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DH’s day off, and opportunity to try his scope and tripod ..

We don’t count as serious ‘birders’, but I do like to keep a note of what we’ve seen … and once you start to compile a list it’s surprising how easy it is to build an impressive ‘life list‘ though I’ve never kept it in as much detail as I should.

Yesterday, we were able to visit two estuary/costal sites, in perfect weather – if rather cold! The first was a new hide, one of four on a purpose built site alongside the River Axe, deliberately flooded to create the habitat. We’re used to watching a little further down stream, so it was good to get a slightly different viewpoint. The second is a well established area alongside the Exe estuary, with a viewing platform and hide. We didn’t see any ‘firsts’, but it was lovely to renew acquaintance with some firm favourites.

So here’s yesterday’s list …

Seaton Marshes
Fine, clear day, sunny but cold. No significant breeze. Tide on the turn.

Curlew
Redshank
Lapwing
Herring gull
Lesser black-backed gull
Blackheaded gull
Wigeon
Mallard
Shelduck
Little Grebe (Dabchick)
Little Egret
Swans
Blackbird
Sparrow
Rook
Moorhen

I’m sure there were others mixed in … ?Dunlin … but I didn’t get a clear site/id of them. While we were in the hide, someone called out that they had a kingfisher in sight, but I didn’t see it on this occasion.

We left at lunchtime, and after a pub lunch (very nice!) drove over to:

Bowling Green Marsh (Topsham)
Fine, clear day, sunny but cold. No significant breeze. Tide well out.

Brent Geese
Canada Geese
Greylag Geese
Lapwing
Swans
Cormorant
Little Egret
Moorhen
Pochard
Teal
Wigeon
Mallard
Shelduck
Bartailed Godwit (Barwit*)
Avocet
Redshank
Dunlin (id by photo)

The Avocets, once a rarity, are increasing in numbers on certain sites in the UK – they are the most beautiful of birds. We didn’t see so many yesterday, as the tide was out, but they are on the Exe in their hundreds at this time of year.

*In winter plumage, Barwits and Blackwits are really hard to tell apart, but Barwits are more common, so I am making an assumption here!

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