to look for golden plovers, groups of curlew, from black-tailed godwits  and pintail. On a…

    • 26 Nov 2018
  • Moth madness and other fun.

    The middle of October saw my original placement coming to an end and my new placement just focusing on the visitor operations starting.

    Assistant warden Liz, previous residential volunteer Gwen and I started the big job of sorting out the tool store. We focused our efforts at the front around the work bench area to get it organised and to have all the tools in set places to make it more efficient and tidy. It was satisfying…

    • 21 Nov 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 12 November

    Posted on behalf of Steven Williams.

    As the reserve sets into late autumnal scenes, cold damp nights recede into misty mornings with the crunch of leaves underfoot and the reserves wildlife has responded with more coots arriving and almost daily sightings of hunting peregrines. Small groups of people are gathering at points along the Neston saltmarsh in the hope of catching a glimpse of a hunting owl during late afternoon…

    • 18 Nov 2018
  • Weekly roundup: week of the 7 November

    Recent sightings

    Feeling very autumnal here with glorious golden leaves shining, we continue to be treated to several thousand pink footed geese filling our skies coming into roost here on the reserve. The daily spectacles from raptors such as marsh harrier, kestrel, sparrowhawk, peregrine and hen harriers flying over the reedbed and wet grassland giving our visitors some amazing views.

    Still lots of wonderful waders…

    • 7 Nov 2018
  • In between days: another volunteer blog.

    My name is Steven Williams. I have returned from bonnie Scotland, where I have experienced the might of the Cairngorm’s in all its changing seasons but the depths of winter, to ensconce myself as a residential volunteer at Burton Mere; That feathered edged no mans land at the fringe of Northern England a stones throw from Wales and the boarder lands of Cheshire and the Wirral where it appears that every one in four people…

    • 5 Nov 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week of the 1 November

    In the last week, with temperatures dropping, the skeins of geese coming into roost at dusk have been amazing with several thousand pink footed geese using the fields surrounding the reserve. Birds of prey including peregrine, marsh harriers and kestrel have been sighted almost daily. There are at least two silver male hen harriers and three ringtails on the saltmarsh, with ringtails regularly being reported at Burton…

    • 1 Nov 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 22 October

    Recent sightings

    Well the reserve has had a fantastic show of wildlife this week. With a new bird for Burton Mere Wetlands...see the star sightings below to find out what!

    On 21 Sunday we had a pink-footed goose roost count over the whole marsh with a count of 4500, great numbers for this time of the year. The duck numbers and species continue to grow with 900 pintail regularly being seen on the bridge pool, along with…

    • 31 Oct 2018
  • The adventure continues...

    My six months placement draws to an end however, I’ve been given an extension to stay for an extra couple of months to focus on the visitor operations side here at Burton Mere Wetlands. Which is great!

    At August bank holiday I accompanied Katy, the Dee’s very own Membership Development Officer, on an offsite event at Hoylake for the RNLI open day. We pitched up our spot on the front on a very blustery morning,…

    • 24 Oct 2018
  • Road closure

    Road closure notice for the next 3 to 5 days for drainage investigation. 

    The road closed is The village. Access to the reserve is via the A540 chester high road or access from Neston.   

    • 24 Oct 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 15 October

    Recent sightings

    The views from reception hide have had some great autumn visitors recently with kingfisher, spoonbill, whooper swans, floods of pink-footed geese, marsh harrier, peregrine, sparrowhawk, merlin, kestrel and hen harrier that has been showing really well across the site and up close and personal in front of reception hide.

    Inner Marsh Farm and Marsh covert hide have both had a good share of the waders this week…

    • 20 Oct 2018
  • My last few weeks as a residential volunteer...

    My six month placement at the Dee has come to an end, but the last few weeks have been really fun!

    We went to Woolston Eyes once more to help assistant warden Ash with reed cutting and clearing (and got very muddy). We've also done some significant willow cutting at Burton Mere Wetlands, beneath the viewpoint beside the sacrificial crop field on the Farm and Fen trail. This served to open up the impressive view over…

    • 17 Oct 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 8 October

    Recent sightings

    Inner Marsh Farm remains excellent for waders still this week, black-tailed godwits, lapwing, ruff, a count of 58 golden plover, spotted redshank, redshank, dunlin, ringed plover, green sandpiper and the curlew sandpipers still being seen every day. One day this week we had a count of 600+ pintail on Bridge Pool. This week all three types of egret have been seen around Burton Mere Wetlands, with cattle…

    • 15 Oct 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 1 October

    Recent sightings
    Inner Marsh Farm hide remains the place to be this week with lots of exciting waders around; up to seven curlew sandpipers, over 50 golden plover, ruff, dunlin, lapwing, black-tailed godwit, five green sandpipers and plentiful snipe. One day we were lucky enough to have all three egrets together (cattle egret, great white egret and  little egret) at in front of the hide.

    Curlew sandpiper (Anthony Lovatt)

    • 8 Oct 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 24 September

    Recent sightings

    As September draws to an end there is that feel of Autumn in the air here on the reserve. Despite the cooler mornings, the sightings have not disappointed. There have been some great sightings this past week, cracking views of some of our raptors including marsh harrier, peregrine, and still a late hobby! Close to being this week's star sighting was a young male hen harrier, giving fantastic views…

    • 3 Oct 2018
  • Ragwort, strimming, spoonbills and spotted crake

    August went by like a whirlwind. The month started with ragwort pulling out on the main scrape. Ragwort is a native plant but is poisonous to livestock, mostly horses but also cattle. The cattle usually avoid it when it is still alive and growing however once it dies and dries out the cattle may eat it as it is mixed in with the surrounding grass. Ragwort is also an 'injurious weed' so if you have it on your land you…

    • 23 Sep 2018
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 17 September

    Recent sightings
    The spotted crake was still around at the beginning of the week but has now not been seen since Monday. The windy weather started on Tuesday which might have caused the spotted crake to stay sheltered in the reeds. The rain we have had has also meant the reception pool is much fuller and there are less areas of exposed mud which would also deter the spotted crake from coming out.

    The reserve had to…

    • 22 Sep 2018
  • Burton Mere Wetlands back open (20 September)

    Hi folks, 

    We've cleared the paths of storm debris, so are delighted to say we're back open! Come on down to see what the storm might have blown in....

    See you soon!

    • 20 Sep 2018