Taw/Torridge field trip to Topsham 20 October

Eleven of us met at Darts Farm on a calm, warm sunny morning.  Making our way down to the fishing lake and hide, the first birds seen were apair of Reed Buntings perched in the sweet corn crop.  In a large eucalyptus many Greenfinch and Goldfinch seemed to be feeding around the seed cups, and on the lake Moorhens and Mallards splashed about.  Suddenly a large flock of Canada Geese with Black-tailed Godwit, Teal and other small birds took to the air much to our disappointment, disturbed by a thoughtless person walking her dog in the designated bird sanctuary area.  On the walk back some of the group had Kingfisher, Chiffchaff and Stonechat.

Our walk along the river Clyst and the new cycle trail, although very pleasant, produced few birds, but at the Goosemoor viewing screens we had several Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Teal and Grey Heron.

A number of birds seemed to be on passage overhead including many Starlings with a Sparrowhawk hunting amongst them.

Lunch was enjoyed at Bowling Green Marsh hide whilst watching a good numbers of birds, including Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, a group of 30 Avocet, 200 Redshank, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon a lone Knot and several hundred Canada Geese.

The bushes along the path to the viewing platform were full of Starlings seen arriving earlier, resting presumably after a long journey, also feeding amongst the shrubs were Greenfinch, Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Chiffchaff.

At Goat Walk we sat in the warm sunshine watching another group of Avocets, Curlew and Great Black-backed Gull, several Grey Heron and another Kingfisher.

Looking at the view across the river to Powderham, soaking up the atmosphere and appreciating what was probably the last day of our Indian summer, seemed a fitting end to a most enjoyable day.

50 species seen.         Jackie Bosley