Thursday, 27 December 2007
Taw Estuary 27/12/2007
I'm down in rural North Devon enjoying the Christmas break with the outlaws. As usual in the festive season, excessive red wine consumption, over-eating and between meal Stella has given me perpetual indigestion. So, as the perfect antidote I took a very leisurely stroll along the Taw Estuary this afternoon with the boys. I visited one of my favorite old birding haunts in this neck of the woods, the stretch of estuary alongside the Isley Marsh reserve near to Yelland. Soon after leaving the car I was immersed in a roving tit flock, mainly Long-taileds with the odd Blue and Great. A couple of Bullfinches, squealing Water Rail and an abietinus Chiffchaff later and I was watching the first of several Little Egrets on the marsh before heading onto the estuary path heading toward Instow. Before long I had found the expected Spoonbills - there always seem to be a few knocking about here during the winter. Today I had a minimum of five feeding on the incoming tide, with possibly another couple (hard to be sure with birds disappearing and re-appearing from the tidal creeks). Also plenty of Curlew and Shelduck about, min. three Little Egrets, small groups of Brents passing by and Redshank, Oystercatcher and Dunlin on the mudflats. Nothing exciting amongst the gulls though. All in all a very rewarding and refreshing visit.