A mild day with a southerly breeze, rather dull to start with but soon brightening up to give excellent visibility. The ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe was off Cockwood and 3 immature drake Eiders were on or near Bull Hill. Several Goldeneye (1 drake) were seen distantly in a channel towards Lympstone. Three Greenshanks were opposite a sandbank off Powderham, where another was feeding in the Kenn outlet. Around 20 Great Crested Grebes and maybe 30 Red-breasted Mergansers were scattered up the estuary, and some 200 Pintail were around the mouth of the Clyst. A Buzzard soared up over Powderham Park, where a few Grey Herons could be seen at their nests in the Turkey Oaks. The mudbanks around Turf-Topsham had spectacular numbers of waders, with large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits (1000?), Lapwings (1300+), Golden Plover (700), Dunlin, Avocets and Brent Geese, many giving excellent views. Among them were smaller numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot, Sanderling and Grey Plover. Gulls gathering to bathe and then rest on the mud included a total of about 10 Lesser Black-backed and 380 Common Gulls; both species are starting to move through from wintering grounds further south. A female Goldeneye passed us as we returned towards Turf.
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