Friday, 11 May 2012

Post Vera

On Thursday afternoon, to try & take my mind off of the empty patch of carpet where Vera is normally nesting in her basket, I headed off to Exminster Marsh. The sky looked dark & threatening, but I actually managed to have a visit without getting rained on.

I started off at the Fisherman's car park & walked up the road. Luckily I bumped into Keith, who regularly posts on Devon Bird News, who found me the 3 Garganey. There were a male & female who appeared to be paired off, and another male who tried briefly & unsuccessfully to muscle in on the act. The sky was full of Swifts, with a few Swallows & House Martins. Then I saw a Hobby fly over, my first of the year. It was also the first of many for the day, at one stage there were 3 sitting on adjacent posts & a couple flying over. There was also a Peregrine having dinner. There were quite a few Sedge, Reed & Cetti's  warblers singing along the lane & I actually got a good view of a Reed for a change. The path beside the railway was a bit damp but not too bad, but once I got to the path that crosses the fields to the canal bank I was glad I was wearing my wellies. The field was also full of cows & it took me 3 attempts to try & muster the nerve to walk through them. They were a menacing looking bunch.

The view across the marsh from the back path
I had a quick check of the estuary from the Turf where there were a few Dunlins, Sanderlings, Oystercatchers & a Common Sandpiper.

The estuary from The Turf pub

Back along the canal bank, it was windy but at least the rain held off.

At least the sun was trying!
There'd been a Curlew Sandpiper at the marsh for a few days, but as the tide was wrong yesterday I went back again this morning to see if I could find it. It was nice & sunny, although a bit windy. I only saw one male & one female Garganey, and unlike yesterday the majority of Hirundines were Swallows, House & Sand Martins, with just a couple of Swifts. I saw my first Yellow Wagtail for the year from the lane not far from the Fisherman's car park. It wasn't until I walked along the canal bank that I started seeing lots of Hobbies. At one point there were 7 of them either hunting over or sitting beside one of the scrapes. It was an amazing spectacle. Unfortunately though there was no sign of the Curlew Sandpiper.

The sun was doing a much better job today

Year List now on 182 + 2

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