Mid Devon Branch walk up the Exe – Powderham to Turf

18th January 2024

Most participants had to follow a flock of sheep being moved down Church Lane, which meant we arrived late and missed two of our party who set out alone! We were also joined by another latecomer, making a total of 9 for this visit (although there were many other birdwatchers along the route) on what was a cold, but beautifully clear morning. We took a couple of hours to walk from the Church to Turf, with most of the activity being in the fields to the left as it was high tide. Several hundred Brent Geese were present, often taking to the air and making a wonderful noise. Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank and Lapwing were also plentiful, and some Snipe were showing exceptionally well in the winter sun. Raptors included a Marsh Harrier perched in a bush at some distance (excellent spot by one of our members!), Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine which twice put all the geese and waders into the air.

During our picnic lunch at Turf Lock we were entertained by a very obliging Kingfisher, also looking beautiful in the sun, perching and fishing very close by. On the return walk to Powderham the tide was receding, and waders were dropping into the muddy shores, giving us excellent close views of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Grey Plover, and a Kestrel hovering over the bridge to welcome us back. A total of 47 species seen:

Avocet, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Great-crested Grebe, Great Tit, Grey Plover, Grey Wagtail, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pintail, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Robin, Rook, Shelduck, Snipe, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Woodpigeon, Wren.


Tom Misselbrook