Today’s cruise did well for gulls, seeing 7 species, including an adult Mediterranean Gull at Exmouth and a young Kittiwake settled on the river off Powderham; a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls were signs that migration back from Iberia and West Africa is underway. A Peregrine sitting on the church tower in Exmouth did its best to look like part of the stonework! At least 15 Great Crested Grebes were scattered around the estuary, while about 10 Shags were in the outer waters (as usual), a few dozen Pintail were between Lympstone and Exton, 22 Red-breasted Mergansers were mostly between Turf and Topsham. Wader numbers were generally lower than earlier in the month, with small numbers of Golden and Grey Plover, Sanderlings, Bar-tailed Godwits and Greenshank, but there were still over 1000 Black-tailed Godwits and hundreds of Avocets and Dunlin scattered over mudflats. The wintering Spotted Redshank provided a final highlight at Topsham.
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