Exe Estuary cruise

Yesterday afternoon's Stuart Lines Cruise was very interesting. It was a relief to have a mainly afternoon between stormy days! Both the dunes at Dawlish Warren and the fine sediments in the upper estuary have been badly eroded (the dunes were breached last week though what effect this will have remains to be seen).

We saw 2 Little Grebes, no Great Crested, but the usual Slavonian at Cockwood and the Black-necked by Turf Lock gates. Also 8 Goldeneye (one drake at Topsham), single Guillemot and Spotted Redshank (Powderham), c1000 Black-tailed and over 100 Bar-tailed Godwits, a total of about 15 Sanderlings (most seen so far this winter), but less than 100 Avocets, including 13 near Dawlish Warren - where were the rest?

The resident Harbour seal was on its favoured haul-out site, Bull Hill sandbank, but the big surprise of the day was literally the last bird seen before we docked: the Bonaparte’s Gull. It was feeding just off Warren Point and we were privileged to get excellent views of it.

Posted February 14th, 2014 at 11:46 am by Dave Smallshire in Bird News