• Reserve round-up: week commencing 27 June

    Recent sightings

    With the daylight at its longest as we pass by the summer solstice, the reserve is open late into the evening to enjoy all the wonderful summer sights and sounds around us. Orchids are a highlight of June, there’s been an abundance of southern marsh orchids, a few spotted orchids and only a couple of bee orchids this year. The Farmland Trail has been a good spot to find them and our volunteer Tom got…

    • 29 Jun 2022
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 6 June

    Recent Sightings

    As we reach June and the beginning of summer, the excitement of the spring migration may wane but the reserve still offers a wide range of wildlife to enjoy when visiting.

    Avocets are one of the reserve's star breeding birds, with over seventy pairs recorded nesting across Burton Mere Wetlands this year and several half-grown chicks now readily watched from the comfort of the visitor centre, or equally…

    • 8 Jun 2022
  • Have a Big Picnic this half term and bank holiday weekend

    This half term and Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, we're holding a Big Picnic event and everyone is invited!

    As part of the celebrations, families can get involved in having a Big Picnic at the reserve – whether bringing your own or purchasing from our visitor centre, we want to encourage sustainable picnic options for the whole family – to have fun outdoors together and help the environment. Other fun activities…

    • 26 May 2022
  • Reserve round up: week commencing 9 May

    Recent sightings

    A real wet start to May, after barely any rain at all in April; on Sunday 1 May we had our Dawn Chorus event and it rained! Thankfully it wasn’t too bad, and the event was great with a fantastic array of species being heard including grasshopper, sedge and reed warblers, whitethroat and the smallest bird in the UK, the goldcrest. Let’s hope the rain doesn’t persist throughout the breeding season…

    • 11 May 2022
  • Reserve round up: week commencing 18 April

    Recent sightings

    The reserve is literally bubbling with life at the moment! Particularly with the little egrets making their fantastically strange breeding calls up in the woods opposite our Marsh Covert hide where they are making nests alongside the grey herons. Great egret and cattle egret have been seen in breeding plumage, so hopefully they will have a successful breeding season again this year. This time last year…

    • 23 Apr 2022
  • Neston Reedbed fire: the view from the ground

    Heartbroken. Angry. Rueful. Just three of the many emotions coursing through my body and brain since Saturday evening.

    Heartbroken for the marsh harrier pair that had started nest building just days before the fire, now flying around aimlessly and confused by the dramatic change in appearance of their home.

    Angry that for the third time in my eleven years working here, I’ve witnessed this precious wild habitat going up…

    • 24 Mar 2022
  • Reserve round up: week commencing 14 March

    Posted on behalf of Fiona Wistow 

    Recent sightings 

    We are now halfway through March and it is definitely spring-like at Burton Mere Wetlands. Warmer weather and lengthening days, with the spring equinox this Sunday, accompany the spring migrants’ return. Chiffchaffs are making their arrival known, ‘chiffchaffing’ around the reserve, wheatears were spotted in the fields behind the car park and Burton Point…

    • 19 Mar 2022
  • Reserve round-up: Week commencing 21 February

    Recent sightings 

    February has continued to be a wild month for us! We’ve been enduring the gusts and gales of the three storms which blew our way last weekend, once again leaving us with fallen trees, a power cut and also epic surge tides on the estuary...

    • 24 Feb 2022
  • Celebrating 10 years of RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

    As part of RSPB England's #WinterWetlands series, communications officer Richard Morris looks back over a decade of Burton Mere Wetlands in this guest blog.

    Last September we were thrilled to mark 10 years since RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands officially opened its doors, evolving from the site formerly known as Inner Marsh Farm to serve as the heart of the sprawling RSPB Dee Estuary reserve. Over the past decade the site…

    • 13 Feb 2022
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 7 February

    Recent Sightings

    After January's fair weather, February has started in stark contrast, with almost ten days of wild weather including some severe gales as well as some heavy rain showers. Nevertheless, there remains plenty to see across the Dee Estuary as we approach the end of winter and enjoy the rapidly lengthening days.

    Recent rain has caused the water levels to rise on most of Burton Mere Wetlands' pools, meaning…

    • 9 Feb 2022
  • Reserve round-up: January 2022

    Recent Sightings

    The year has gotten off to a marvellous start, with some tremendous sightings and our first few events of the year have gone down a treat. We are still welcoming back some of our regular visitors that haven’t visited since 2019 and we are equally delighted to still see brand new faces each week.  

    Most mornings the main scrape can be a great place to start your visit with all manner of wader and…

    • 21 Jan 2022
  • Denhall Quay: What's owl the fuss about?

    As we regularly talk about, our Dee Estuary reserve is vast, covering more than 6500 hectares of tidal habitats stretching 14 miles along the Welsh shore from Oakenholt to Talacre, and six miles on the English side from Burton to Gayton. However, apart from the three recognised sites of Burton Mere Wetlands, Parkgate and Point of Ayr, the rest of the reserve is a mystery to many, with little signage or interpretation…

    • 12 Jan 2022
  • 2021: a year to remember

    The turn of the year is often a time for reflection, and 2021 will certainly live long in the memory whether we like it or not. Due to various impacts of the pandemic, it’s inevitable that some of you visited us less frequently than usual, or perhaps not even at all, meaning there’s a good chance you may have missed some of what was a very busy, and successful year at the Dee Estuary reserve. Despite the obvious…

    • 16 Dec 2021
  • Reserve round-up: week commencing 29 November

    Recent Sightings

    Winter well and truly arrived with the first frosts of the season last week followed by the devastation of Storm Arwen at the weekend which left us with significant tree damage and no electricity for three days!

    No doubt the birds took a battering too, but as we reach December the vast majority of our over-wintering wildfowl and waders will be back on the estuary now, with a wide range to be enjoyed on…

    • 2 Dec 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

     (Credit: Aardman/Netflix)

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Burton Mere Wetlands this Christmas season…

    • 14 Nov 2021
  • Reserve round-up; week commencing 1 November

    Recent sightings

    Autumn is well and truly upon us. The gorgeous hues of yellow, orange and red have swept across the landscape now and the seasonal change in wildlife is very noticeable.

    The last few weeks we have continued to see small flocks of whooper swan every other day, normally seen from the visitor centre heading across the main scrape towards the Border hide. Occasionally and not often enough these days, we can…

    • 4 Nov 2021
  • 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