Guided Bird Watching – Saturday 18th February

Yet another of our outstanding cruises today dry overcast but mild and plenty on show for our visitors to enjoy. DB Brent Geese were viewed throughout the Estuary. Plenty of Gulls across the Estuary with great views of the 5 main species which included a pair of LBB Gulls on Bull Hill Sand bar. 1 Grey Seal on Can-Doo vessel off Dawlish Warren.

Grey Seal

Plenty of Shag and Cormorants on view around Starcross with many showing breeding plumage white hip patch and white streaked head markings several Juvenile Shag & Cormorants to around the same area. 3 Great Crested Grebe were seen some showing breeding crests already. Greenshank and Redshank were seen from Starcross to the Yacht club. Great views of a Kingfisher seen on the wrecks north of Starcross flitting from one wreck to the other.

The Grey Herons were busy around the Heronry with 3 birds seen and 1 seen on the estuary. Great views of both Male and Female Red Breasted Mergansers from Exton to Turf corner with again at least 16 birds seen in this area. Common or Harbour seals were seen in the water opposite the Clyst confluence. To the right of the confluence 50+ Pintail were seen including Wigeon and a few Teal. Elsewhere along this area Black and Bar-tailed Godwits were on show with at least 50+ Shelduck a few Curlew in this area was a bonus for everyone.

Turf straight to Topsham a Ruff was the bonus bird at Turf Lock and both sides and across the Mudflats were full of Waders Gulls and Wildfowl 30 knot, 250+ Lapwing, 400+ Golden Plover, 350+ Dunlin, 300+ Avocets 150+ Brent Geese, 250+ mixed flock of Common & Black headed Gulls 300+ Black-tail Godwit 30+ Bar-tail Godwit, 20+ Grey Plover, 5 Ringed Plover seen by a birder 40+ Teal 2 Black Swan and we had fantastic views of the Spotted Redshank in its normal low tide feeding area from the Goat walk to Topsham quay.

What was a real treat today was the amount of birds present and fantastic aerial displays from Avocets Dunlin and Godwits along with DB Brent Geese. We turned and headed for home with a view of a Kestrel flying across the estuary Some had glimpses of the pair of Goldeneye but to far away to mention. As we neared Exmouth 100+ Oystercatchers were gathering at Dawlish Warren, along the edge of the water near Starcross a few Turnstone were seen and again great views of the Grey Seal these sightings topped off another fantastic Birdwatching Cruise enjoyed by all.

Derek Carter

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Stuart Line Cruises


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