Report of the Mid Devon Branch Field Meet at Exminster Marshes, 6th September 2021

Walking from the RSPB car park, a warm and misty morning start produced a sleeping Spoonbill among cattle in the water meadow. A Water Rail was heard calling and a Marsh Harrier remained perched on a wood fence waiting for the sun to appear. A female Reed Bunting and a Sedge Warbler were seen moving about in the same bush. Willow Warblers were calling from the trees over the road and a single Cattle Egret was found feeding in the pasture. Viewing the scrape from a vantage point in the sun on the canal path we picked out a couple of Little Stints moving back and forward feeding in the mud at the water's edge, in proximity to a very active Ruff combing the mud in the shallows. A flock of Godwits flew into the scrape to rest in the water and preen. The scrape contained another two Spoonbills and a Spotted Redshank newly arrived from the arctic taiga breeding grounds. The bird took to the air and circled the scrape, being joined by another for a fast flight away in the direction of the estuary. When a dark morph Marsh Harrier flew into view before landing on the ground and disappearing, a Hobby emerged zigzagging across the pasture and over the scrape in search of its prey. Further along the canal path to the Turf pub, an Osprey could be seen nearby in the estuary perched on driftwood in the sand at low tide. A walk back to the cars produced a Kestrel hovering over the fields.

Posted September 9th at 8:53 am by Mike Daniels in Bird News