Friday, 13 April 2012

Exminster marshes

Friday 13 turned out lucky for me. I started the walk at 4.00 pm ahead of rain clouds, almost immediately c200 hirundines descended as the clouds thickened, about 3/4 were sand martins and the rest swallows. A immature female peregrine had a couple of unsuccessful swoops onto the small group of teal (only about 30 left). Other ducks counted included gadwall (4), shoveller (4) and c30 shelduck. The 6 greylags appear to have paired up. A few curlew flew onto the marsh and joined 2 oystercatchers. Then 6 whimbrel flew over, calling, before heading north. At 4.50 a sub-adult female marsh harrier appeared quartering the marshes. She flew briefly over to Powderham marshes before soaring high (with 2 buzzards) and then drifting out of sight to the NW at 5.30. Shortly after an osprey appeared over head carrying a fish. It slowly gained height and then also drifted north west still carrying its snack. Elsewhere a few chiffchaffs and willow warblers moving through.