Nice light (but a brisk wind) for the birdwatching cruise this afternoon. One of yesterday’s Grey Seals was still lying on a low vessel off Dawlish Warren, and was still there on our return. As usual, ‘Herbert’ the Slavonian Grebe was close to 3 Goldeneye (1 drake) and several Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes off Cockwood, with several hundred Brent Geese nearby waiting to resume feeding on Starcross golf course. There were some smart Cormorants and Shags sporting their breeding plumage around and on Bull Hill. Several Greenshanks and the first Avocets were around Powderham and further on 30+ Pintail off Lympstone Marines Camp and a Harbour Seal was hauled out. Masses of Black-tailed Godwits and 15 Ringed Plovers were feeding on the mud at Turf, while about 800 Golden Plovers were roosting in a tight flock. Grey Plovers, Knots and a surprising number of Sanderlings (10-15) were seen on the way to Topsham, with masses of Dunlin, Redshank and both godwits, with a fair scattering of Avocets for good measure.
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