Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A flying visit to the Otter

I was going to have a birding-free day yesterday, but I'd forgotten about Simon's art class in the afternoon. As his class is in East Budleigh, a stone's throw from the River Otter, it would be have been rude not to pop down to River whilst he was there!

I took Vera for a wander up the path on the East side of the estuary. I was planning to go in the hide, but V didn't seem to like the idea, so we just carried on walking. I thought I heard a Crossbill in the tall pine trees lining the bank. I played my App & it certainly sounded like one, but I wasn't sure enough to count it for the Year List without a sighting.

I set up the scope to look at the gulls on the estuary through a gap in the trees. The very first gull I focused on was a Mediterranean Gull! I scanned across to the next bird & it was another Med Gull! For the first time I actually submitted the sighting to the Devon Bird News blog. It was time for V's tea, so I took her back to the van and after she'd been fed & watered, I left her digesting in her basket & went back to have another look for a Crossbill. I didn't even hear one this time.

There are 2 Med Gulls down there, honest!
I carried on, planning to climb the path onto the small outcrop overlooking the sea. The short path across the top that I used years ago was no longer there, having slipped down to the beach. I managed to set up the scope across the sloping path up, but it was a bit precarious & I had to do the splits to look through the lens!

Where the path used to go.....
I gave up & walked further along the cliff to get a good view of the cliffs & the sea. There were only gulls & Shag on the cliffs, no Fulmars yet. The Shag were looking great with their dark glossy plumage, yellow gape, and punk 'hair-do'.

Looking East towards Sidnouth....
...and West towards Budleigh & the mouth of the   R Otter

I then dashed back to the van to go & collect Simon.

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