Monday, 19 November 2012

Owls, Harriers and waders at roost. A day on the Dee Estuary

Clams down to two but undeterred off we went, Olly Clam and I, Captain determined to find our own.
Soon arrived at Red Rocks with not a cloud in the sky and just a light westerly wind, hardly a breath really but enough to give a chill to the face.
Now Olly Clam hadn't been here for over 20 years and the last time he, a mere spring chicken of a lad [you should see his legs!] and I had walked out to Hilbre with Alex Barter, sadly missed and two other lads whose names I can't remember.
We decided to do the same and set off across the sands only to be blocked from the islands by Olly's lack of wellies.
Whilst Olly was looking for a way over a creek, I took photos of the sand. It's amazing how nature repeats itself at vastly different scales. With imagination one could be looking down on landscape structures seen from space; Sahara Desert for instance.

Off for a large breakfast at Tesco's and a visit to the new log cabin of a visitor's centre at Burton Mere RSPB reserve.
Superb reserve and from the large windows back-tailed godwits, a male hen harrier could be seen along with common birds. Little egrets were here too. How many years have they been here and how many now breed?
To the hide, with siskin and nuthatch on the way. A number of stonechat to be seen here and more waders and duck.

Off to Parkgate to see how the tide was; high tide being at 1.45. Unfortunately high tide wasn't going to be big enough to diplace everything on the saltmarsh so, despite views of a great white egret and a female hen harrier, we decided to go up to Hoylake to see the large wader roost on the beach there.
We were not to be disappointed as over 10,000 mostly knot were near to the nearby tideline with 2 selfish photographers next to them putting them up for their entertainment.
We both digiscoped from the roadway and enjoyed the massed ranks of knot, sanderling, dunlin, grey plover and bar-tailed godwit. Note the sequence - little waders to the fore, larger ones to the back. Wonderful.

Back to Parkgate for another female hen harrier, more little egrets and two very close short-eared owls.

A superb day enjoyed. Great birds, great company and great scenery. CLAM ON!

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