To find out more about the birds and wildlife of the Dee Estuary, click on Birdwatching
The Redshank is a year-round resident of the Dee Marshes and can easily be recognised by its long red legs – hence the name. It’s a wading bird that feeds on insects, worms and shellfish.
Officially classed as a species under threat, the Black-Tailed Godwit finds sanctuary on the Dee Marshes, especially in autumn and winter. It’s a large wading bird, recognisable by its ‘weeka-weeka-weeka’ call.
The Dee Estuary is a particularly good place to see these Northern Pintail ducks, as large numbers choose the site for overwintering. When the spring comes they leave for breeding grounds in Iceland, before returning in autumn.
Wildlife on the estuary is not just about birds and the marshlands teem with small mammals like this short-tailed field vole. On high tides they can be seen running away from the encroaching water. Short tailed field voles are classed as common and widespread, and are not considered endangered.
Incoming high tides also attract a huge variety of birds of prey as small mammals race for safety from the water. The Short-eared owl lives in Britain all year round but is easiest to spot in winter, possibly because they are joined by overwintering birds from elsewhere in Europe. Unusually for owls they hunt during the day and are mostly silent.
Our thanks to Lynne Greenstreet for these photos.