With a damp start, the sun did show briefly for some of the cruise today. Again it was a slow start around Dawlish Warren with DB Brent Geese near the mouth and Turnstones off Starcross. A few Great Crested Grebe showed off Lympstone. 50+ Pintail were off Exton up towards the Clyst confluence. A fly past of 30+ Widgeon near the wrecks off Powderham Park were a nice sighting. A Common Seal was seen and posed for the visitors on the left mudbank heading towards Turf Locks with plenty of Curlew in the same area. 200+ Black-tailed Godwit on the bend at Turf Lock with plenty of Dunlin on both mudbanks feeding as usual. As we headed towards Topsham Good numbers of Common Gulls were seen on the left of the Channel with at least 5 Sanderling in their striking white winter plumage scurrying along the waters edge on the right of the channel close to the boat for all to see this lovely little wader. Red Breasted Mergansers were seen throughout the estuary again with at least 25+ seen. As we approached Topsham Avocets were in abundance with at least 400+ birds throughout this stretch to Topsham Quay. Again great views of mixed flocks of Black-Tailed Godwits, Bar-Tailed Godwits and a few Knot also along this stretch. Again before we turned the Spotted Redshank was seen were everyone had great views of this long stayer. Flying displays were again a highlight. As we passed the Goatwalk at Topsham at least 250+ DB Brent Geese had landed in the channel with great views of this flock from the boat. At least 400+ Golden Plover came in to roost on the right hand mudbank one of the favoured spot for these birds. Increasing numbers of GBB and LBB Gulls were seen on Bull hill sandbank as we neared home.
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