Monday, 13 February 2012

Trip around North Devon

Thought I'd respond to the earlier post re trip around South Devon!

Started this morning with a look over the Skern, where fortuitously, it was high tide. New for me here was a Spoonbill, presumably from the Isley marsh gang. Good numbers of Dunlin, Knot, Curlew and Oystercatchers. A few each of Grey Plover, Redshank and both Godwits. Only one Brent Goose, but several each of Wigeon and Pintail. Next stop was Fremington Creek which had about 50 Redshank. I cycled along the Tarka Trail to Penhill Marsh and found the Brent Geese, but couldn't be sure the Black Brant was amongst it. Good numbers of Shelduck. Next I left the car in Barstaple and cycled home along the Tarka Trail to Braunton. the Canada Goose flock was just downstream of the new bridge. Not many Gulls at all - have they already gone off to breed? A smattering of Redshank, Curlew, Lapwing and Dunlin along the shoreline and a few Godwits too. At Bradiford the Brent Geese were across the river next to Penhill saltmarsh. By carefully picking right through them all number 177 was the Black Brant! I counted 217, but Maurice says there are about 240 I think. In the drainage ditch by Ashford STW, was the Green Sandpiper that Maurice has reported sporadically for quite a while now. A bit further on in a field next to the trail a lone Greylag Goose. As the tide fell the sandbank off Heanton Court was home to a large flock of Golden Plover and Lapwing.

In the afternoon I visited the reserve at Velator where there were 9 Canada Geese competing for the one nesting place on the island in the pond.