Thornbury

RSPB Avocet Cruise

Avocet cruise: Topsham 27th Feb 2017
A small but enthusiastic group of U3A birders pitched up in Topsham in spite of Storm Ewan. The first squall arrived whilst most were enjoying the large variety of birds seen from the comfort of the very warm and dry hide in Bowling Green marsh . After lunch we all met up on the Quay in Topsham for a late sailing at 1-45pm to accord with the ebb tide. A heavy shower poured down on us whilst we were waiting for the skipper to sail, and then miraculously, the wind dropped, the rain stopped and the sun shone bright and strong. A two hour drift down the estuary and back produced fine views of all the usual suspects, small groups of foraging avocets, scattered groups of Brent Geese and Bar-tailed Godwits and the usual variety of waders, close views for all. We even saw a solitary Atlantic Grey Seal wallowing in the shallows. Occasionally pairs of Red-breasted Merganser flew overhead, and finally a very large flock of Black-bellied Brents flew over, honking gently with their in-flight contact calls. Another magical day out on the River Exe.

Birds seen:
Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin, Greenshank, Redshank, Lapwing, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Common Buzzard, Canada Goose, Brent Goose, Cormorant, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Pintail, Shelduck, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Red-breasted Merganser, Blackbird, Starling, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail.

50 birds (Rob)