News from Taw/Torridge field meetings

22nd November 2015

20 members turned out for a circular walk along the tidal creek at Fremington, and Isley Marsh RSPB reserve.

The morning was overcast with the occasional shower but improved later.  A Jay flew across the creek into mature oaks and a Raven ‘cronked’ overhead as we made our way along the road.  Mostly Redshank feeding on the intertidal mud, with a lone Greenshank and a Grey Wagtail at the water’s edge.  A flock of bathing House Sparrows amused us flying back and forth repeatedly between puddle and bush.

From Fremington Quay, on the sand banks many birds were spotted including Pintail, Shelduck, Great Black-Backed Gull and Grey Heron whilst flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover took to the air.

Walking back through mature woodland a Song Thrush was singing, and Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Nuthatch and Marsh Tit were also seen.

At Isley Marsh the sun shone spotlighting 2 Spoonbills roosting on a mud bank with 8 Little Egrets and 5 Greenshanks near by.  One of the Spoonbill was identified as a regular visitor, colour ringed 8 years ago in the Netherlands.

Continuing along the River Taw, we had Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Grey Plover, Snipe, Knot and a Kingfisher patrolling along the river bank.

Another enjoyable day’s birding.  60 species seen. 

 13th December 2015

On a fine and unseasonably warm day, 12 members joined our last walk of the year along the River Taw from Barnstaple to Ashford.  The usual waders and shore birds were about, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Grebe, Canada Goose and a large flock 175+ of Dark-bellied Brent Geese. A Peregrine put up a huge flock of birds including 85+ Lapwing and more than a 1000 Golden Plover which made a dramatic spectacle.

A cup of hot chocolate at our destination ended another good year’s birding with the Taw/Torridge branch.  Total species 38.

Maria Fernandes