27 March 2019

Dee Marshes, Burton Point

· Wirral ·

A walk along the edge of the Dee Marshes to Burton Point. Skylarks skylarking. Rooks cavorting. Occasional goose honks. A fast, high-flying kestrel pretending to be a peregrine. Long-tailed tits in the alders at the carr. Thousands of last year’s reed mace heads with downy haloes. Goat willow catkins. Emerging hawthorn leaves. Gorse in full flower (as always). Noisy cyclist conversations (ditto).

I sat on a rock at the point for half an hour, thinking about nothing in particular. There were many pools out on the marsh following a recent high tide. Little egrets hunted in some of them. A great white egret prowled the drainage ditch at the edge of the military rifle range. A moorhen lurked in the reeds.

Thousands of tiny white flowers nestled among the blades of grass at my feet. I had no idea what they were, so made notes to check later with an online flower key. For once, my notes proved useful, and I was able to identify the flowers with confidence as common whitlow grass, whose scientific name, Draba verna, merely confirms spring has most definitely sprung.

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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