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16 November 2019

Out and About

In between work and the bad weather managed to get and visit a few places. Stover, Exminster Marshes, Turf, Powderham Church, River Kenn and the outflow, Starcross Golf Course, Cockwood Steps and the Harbour.

Haven't been to Stover for a while and was presently surprised by the Duck numbers with Mallard, Tufted, Mandarin and a smart Pochard in the middle of the lake. The water looks a lot cleaner after all the work they have done. Also Mute Swan, Cormorant, Moorhen, Coot and Black-headed Gulls on the water. Plenty of small birds about with Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Blackbird, Robin, Nuthatch, Wren and Chaffinch.

Starcross Golf course is starting to get busy at high tide with growing numbers of Brent and Canada Geese as well as Curlew, Oystercatchers and Redshank the main waders but also Lapwing and Godwits also seen.

Cockwood Harbour showed a few Red and Greenshanks with Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Mute Swan and the odd Little Egret. I passed here several time and at was completely empty of birds for no real reason which was a surprise , normally there is something there?

The River Kenn outflow and Cockwood Steps saw Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls of all ages, Mute Swans, Cormorants, Grey Heron, Red and Greenshanks, Oystercatchers and Turnstones. Did also see a Rock Pipit at The River Kenn on the wall.

The River Kenn had a good number of ducks with Mallard, Teal and Wigeon. Good numbers of Grey Heron stood on the bank with Mute Swans on the water.

Off Powderham by the cycle bridge double figures of Shelduck on the River Exe with Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Knott and Grey Plover.

Around Exminster Marshes, Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzard and Marsh Harrier seen, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal , Wigeon, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Kingfisher, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Starling, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Robin, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Jay, Pied Wagtail, Pheasant and Wren.

At Turf plenty to see, Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls of all ages, Avocet, Golden and Grey Plovers, Godwits, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Heron, Cormorants, Shelduck, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Little Egret and Oystercatchers.

Several times the sky was full of waders put up by something but never quite worked out by what, didn't see any Raptors anyway.

Met lots of great people, normal and Birders, great to catch up with Patrick H at Stover as well as meeting up with Karen, Dave S, Dave B and Simon at Turf and the Marshes, there were others but iam crap with names! Anyway plenty of nice humans about which always is good!



06 November 2019

Death flies over

Had a great couple of days out, unfortunately didn't get out as early as wanted but life keeps getting in the way.

Tuesday ended up at Holden looking for some Hawfinch, it was a beautiful morning and plenty of birds singing, all the usual stuff you would expect, but Hawfinch, Siskins or Crossbills very thin on the ground. I was quite well hidden but a good view of some Hornbeam that I had seen them on before, then it all kicked off! First a couple of Hawfinch appeared on top of a tree just in front of me, ideal and the sun was shinning on them. Just as I was going to take the shot 6 Fallow Deer came crashing through the wood, not sure what had spooked them but they went flying by me, I dont even think they saw me. After I composed myself I went to take the pics and as you guessed the Hawfinch had gone, all the crash bang wallop had frightened them off.

So I decided to move on, after about couple of minutes for some reason I looked around at where I had been and above was a Raptor coming over the trees, I realized it was a Goshawk, how cool was that! It circled a bit then went into a dive and disappeared behind some trees. Such a privilege to see such a bird.

After all the excitement I went off to Exminster Marshes to see if after all this rain how the new scrapes were doing, defiantly more surface water on the Marshes and many of the older, more Northerly scrapes are full. The newer ones are a long way off and will take a lot more rain yet.

Bird wise nothing out of the ordinary and Turf was quiet with many waders up river close to Topsham.

Today I spent time close to the River Exe paying visits to Cockwood Steps, Harbour, Starcross Golf Course, River Kenn outflow, Powderham Estate and then over to Topsham.

The tide was coming in and not that much about, surprised by the lack of Ducks and Brent Geese about?

At Topsham, parked up close to Bowling Green and visits to Goose moor, The Hide, Platform and Goat Walk and it was quite quiet, the tide wasn't as high leaving areas of mud on the River Exe, especially close to Turf where large numbers of Waders could be seen from Goat Walk at High Tide. The Long-billed Dowetcher was seen earlier on and a Little Stint had flown in as added entertainment.

As usual met lots of great people, some Birders and lots of "Normal" people out enjoying the fresh air and our beautiful countryside.



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