Today a 9.8m tide covered the Dee estuary marshes, I situated myself up at Burton Marsh two hours before the tide was timed to strike to walk out onto the outer marsh and see what would be amongst the hordes of roosting waders & waterfowl.
Masses of birds were heading north up the river mouth, not south as you’d expect which showed when I walked to Burton mere later that day. A good mile out on the marsh and little was about, Eurasian Curlews and Common Redshanks were seeking refugee on what little raised ground was about and numbered at least 70:200 with most surprisingly a single Whimbrel picked up on call heading west. Passerines were in good supply with a good movement of Common Skylark, Redwing, Fieldfare, Grey Wagtail about with highlights being 3 Water Pipit flushed alongside 2 Jack Snipe.
Meanwhile off of Burton Point the distant wintering swan flock consisted of 12 Whooper, 23 Mute and the counties first Tundra Swan of the year; couldn’t manage any shots of the Tundra but having come across the species many time before it’s size and structure was spot on and stood out like a sore thumb when it came out.
Moving back round and heading up towards the mainland one of the Dee’s many Great Egrets flew in close onto one of the pools where it aloud some obliging enough views for a few decent record shots.
Over onto Burton Mere Wetlands the reserve was overall quiet with no sign of any large flocks of Pink-feet as you’d expect on a high tide, nor were there any large wader flocks, in fact no large flocks at all. Marsh Covert provided good views of a Common Kingfisher whilst on the main scrapes I was on fire with Meditterian Gull, Common Greenshank and Goosander all picked up within seconds of one another!
IMF was the final stop point of the day to take a few shots of the Western Cattle Egrets which have taken up residency on the reserve having bred during the summer; Burton Mere the new Ham Wall would you say ? Two were present on my trip and since then a third individual has appeared – having spoken a member of the county rarities committee then it looks it won’t be long till this once vagrant species sees itself removed from the description list.