Liverpool

Visitors flock to see high spring tide on Dee Estuary

Wildlife watchers at Parkgate for the high tide
Image caption The high tide brings more secretive wildlife inland

Wildlife enthusiasts are flocking to the Wirral Peninsula to see the high spring tide come in on the Dee Estuary.

Visitors to the nature reserve at Parkgate will be able to see the water come in towards the marshland, bringing the more secretive wildlife inland.

The RSPB, which looks after the reserve, said animals such as harvest mice and water voles move closer inland to flee the rising waters.

These attract birds of prey like grey hen harriers or short-eared owls.

The spring tide, which only happens a handful of times each year, can sometimes completely flood the saltmarsh.

'Experience to remember'

Paul Brady, RSPB visitor development officer, said: "Watching the tide surge towards you with the Welsh hills as a stunning backdrop is thrilling.

"Add to that the sights and sounds of huge flocks of birds, along with the excitement of expert predators doing what they do best, makes it an experience to remember."

He added: "The wildlife can come so close on these tides that one year someone actually had a bird that's normally very hard to see, a water rail, hiding in his rucksack!"

In the winter, the marshland of the Dee Estuary is an internationally important habitat for a vast numbers of ducks and wading birds.

The RSPB is running high tide bird watching events at Parkgate on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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