Earlier in the week I had a trip to the Dee Estuary in Cheshire to visit my friend and former colleague Sean, who is lucky enough to live in that part of the country. Beyond all odds it was a beautiful Spring-like day, and we spent the day travelling up and down the estuary, stopping at various places including West Kirby, Parkgate and Neston along the way.
West Kirby had various waders giving amazing views in some stunning sunshine, giving some good photo ops. Sadly the scaup that had been loitering at the Marine Lake for a few weeks was hiding somewhere.
Sadly we made a bit of a schoolboy error at arrived at the high tide at Parkgate slightly late, to find hundreds of birders already lining the edges. Some of the highlights included a stunning hen harrier, many little egrets, curlews, redshank, knot, pintail, bar-tailed godwit, shelduck and others. There were also some very obliging stonechats.
Then on to Neston, where we surveyed the estuary with a nice cold pint outside the pub. The best kind of birding!
I didn’t get some of the birds I was hoping for the old yearlist, including short-eared owl and spoonbill, but the day proved that a good day’s birding is about far more than what you can tick of a list… good places, good birds, good weather and good company are all that matters!
Today I had a walk up to Peat Pits to see if I could find any golden plover. The spring-like weather had once again dissipated, and I started out in fog and a snow shower, but it finally lifted enough to spot around 20 plovers in the fields, along with 30 or so lapwing and a couple of stock doves. Elsewhere 4 common gulls were at Walker’s Edge, and it was nice to see a returning curlew. 100 siskin flew into White Lee Moor plantation, and a black grouse gave good views as it circled over Cowell Flat. A buzzard over Low Bradfield while I waited for the bus was a good end to the walk.