This morning was sunny with a light breeze after a shower earlier, river conditions again was near perfect for the Sunday 16th January birdwatching cruise. Again plenty of DB Brent Geese around with several showing really close with 350+ birds from Cockwood to Turf lock with fly overs and in flocks flying in front of the boat showing great views of these lovely geese. Red Breasted Mergansers were on show around Cockwood, Starcross, and towards Topsham.Again today the stars of the show in the Starcross area was the two Black Neck Grebes which were viewed by all on board. At least 4 Greenshank and a showy Kingfisher was seen on a small branch in a small creek near Starcross sailing club where it was joined by a few Redshank. Several Great Crested Grebe one showing a start of its summer plumage. Again at least 100+ Pintail and 200+ Black-Tail Godwit near the Clyst confluence and to the left on the mudbank opposite Turf Locks were at least 500+ Golden Plover. It seamed there were Dunlin right across the upper mudflats today as everywhere we looked there were Dunlin!! Other birds seen along this stretch included Teal, Cormorant, Knot, Red Breasted Mergansers, Common Gull and Bar-tailed Godwit. As we approached Topsham Goatwalk a Marsh Harrier flew from Exminster Marsh over the boat towards Bowling Green Marsh putting up plenty of Avocets feeding in the area. Great views of 100+ Black-Tailed Godwits and a few Knot as well off The Goatwalk. The Spotted Redshank at Topsham which showed really well beside a Common Redshank, showing the visitor the comparison between the two birds. Topping off this great cruise was a sighting of 5 Sanderling on the way back to Exmouth.
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