This afternoon’s proved hard going in the lower half of the estuary, but with amazing concentrations of birds in the upper half. Unusually, 2 Mute Swans were along Exmouth sea front and 2 Ravens were around Cockle Sands, but more predictable were a Peregrine on Exmouth church and the 2 Black-necked Grebes at Cockwood. A Kingfisher fished from one of the wrecks near Powderham, where there were also a few Greenshanks. A Common (Harbour) Seal ate a flatfish in mid-estuary, while the large flock of Pintail was again around the Clyst mouth. Thousands of waders were liberally scattered over the mudflats at Topsham, including over 600 Avocets and 1000 Black-tailed Godwits, c80 Knot and the regular Spotted Redshank. On the return journey, hundreds of Canada and Brent Geese flew onto the mudbanks between Turf and Powderham, bringing with them single White-fronted and Snow Geese (not to mention a few hybrids and a huge, almost-white Emden goose!). The icing on the cake, however, was the 5 Glossy Ibis that flew low up the estuary right past the boat – what a fabulous climax and I think the first ever seen from one of the birdwatching cruises!
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