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When to go

  The following Sites are within one hour's drive of the Dee Estuary:

Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve. Map Ref. SD425145
Martin Mere is in Lancashire between Ormskirk and Southport, an excellent place in winter for seeing huge numbers of Pinkfoot Geese, Bewick and Whooper Swans as well as large numbers of Duck. A 'must see' if you are in the area in the winter months.

Mersey Estuary. Map Ref. Stanlow Point SJ425777
The Mersey Estuary has a similar range of species to the Dee, with especially large numbers of Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Dunlin and Redshank. The Duck have decreased in recent years but good numbers still occur. Unfortunately the best areas for the duck, Manisty Bay and Stanlow Marshes, have no public access but you may be able to visit by arrangement with the Merseyside Naturalists Association. Areas where there is public access are Seaforth Nature Reserve (North Liverpool), Otterspool Promenade, Hale Lighthouse and Eastham Country Park. Seaforth Nature Reserve in particular is well worth a visit. Although not a pretty place at the North end of Liverpool docks this reserve is a magnet for birds, these include a good selection of waders and gulls as well as a nesting colony of Common Terns. Also see Frodsham Marshes below.

Frodsham Marshes.Map Ref. SJ500780
Frodsham Marshes are an exceptional area for birdwatching all year round. Species include a large range of duck species, Hen Harriers, Marsh Harriers, various waders including a good selection of rarities and in 1997 Spoonbills attempted to breed with up to six present during the summer. Good views of the birds on the Mersey Estuary can be had from the embankments over the area called Frodsham Score.

Woolston Eyes. Map Ref. SJ 654888
Woolston Eyes Reserve is an area of water, marsh and reed beds situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey near Warrington. Two hundred and twenty species have been recorded on the Reserve, including thirteen species of raptor, more than thirty species of wader, all five grebes, the three woodpeckers, and five species of owl. In winter large numbers of wildfowl can be seen and in the spring and summer several hundred warblers breed.

Conwy Estuary. Map Ref SH795775
The Conwy Estuary has similar duck and waders to the Dee, albeit in smaller numbers, but has the added bonus of some exceptional scenery. There is an RSPB reserve here (just off the A55) which has a number of freshwater lakes as well as good views over the estuary.

Great and Little Ormes, Llandudno. Map Ref. Great Ormes Head SH845758
The nearest place to the Dee Estuary to see cliff-nesting sea birds. The cliffs hold nesting Fulmar, Kittiwake, Razorbill and Guillemot.