Sunday, 24 February 2013

Exminster Marsh

On Friday I went along to the DBWPS meeting at Exminster Marsh. I was glad I'd put on lots of layers as it was freezing, with a really biting wind. We were a big group, I didn't count but there must have been about 18 of us. We met at the RSPB car park and started off by checking the fields from the railway bridge.  A couple of Goldcrests in the bushes directly below us gave excellent views of their crests, and two of us saw a Water Rail making a dash into the reeds. We then had a slow wander down Station Road towards the canal, the best on offer were 5 Pintail, the first I've seen this year, 30 Golden Plover and a Dunlin with a limp!

The Devon Birders forming a rolling road block!
A bit of sun would have been nice!
The  usual selection of ducks were on the ponds but it was all pretty quiet. We stopped at Turf Lock for our sandwiches and checked out the estuary. There were quite a few Avocet,  some Grey Plover, and 5 Red-breasted Merganser in the channel.
Checking the estuary
We walked back along the cycle track & were treated to a hurtling Peregrine. A Water Rail dashed across a gateway but was only seen by the same two of us that had seen the one earlier in the day. The Peregrine then put on a good show for us as we walked back up Station Road when it chased a Snipe right over our heads.

Five of us decided to go on to Exminster village in search of the Rose-coloured Starling that's been there for a couple of months. We parked up in the village car park & walked to Milbury Lane. We only had to wait for about 15 minutes before it showed itself. We didn't get to see it for long before it disappeared again, but at least we'd seen it. We tried going into the churchyard & allotments behind Milbury Lane, but didn't find it again. At least I saw my first Blackcap of the year.

Waiting for the Rose-coloured Starling in Exminster
Myself & Jonathan then went on to Dart's Farm to see if our luck would hold. It did! As we approached the hide we saw a Brambling on the bird feeder, and the American Wigeon was at the front edge of a flock of Wigeon in front of the hide. There was also a Peregrine on the ground eating a Lapwing, until it was chased off by a couple of crows. A great end to another fun days birding!

View from the Dart's Farm hide. The American Wigeon is out there...honest Gov!
I haven't been out birding on my patch much recently, although I did have a very pleasant wander up the estuary from Mudbank Lane to Lympstone during the week, adding 6 more birds to my Patch List (Goldeneye, Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin,  Common Gull & Water Rail). My birding isn't exactly taking a back seat at the moment, but it's certainly sharing the front seat with cycling. We're in training for a cycle trip this Summer, and judging by my current performance, we need to fit in all the training we can!

The Exe Estuary, a great place to walk or cycle

No comments:

Post a Comment