Neston: A Winter Delight

  • Following text is an extract from my Facebook account.

An utterly unforgettable day out along the Dee estuary marshes…

Having the spent the early hours of the morning rambling through the woods at Bidston Hill searching for Eurasian Woodcock, I took Luke on a surprise visit to the Dee Marshes.
Arriving at Neston Quay for 10am the pair of use literally turned back the clocks to being 5 year olds, playing around in the snow and lobbing snow balls at one another. We soon discovered that not bringing gloves wasn’t the best idea
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Along the marsh from Neston to Burton bird wise, very little about besides your standard waders & waterfowl: Pink-footed Goose, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Redshank and of course the winter thrush’s Fieldfare and Redwing. However, whilst walking along the path I picked up a distant female Western Marsh Harrier, gliding in snow so why not take the opportunity to photograph? Whilst this was happening I noticed a bird come in from the background, my jolly lord it was a Short-eared Owl, a lifer for Mr Anderson!
Shortie after WMH_edited-1
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) & Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
The action died down as we approached RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands with Whooper Swans, Eurasian Teal, Common Kestrel and Common Snipe on show and as the reserve was due to close early we soon hit the road back to Neston.
Out with a pal
Myself and Luke

Having a good old chat as best friends do, we came to a stand still when a Short-eared Owl (most like our original bird) rose back up from the snowy undergrowth. This put the pair of us in a frantic panic to get our equipment out whilst racing over to the viewing platform just up the road.

Sontechat in snow_edited-1
European Stonechat (Saxicola Rubicola)
Unfortunately we lost the bird, but nothing could have prepared us for when one of the wintering adult male Hen Harriers made a flyby. It just doesn’t get any better!!!
snowy harrier_edited-1
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
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