Exe Estuary

A very wet and windy Stuart Line birdwatching cruise today: not very spring-like at all! A Peregrine showed briefly around Exmouth church tower and the ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was near the wreck off Cockwood, where we saw the first of at least 30 Red-breasted Mergansers. Great Crested Grebes were present in good numbers, a group of 19 together contributing to a total of at least 26. The 3 immature drake Eiders were out on a sandbank off Starcross and 4 Goldeneye were nearby. At least 25 Sanderlings were on the central sandbanks and at least 4 Greenshanks off Powderham (plus another later at Topsham). Up to 200 Pintail were still around the mouth of the Clyst. The mudbanks around Turf-Topsham held c300 roosting Golden Plover, lots of Dunlin and smaller numbers of Knot, Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover. Most of the Black-tailed Godwits must have been feeding in the rain-sodden fields, as only about 100 were on the mud. Avocet numbers are down; many have presumably departed for breeding areas during the recent fine weather.

Posted March 3rd, 2019 at 5:40 pm by Dave Smallshire in Bird News