Nice even light for my final cruise of the season. After a tip-off that there was a Spoonbill somewhere on the Exe (thanks Derek!), we had very distant views of it from the boat, feeding off Mudbank Lane, Exmouth. Other highlights included – near Turf – the overwintered male Ruff with large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits (1000+), 1-200 Bar-tailed Godwits, several hundred roosting Golden Plover, about 180 Knot and maybe 20 Sanderlings scattered along the riverbank. Two drake Goldeneye were in the mouth of the Clyst (one later flying upriver at Topsham), the Slavonian Grebe was at Cockwood and scattered up the estuary were about a dozen Great Crested Grebes, 8 Shags, 20 Mergansers, 6 Ringed Plover, 5+ Greenshank and large numbers of Black-headed and Common Gulls, but surprisingly no Avocets – an early departure after a mild winter? Oh well, they’ll be back again in time for my next birdwatching cruise in November!
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