RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands
On our way home from Wales, we called off at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands which is located off the A540 a few miles south west of Ellesmere Port, near Liverpool. This reserve is noted for being very good for wading birds and it did not disappoint.
As it was approaching midday we decided to have the sandwiches we had brought with us at the visitor centre, which doubles as hide looking out onto the scrape.
From the visitor centre we were able to see Avocets, Black Tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Black Headed Gulls, Lapwings, Canada Geese and Mediterranean Gulls.
Once we had finished lunch we headed off north west along the Burton Mere trail. On here we spotted a few Mallards and a Blue Tit parent with a few of its fledged youngsters being fed in a tree.
From here we moved onto the Reedbed trail, where we first stopped at the Reedbed screen and spotted Tufted Ducks and a lone Great Crested Grebe. When we were at the visitor centre we were told that they have nesting Grey Herons, Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets, 3 Great White Egrets could also be spotted around the reserve.
Just before the end of the Reedbed trail, and the entrance to the Marsh Covert hide, there is an area of trees where the Little Egrets, Grey Herons & Cattle Egrets breed at the top of the trees. We stopped to see if we could see them and we were able to see a couple of Grey Herons and 7 or 8 Little Egrets on their nests at the top of some conifer trees, but the rarer Cattle Egret could not be spotted.
We headed into the Marsh Covert hide as the rain started to come down, from there we saw several Black Tailed Godwits, Redshanks and 2 Little Ringed Plovers as well as a pair of juvenile Pied Wagtails. From there we made are along the Farm & Fen trail which takes you away from the grassland & pools momentarily. Along this path we spotted a Sedge Warbler and also a Crow preched on a stone wall before we turned south along the Inner Marsh Farm trail to the final hide.
On the path to the Inner Marsh Farm hide we saw a Robin and several Black Headed Gulls flying overhead. From the hide there were several different birds such as Black Headed Gulls, Shelducks, Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls, Mallards, Avocets and a couple of Oystercatchers with their chicks.
From this hide you could also see at least 20 Little Egrets nesting at the tops of the trees in the distance. I packed my camera away as the rain had got heavier and we started to head back to the visitor centre. During our journey back we saw another Sedge Warbler as well as a Jay and a further Grey Heron, as we reached the visitor centre there was a couple of Jackdaws hanging around the feeders. We also saw a pair of Swallows and some rare wild flowers called Bee Orchids, which we later found growing in our own garden!