Friday, 28 February 2014

Back out again, albeit during a lunch break!

Fed up with work, chores, weather, football results etc. (pass me a sharp kitchen knife!) I just had to get out at lunchtime today. I'm afraid it resulted in a dash and year tick instead of a prolonged studious walk, but I have been very fed up this week! I popped round to the road leading alongside Powderham Park next to the Exe estuary. I parked up, got out amd promptly wished I hadn't! It was bleddy freezing. A strong cold northerly blew down the estuary and it was spotting with rain all the time, despite the sun being out at times! The results of the recent devastating storms could be seen everywhere. Lots of jetsam on the road, still flooding in places, shoreline scoured away by gales and exceptional high tides and now it's cold as well! Roll on the spring........ A quick scan over the estuary where the River Kenn empties out under the road resulted in my first Spotted Redshank of the year. As it was low tide, the bird was feeding in the slight gully formed where the Kenn flows into the Exe. But great views were had. Nearby were two Greenshanks, plenty of Black-tailed Godwits and assorted common waders. Being quite an exposed spot, I quickly moved on (with the car heater cranked right up!). I made a quick stop at Exminster Marshes, where I scanned from the 'middle car park'. Two Little Gulls were seen dancing over the flashes just north of the large lagoon, an adult and a first-winter. I love these birds. They are elegant and dainty in flight, the pure ballet dancers of the avian world as they dip and skim the water's surface to feed! Luckily the floods have subsided here and it's now possible to get down station road and out to the canal bank again. Regrettably very little else of note was seen here, again due to the strong cold wind and exposure. I got back home this evening and was surprised to find that despite the colder weather today, local sightings included a Sandwich Tern off Dawlish Warren and a Sand Martin over Bowling Green Marsh! Maybe spring IS just round the corner........

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