Dull and cloudy (but at least clear!) this afternoon. We started with a Peregrine on Exmouth church tower and a Kingfisher near to Exmouth Marina – a good start. However, pride of place today went to the Long-billed Dowitcher feeding with Black-tailed Godwits at Topsham and a roosting group of 30 Cattle Egrets (counts varied from 28 to 32, but I reckoned 30!) on a sandbank at Starcross as we returned. There were at least 22 Great Crested Grebes, plus the usual Slavonian at Cockwood and a Little Grebe and 2 Black Swans at Topsham. 3 Pintail were on Pole Sands (off the tip of Dawlish Warren) and later there were about 130 at Lympstone. 12 distant geese on the mud appeared to be Greylags and 50 Teal were likewise at Topsham. About 30 Red-breasted Mergansers and waders in general were well scattered. Selected estimates include 300+ Avocets (30+ at Powderham), several hundred each of Lapwing and Golden Plover, c100 Bar-tailed and several large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits (there must have been well over 1000 in total). 4 Greenshank were scattered between the Warren and Powderham. A Grey Seal was hauled out onto a buoy and an unidentified seal was seen briefly between Turf and Topsham.
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