Friday, 3 February 2012

Exminster Marshes

Visit mid afternoon. Very quiet along railway path apart from c100 linnets that had spilled over from Powderham Marshes, (there were nearly a thousand linnets there yesterday). On the fields were small flocks of dunlin totalling over 300 frantically feeding with starlings. Also a few black-tailed godwits, curlews, lapwings and 3 golden plover. As I reached Turf I heard the brent geese calling as they flew from the estuary onto fields south of the Turf. The last small flock took off as I reached the canal and amongst the 8 geese was the red-breasted goose. Along the canal I heard Cettis at 3 locations. The lagoon was 2/3 frozen with all the ducks on the northern edge, including an impressive number of wigeon. Elsewhere I saw or heard several snipe and counted 17 greylag geese.

Earlier in the day I called into the Double Lock's wetland. Both pools were frozen. I saw 3 water rails as they walked on the ice. A fox flushed 5 snipe. About 12 teal were huddled at the back of one pool.