• 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
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 14 January

    Recent sightings

    Even though the weather this week has continued to have brilliant sightings across the site. Out in front of the visitor centre there have been some great views of wildfowl including teal, shelduck, shoveler, wigeon, and the occasional pair of gadwall. On the edges of  Reception Pool visitors where given an up close and personal view of the elusive water rail as it wandered in and out of the rushes in…

    • 21 Jan 2019
  • 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
  • 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…

    • 1 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
  • 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