On Friday afternoon a Spoonbill turned up at Exminster Marsh. I debated shooting over there, but we'd promised Vera that we'd take her to The Maer, her favourite place. There's no way we could disappoint her, so I decided to go yesterday (Saturday) morning.
When I arrived the Barnacle Geese & American Wigeon were on Birdguides, but not the Spoonbill, so I checked out Powderham Marsh instead. It wasn't there either, just the usual including Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Heron, a couple of Little Egret & loads of Chafffinch & Linnet.
|A Chaffinch hedge|
Now & again since 20th February, a Spotted Redshank has been shown on Birdguides & Devon Bird News as being either on the estuary near to the mouth of the River Kenn, or on the Kenn itself. I thought I'd give it a try even though it was last posted on Birdguides on 29th Feb. I'd never been to that part of the estuary before, it doesn't look very promising with the railway running beside the estuary on one side of the road & the fenced in Powderham Estate on the other. The estate is the ancestral home of the Earl of Devon & has a castle built in 1391. One of the estate's claims to fame is that it had a female tortoise called Timothy that died in 2004 aged 165!
|Powderham Castle & its Fallow Deer herd|
|A very limited view of the River Kenn|
I had lunch whilst waiting for the tide to go down a bit, & had a look at the 'Where to Watch Birds' guide. It mentioned that there are in fact 2 branches of the river Kenn, the Northern one widening into a shallow mere. Aha! Maybe I was looking in the wrong place! I walked along the road & found the second branch, but there were no birds there at all. There were however loads of herons & Little Egrets & a few other ducks on the ponds in the estate.
|The Northern branch of the River Kenn|
|Rainbow on the Exe|
I was feeling a bit weary so drove back to the River Kenn. The tide had gone out far enough for the fisherman to have given up & gone, so I had the top step to myself. The tide hadn't gone out far so there wasn't too much of the bank visible, but it was fairly active with a lot of Redshank, a few Greenshank & Turnstone. A few of the Redshank were quite close, but they were lining the bank intermittently all the way to the Yacht Club in the distance. Fingers crossed. I started with the closest ones & luckily there was a paler one with a longer bill & a nice white eye stripe! It was the Spotted Redshank! Phew!
|The Spotted Redshank was on the rocks mid photo. Yacht Club in the distance.|
I then checked Birdguides to see that a Stone Curlew had turned up in Seaton! I thought about making a dash for it, but decided that there probably wasn't enough daylight left. Hoping that it would stay longer than the Spoonbill, I really did head home.
Year List on 138 plus 1 Sub-species