Exminster and the estuary

Walked Countesswear - Powderham and back this morning.

On Exminster Marsh, the female Marsh Harrier gave a 5 minute show, coming slowly N, driving all the ducks and Lapwing into the air, but then returning quickly S and across the railway without having attempted a kill.

Half-an-hour later, S of Turf and W of the railway, the Canadas and Brents took to the air, spooked by something which I assume was the Harrier, and with them were the Barnacles, later recorded from Powderham Marsh in another post.

In the estuary, the Golden Plover were huddled together, the flock slightly smaller than usual, (perhaps the warm weather has prompted some to move N), the Avocets were strung out in small groups as far as the Kenn outfall (I assume there is a band of acceptable salinity for their prey, so when the river is high, as now, they move downstream), the regular 70-80 Pintail and an unexpected 30 Knot were off the footbridge, and 10 Mergansers and a G-c Grebe were busy feeding.

In Powderham Park, the Egyptian Geese were energetically chasing the Shelducks, and then renewing their pair bond. The only authentic ones I have seen were a group of 6-8 on the Nile 30 years ago, of which half were blasted out of the water by one of the fellahin with a punt gun. Perhaps NW Europe will become their only home?

Posted January 28th, 2021 at 10:00 pm by James Camden in Bird News