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Dee Estuary Birding Trip, Wales - 1 Day

Dee Estuary Birding Trip, Wales

Dee Estuary Birdwatching Trip Throughout the Year

This one-day Dee Estuary Birding Trip is a leisurely-paced set-departure (also available on request) trip where you can expect to see around 80 species of bird. Come and join us for exciting birds any time of year on our Dee Estuary birdwatching trip! We explore a range of habitats and locations on both the Welsh and English side of this huge estuary, visiting wide open marshes, saltmarsh and freshwater lagoons and some areas of damp woodland too. This gives us an excellent chance of encountering some scarce raptors along with huge numbers of wildfowl and waders which will be on their wintering grounds. Expect to see a lot of birds on this day trip birdwatching in Wales!

On this exciting Dee Estuary birding trip, packed with birds en mass, we will visit a variety of habitats both in Wales and across the border in England, but don't worry, you won't need your passport! On both sides of the impressive Dee Estuary we will visit the best bird locations to look for our target species. These may include flocks of wintering wildfowl such as Wigeon, Teal, and Pintail, waders including Black-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe and Golden Plover, and with luck, maybe a Whooper Swan or two. Looking up, we will scan the skies for raptors including Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Merlin. Other birds in this fascinating area may also include Stock Dove, Little Owl and Stonechat. Expect a lot of birds on this Dee Estuary Birding Daytrip!

We can meet you at our base in Llandudno or if you are coming from further east we can meet you on the Dee Estuary for our  Daytrip to look for birds. We will spend the day visiting a number of different locations on the Dee Estuary so that you can experience the very best range of birds on the Dee Estuary This will include a visit to the vast Burton Marsh where we will set up our telescopes to scan for waders, wildfowl and raptors.

We will also visit RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands for an up-close-and-personal experience with waders, wildfowl and more from the trails, screens and hides here. Depending on the time of year, we may also visit Parkgate to give ourselves another opportunity to scan the vast estuary for raptors, owls, waders and wildfowl - so much to enjoy on our day trip on the Dee Estuary and North Wales to look for birds. As with all our guided day trips, we will stop for a snack cafe lunch along the way - we know how important it is to feed the inner birdwatcher so you can really enjoy yourself on your day tour of the Dee Estuary birdwatching North Wales with us.

Dee Estuary Birding Trip in Wales Highlights include:

  • A close encounter with a wonderful Short-eared Owl as it quarters the marshes
  • Views of raptors hunting over the marshes including Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin and Hobby depending on the time of year
  • Close views of engaging Avocet and Lapwing chicks at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands
  • The weird and wonderful noises and sights coming from the heronry at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands
  • Cattle Egrets, Great Egrets, Spoonbills and more!

Please note: this set-departure trip is also available as a private or custom tour on request. Please submit an enquiry with your preferred dates and group size.

Keen to find out more days on offer in North Wales? Try the Birds in North Wales Custom Day Trip.

We are certified 'Good to Go' by VisitWales.

Alternative Tour Name: Waders, wildfowl and Raptors Galore! Guided Birdwatching on the Dee Estuary
Day 1
Morning Session

Our day trip starts by meeting at Llandudno at 8am.

Heading east, we make our first stop to explore the Dee Estuary from the Welsh side of the river. A lovely coastal footpath starts beside some medieval castle ruins and runs along the riverbank and as the incoming tide pushes the waders and wildfowl closer to us, this can be a very rewarding stop. Back in the car, we briefly cross the border back into England to visit the exciting reserve of RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands which straddles the Welsh:English border.

The freshwater lagoons here teem with wildlife and we enjoy excellent views from the hides. Birds here may include Avocets, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Mediterranean Gull and many more. After taking advantage of the tea and coffee facilities here, we drive down to nearby Burton Marsh, an immense area of saltmarsh and shallow scrapes.

We walk along the footpath here and scan over the marsh looking for more waders and raptors too. Kestrels hover motionless looking for prey while Marsh Harriers will be taking a more active approach, hawking over the tussocky grasses and pools in the hope of flushing out prey. We look out for Stonechats and Reed Buntings sitting up and singing from a vantage point, and keen eyes pick out Stock Doves flying over the marsh.

Day 2

We stop for a tasty lunch at a nearby café and return to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands reserve in the afternoon.

Day 3
Afternoon Session

With the sun now in a different direction, we follow the trails out onto the reserve and visit several hides and viewing screens.

A sudden movement in the reeds gives away Bearded Tit, always a thrill to see while a Cetti’s Warbler’s vibrant song explodes from within a dense bush. Strange noises emanate from the tall trees as we pass: here is a busy heronry where Little Egrets and Grey Herons are breeding, Reaching the furthest hide, we scan the lagoons and soak up the superb views of the birds here. Spoonbills snooze in the sunshine, and we will them to wake up and reveal their bizarre kitchen utensil-shaped bills, Lapwings glow in the sunshine and Sand Martins swoop low over the lagoon for insects.

We take a walk up to the lookout and from this vantage point, the vast extent of the marshes of the Dee Estuary is revealed. Previously hidden pools are now on view, and there is a long-necked Great White Egret stalking imperiously through the reeds, always a thrill to see.

It’s hard to tear ourselves away from this busy reserve at the end of the day, but we say goodbye to Burton late afternoon and head back to Llandudno by 5 pm.

The particular species will vary according to the season but some of the highlight species we will be looking for incude:

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Little Owl, Short-eared Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Fieldfare, Redwing, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Bearded Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Raven, Brambling, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting

What is included?

  • Guiding by at least one and often two professional guides throughout the day
  • All entrance fees to reserves we visit
  • Use of our field guides to help with identification
  • Use of our top-of-the-range telescopes to help you enjoy the best views of the birds
  • Free loan of binoculars on the day if requested in advance
  • An individual checklist of the birds we encounter

What is not included?

  • Transport to and from our agreed meeting point
  • Any meals, drinks or snacks
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Tips

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Why book with Birdwatching Trips?

Alan Davies and Ruth Miller have been running their popular birding tours in North Wales as Birdwatching Trips for over ten years. Alan is born and bred here and has written the definitive guide on where to watch birds in North Wales so nobody knows the area for birdwatching better than him. Ruth is a member of North Wales Tour Guide Association and in addition to the birdwatching, she is able to additional guiding to the best historical and cultural sites this amazing part of the country has to offer. We make a donation to the North Wales Wildlife Trust for every guest joining our tours so by booking with Birdwatching Trips, you know that you are also supporting the conservation of the very birds you are enjoying.

What are your group sizes?

We take a minimum of two and a maximum of six guests on our set departure daytrips to ensure everyone has the best possible experience on our trip. We always take our time to enjoy every bird we encounter and allow time for taking photographs too. Our Birdwatching Daytrips are perfect for everyone, whether you have just discovered the joy of birdwatching or have been birdwatching for many years. Sorry but we are not able to take guests under the age of 16 on our daytrips. If you would like a custom birdwatching daytrip just for one person or two people booking at the same time, please contact us and we will be delighted to put together a custom daytrip tailored for you.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this daytrip?

Our daytrips are at a relaxed pace generally graded as Easy. Walks are on trails and footpaths which may have an uneven surface. You should be able to walk unaided at least a mile on rough or uneven surfaces. Please contact us if you have any concerns over your participation.

Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of the daytrip?

We are happy to help with suggestions for great places to stay in Llandudno before and after the trip. We can offer a door-to-door service on the day for anyone staying in accommodation in Llandudno.

How do I pay?

We ask for a 100% payment upon booking. Please ask if you would like us to send you our Terms and Conditions.

What should I bring for this daytrip?

No matter what the weather forecast may say, we recommend bringing a waterproof jacket, waterproof overtrousers and waterproof walking boots just in case. Feel free to bring spare layers, hats and gloves, there’s always plenty of room for spare kit, clothing and equipment. And despite rumours to the contrary, it is often sunny in Wales, so don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

Entrance fees are included, but our daytrips do not include lunch or any extra drinks or snacks so you will need to bring some cash or a credit/debit card for this. Some of the smaller cafes and tearooms that we visit may prefer you to pay in cash.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

1 Day

Price & Availability

GBP300 / per person
This tour is operated by: Birdwatching Trips
4.98 based on 10 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.98 Based on 10 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Wales
  • Set Departure
  • Full Day Trip
  • Birds
  • 2 Guests
  • 18+ years
  • Leisurely
  • No