Guided Bird Watching – Friday 17th February 2023

Another of our outstanding cruises today dry overcast but mild and plenty on show for our visitors to enjoy. DB Brent Geese were viewed throughout the Estuary with a few flyby from these lovely small Geese. Oystercatchers were to be seen from Dawlish Warren to Topsham probing for worms and Molluscs. Plenty of Gulls across the Estuary with great views of the 5 main species which included a pair of LBB Gulls on Bull Hill Sand bar.

Two Grey Seals were briefly seen swimming towards the Exe Mouth. Plenty of Shag and Cormorants on view around Starcross with many showing breeding plumage white hip patch and white streaked head markings. Around 5 Great Crested Grebe were seen some showing breeding crests already. Greenshank and Redshank were seen from Starcross to the Yacht club. The Grey Herons were busy around the Heronry with 7 birds seen and 2 seen on the estuary. Red Breasted Mergansers were busy from Exton to Turf corner with 16 birds seen in this area. 

A record 4 (four) Common or Harbour seals one Adult and 3 juveniles one being a pup was hauled up on the sandbar opposite the Clyst confluence. Great views of these delightful mammals, always with a smile on their faces!! Elsewhere along this are Black and Bar-tailed Godwits were on show with Mallard Shelduck Wigeon and a few Curlew and the sighting of the morning in this area was a pair of Goldeneye which was a bonus for everyone.

Turf straight to Topsham both sides and across the Mudflats were full of Waders Gulls and Wildfowl 27 knot, 200+ Lapwing, 400+ Golden Plover, 300+ Dunlin, 300+ Avocets 150+ Brent Geese, 250+ mixed flock of Herring Common & Black headed Gulls 300+ Black-tail Godwit 20+ Bar-tail Godwit, 20+ Grey Plover, 40+ Teal 2 Black Swan and we did have a glimpse of the Spotted Redshank in its normal low tide feeding area from the Goat walk to Topsham quay. Like normal we call it out then it decided to fly before most saw it!! That’s Birding for you!

We turned and headed for home. As we neared Exmouth 100+ Oystercatchers were gathering on the high sand bars, along the edge of the water great views of Sanderling were seen feeding these sightings topped off another fantastic Birdwatching Cruise enjoyed by all.

Derek Carter

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Stuart Line Cruises


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