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 like pintail ,wigeon, gadwall, tufted duck, teal, shoveler, shelduck. black-tailed godwit, lapwing, redshank, curlew, snipe, dunlin and cattle egret.
Lapwing, dunlin and redshank by Lynne Greenstreet
A good number of woodcock are being seen by the warden team on their night time surveys over the reserve. The raptors have been as always been great this week. Brilliant views of marsh harrier and male hen harrier over the main scrape. Then peregrine, sparrowhawk, merlin and kestrel all been quite active across the scrape too.
The railway bridge, crop fields and scrub around that area are still wonderful areas to see linnet, bullfinch, goldcrest, siskin, stonechat, and reed bunting. On Thursday a good flock of siskin were seen along with the greenfinch and one hare near bunker hide feeders. Yet another reason if you haven’t yet seen our new roof on the hide or don’t tend to go that end of the reserve to pop along and see what you may find.
Siskin by Lynne Greenstreet
The visitor center feeders are always full of life and there are plenty of beautiful garden birds you may recognise like goldfinch, coal tit, blue tit, great tit, robin, blackbird, chaffinch and tong-tailed tit and more uncommon birds like great spotted woodpecker and nuthatch.
Nuthatch by Elizabeth Maddock
Star sighting for the week were the nine great egrets seen on Burton Mere Wetlands. With five on the wet grassland area seen from the visitor center and four on bridge pool. They stayed all day due to the high winds we experienced on Sunday. Just goes to show never let the weather put you off a visit as you just never know what will turn up.
Great egret by Micheal Cram
Assistant warden Liz and her team of volunteers have had a well-deserved rest this week but it doesn’t mean the work stops, as Warden Al has been working hard cutting back reed and rush off the back of the scrape area taking advantage of this frozen land so he could get the tractor out there. Al also had a great low water count on the Mersey this week with good bird numbers.
The February family quiz trail ‘Nestboxes Trail’ is out for all the family to learn and get inspired. We are nearing that time of year when migratory species start to move back in, birds start to pair up and think about where to have their newest family home. So come down and have a go with the whole family see if you can learn something new this feb.
Parkgate events can be found at rspb.org.uk/parkgate, including the next Raptorwatch on Sunday 10 February and the next Tidewatch on Wednesday 20, Thursday 21, and Friday 22 February.
The next event to be held at Burton Mere Wetlands will be Nature Photography Workshop on Friday 15 February. Full details for more events and guided walks can be found at rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands with bookings made via Eventbrite.
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