A sunny day on todays cruise always helps to show off the birds on the Exe Estuary. What a start to this cruise was great views of the Red Necked Grebe. There was great excitement as visitors new this was a special bird to see as they were told how rare this sighting was for them as the last time a Red Necked Grebe was seen in the Estuary was 6 years ago. The Slavonian Grebe was also visible off Cockwood as we turned the bend at the Warren Wildlife Refuge mudflats. Several Great crested Grebe were seen on the way up stream towards Topsham with several starting to show the breeding plumage developing. Good views of Pintail in flight and at the waters edge. Great views of a young Grey Seal on a sandbank near the Clyst confluence. From this location to Topsham really large numbers of DB Brent Geese were seen at the waters edge and in the air, probably 1200+ were seen producing spectacular views for the visitors. Across the mudbanks both sides of the channel large numbers of Dunlin 500+ Black Tailed Godwits 500+ Golden Plover 500+ Avocets 300+ a sprinkling of Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Bar Tailed Godwits, Redshank, Shelduck, 6 Sanderling good numbers of Curlew and 30+ Knot. At least 20+ Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout the trip. A Peregrine made a distant appearance putting up 200+ Lapwing over Exminster Marsh. This turned out to be an exceptional cruise for the visitors and enjoyed by all.
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