Monday, 9 February 2015

Darts Farm & Exe Estuary - Pendulines etc 4/2/15

We arrived early at Darts Farm near Topsham to a beautiful cool crisp sunny morning full of anticipation and hope! We strolled down to the hide and ponds and there before us were the Penduline Tits, 3 of them, what a stroke of luck.  We watched these stunning little birds for a good half hour flitting and feeding on the bull rushes before we headed back to Darts Farm shop for a nice hot cup of coffee.
From Darts Farm we used the new cycle/walkway to walk to the Hide at Bowling Green Marsh. (By the way this info was given to us by the very friendly, helpful and enthusiastic chap in the RSPB shop.) Along this walkway and through the well placed viewing slots in the fence we had some great views of Redshank, Teal and Reed Bunting.
From Bowling Green Marsh itself there were some good numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Shoveler, a couple of Snipe, Tufted Duck, Canada, Greylag and a single Brent Goose. Also seen were a few Bar Tailed Godwits and a good glimpse of a Water Rail.
Onto the wall at Goat Walk and the tide was well out. We did however see a huge flock of Brent Geese at the waters edge as well as a group of 20 or so Avocets with some Curlews and Redshanks. In the distance in the channel there were also a few Red Breasted Mergansers.
The trees and shrubs along the way revealed all the usual 'little' birds inc B.Tit, G.Tit, Dunnock, S.Thrush etc and whilst walking back to Darts Farm a huge flock of about 100 Brent Geese flew overhead. Wow! What a grand finale to a top class day!

Penduline Tit - did not realise how small they are

                   Penduline shredding the Bullrush - seed heads going everywhere


                    Like a masked bandit!      

    One little bird demolished this Bullrush


    A good sized flock of Wigeon on the grass viewed from the hide

                    Spooked Wigeon

   Snipe - great colours in the sun

                  Bar tailed Godwit - only a few seen in the fields

    Water Rail - speedily feeding and probing in the grass

                   Avocets - busily feeding far out on the mudflats

    Brent Geese - part of a huge flock that sailed past overhead!

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