Monday, 9 January 2012

Exminster Marshes

I walked around the southern part of the marsh today between 11.00 and 12.30. No sign of the long-eared owl and a muddy track into a private field suggests some people were trespassing over the week-end. A pair of stonechats and 2 bullfinches were along the railway track. On the main marsh were 11 or 12 greylag geese with another 2 on the lagoon. Lots of wigeon and teal attracted a peregrine who eventually drove them onto the lagoon. Elsewhere a few pintail, more wigeon, teal, shoveller and mallard were scattered on all the wet flashes and pools.

I heard 3 Cettis including one that showed very well on the canal bank near Turf. At Turf the tide was low and the brents were far out on the southern edge of Greenland Bank apart from 22 brent geese, of which 8 were juveniles, that were on the fields near the lagoon. Waders on the estuary included avocets, grey plover, dunlin and redshank. Small flocks of curlew and lapwings appeared to be constantly moving to avoid the peregrine. Signing great tits, robins and a song thrush suggested it is almost spring.