Monday, 28 December 2009
Nipped out for a very pleasant walk around the Isley Marsh reserve on the Taw Estuary this morning. This reserve is immediately opposite Lower Yelland Farm where there were five Cattle Egrets yesterday. Today, there were precisely zero Cattle Egrets around the area (or at least I didn't see any). The massive sandy/muddy expanse that is the Taw Estuary (click for a bigger expanse). The tide was out, so all of the waders and wildfowl were out of decent photographic range. I can't remember the last time I visited this site and didn't see Spoonbills, and today was no exception. There were initially three feeding out in the middle of the estuary, later the group had grown to four roosting on the edge of the saltmarsh. Four distant sleeping Spoonbills - honestly. Waders included 100s of Curlews, 1000s of Lapwings, loads of Oystercatchers and Turnstones, a few Redshank and a couple of Grey Plovers. There were also plenty of Shelduck, Teal and Wigeon, and a couple of Black-necked Grebes. At least five Little Egrets were knocking about, and a smart Kingfisher, flyover Raven, foraging Rock Pipits and a couple of Stonechats were nice to see. This Sonechat was out of frame a millisecond later.