The last of the bird watching cruises went exceptionally well with plenty of birds on view for the visitors to see. The dependable Slavonian Grebe was on show off Starcross accompanied by Great Crested Grebe. 10+ Shag with 20+ Cormorant in breeding plumage with what looked like 2 Continental Cormorants in amongst them. Good numbers of Turnstone showing well around the Warren Wildlife Refuge area seen going upstream and again on the return trip. 6+ Greenshank, Several Little Egret and good numbers of Redshank seen around the River Kenn confluence with a 10+ Widgeon off Exton. 150+ Bar-tailed Godwits 300+ Black-tailed Godwits around the Clyst Confluence and Turf Lock area. Our first Avocet was seen near the Starcross Sailing Club with 12 Avocets seen in total. These few birds were a real treat for many who had never seen an Avocet. 150+ Redshank, 8+ Ringed Plover, 25+ Sanderling, 15+ Grey Plover 100+ Knot, 300+ Golden Plover, 200+ Dunlin, all very flighty around Turf towards Topsham but no Bird of Prey seen. A total of 20 Merganser seen and great to see 2 drake Goldeneye with a flypast by both at the Topsham end of the estuary. Plenty of Gulls about with good views of Great Black-backed Gull and Common Gull in good numbers. It was also pleasing to see plenty of DB Brent Geese, and hearing and seeing good numbers of Curlew across the estuary. At least 200+ Oystercatcher seen on the return trip back to Exmouth. All and all a great dry afternoon was had by all on the Tudor Rose. The dates are now available for next seasons Guided Bird Cruises so book early to reserve your place for this great winter spectacle.
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