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17 September 2014
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Estuaries | Dee Estuary

Dee Estuary (Image: Dee map)

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If you're looking for a truly wild location with great vistas, the Dee Estuary which spans the English Welsh border is an absolute must.

It's one of Britain's best year round bird reserves, and is an autumn hotspot for thousands of wildfowl and waders.

Estuaries Index (Photo: Dunlin c/o Matt Thomas

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Estuaries are great habitats for wildlife during the autumn. They provide plentiful food for birds including waders and swans.

Estuary activities (Image: Starfish)


  • Estuaries offer fantastic opportunities for wildlife watching including bird watching and rock pooling.

Dee Estuary - Visitor Guide

Address:Dee Estuary, between Thurstaston, Wirral and the Point of Ayr, North Wales.
Postcode CH61 0
e-mailDee Estuary Birders -
Maps:Dee Estuary birding map

Multimap of River Dee estuary area.
Ordnance Survey:OS grid reference: SJ246839
Key attraction:Bird watching - autumn migrants.
Essential kit:Kit - walking boots and plenty of provisions. Tide times.
Nature watching:

Bird watching - waders and birds of prey.


There are a number of reserves and seasonal hot spots around the Dee including:


Thurstaston Country Park and coastline: Autumn is a good time to spot Fieldfares and Redwing which are attracted by berried bushes. Look across nearby fields for flocks of Curlew, Lapwing and Oystercatchers. The shoreline is a great place to see Knot, Dunlin Shelduck and Oystercatchers.


Parkgate: Visit Parkgate at high tide - if you're lucky, you may see Pintail, Wigeon, Water Rails and Teal as well as waders. Also look out for owls and other raptors. Gayton Sands RSPB reserve at Parkgate is a good place to view a variety of birds including Greenshanks and Little Egrets. Warning - do not walk on the saltmarsh because the tides can be dangerous.

West Kirby: Take a trip to the West Kirby shoreline near Marine Lake and Red Rocks at high tide for thousands of waders.

Caldy: Caldy Blacks is a mussel bed which attracts significant numbers of waders.

Flint, Wales: There are stunning views of the estuary and its birds from Flint Castle and the surrounding coast. Flint marsh, which lies south of the castle, is a good place for high tide waders including Black-tailed Godwits, Shelduck, Teal and Grey Plover.

Talacre and Point of Ayr: Roosting waders in the fields at Talacre. The Point of Ayr is well known location for wading birds. Autumn is a good time to see Black and Bar-tailed Godwits from the RSPB hide. Further out to sea, look out for sea birds and ducks.

Greenfield: This is a good place to watch Great-crested Grebes in the autumn.


RSPB reserves at Point of Ayr and Gayton.

Before you go:

When exploring estuaries like the Dee is to always check the tide times as it's all too easy to get caught out.


Take provisions if you're out for the day in estuary areas as there are few facilities.


Disabled access: Variable depending on area.

Getting there:

Gayton Sands is near Parkgate - approach from the A540 Chester to Hoylake road via the B5135.

By bus - Parkgate every hour.

Nearest train station - Neston 2 miles.

Opening times:Opening times: The RSPB reserves at Point of Ayr and Gayton Sands are open all times.
Activities (Image: Swan)

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