Thursday, 3 February 2011

Exe estuary

At low water, 13.30, there were 7 scaup, one goldeneye (male) and c15 red-breasted mergansers in the estuary close to where the River Clyst joins the Exe south of the Turf. Two groups of knot totallying c40 birds were between the Turf and Topsham. Nearer Topsham I counted over 500 avocets and 300 black-tailed godwits. A single moorhen feeding out on the mud was unusual.

On the Exminster marshes earlier in the day there were plenty of wigeon, teal and lapwings. Short bursts of song were heard from a skylark, dunnock and at least two water rails. Three long-tailed tits "fly catching" midges in the lee of a bush was fascinating and hinted at warmer times to come.