Plymouth Branch Field Trip 7 Dec

South Efford Marsh Aveton Gifford

A mild sunny morning helped to make this an enjoyable visit, although the water level was so high due to the spring tide that there was no suitable meadow for pipits or wagtails to land.

Early on we spent some time trying to confirm the identity of a small grebe but the lovely view of a kingfisher, to be seen later gave no identity problems. The sound of the curlews helped to set the scene. Good numbers of teal and little egrets were on the marsh and on the edge of the estuary we clearly saw 2 common sandpiper, redshank and 2 over wintering greenshank along with oystercatcher. Doug patiently scanned the gulls and eventually found all 5 species of gull that you could expect.

To complete the morning, most of us had a simple lunch at the pub where we “put the world to rights” and got to know each other better

Eventually we saw 34 different species of bird with good views. Fortunately we all were suitably shod so no lost shoes in the mud – thanks Sue for the recce the previous day, so if you plan a visit, it’s well worthwhile but don’t forget the wellies!

Lesley Goonesekera