BOWLING GREEN MARSH AND GOAT WALK IN TOPSHAM
WEATHER; cloudy with some sunshine, temp 7C very light breeze.
I walked with Dawn through many floors and deparments in IKEA before going birding! In fact, my tracker counted 3,000 steps before we left the store, I got away with only spending £85, that's quite good and weel belwo average, it represents just 2.8 pence per step!! if I take smaller steps next time it will be even cheaper!! Ha!
We then drove to Topsham and parked at the top of Bowling Green Road near the station car park and walked to Bowling Green Marshes. We saw lots of birds in the hedges along the lane including Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Great and Long-tailed Tits, Redwings, Song Thrush (singing), Robin, Wren, Dunncok and Blackbirds.
the flooded meadow of Bowling Green Marsh viewed from a gap in the hedge along the appraoch road.
The marsh was jam-packed with birds, as much the hide was jam-packed with birders, lots of birders watching lots of birds. It was high tide and the number of waders present was staggering, especially Black-tailed Godwits which numbered over 1000. I was searching for a Spotted Redshank and without a scope it was a hopeless task. So, I did my usual trick and moved into the cafe area next door, where the RSPB have a scope set up for general use and it was heated in there. A bonus was that I could keep Dawn happy with a nice hot cuppa.
Avocets, Godwits and Jackdaw taken through the RSPB telescope through a glass viewing window in the cafe
A nice flock of Avocets with a couple of dozen Redshanks, Dunlin, Common Snipe and Curlews were deposited all around the mass of loafing Godwits. Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Common Pochard, Shelduck, Moorhen, Coot, Canada Geese and Mallards made up the majority of other species, The Spotted Redshank was not there!
Walking round to the 'Goat Walk' we had excellent views of the tidal river just as the tide was turning. We had very close views of Avocets and Godwits.
an Avocet swimming in the river Exe looking for dry land as the tide recedes
We had an excellent lunch in the Lighter Pub (recommended) before retracing our steps back to the hide at Bowling Green Marsh. During the walk back we noted Marsh Harrier (2) and Common Buzzard, the mudflats were now fully exposed and littered with feeding waders, mainly Godwits.
the River Exe, looking from Goat Walk. Exposed mudflats dotted with feeding Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks
At the hide, or rather the cafe, I had the scope to myself and Dawn had another cuppa, but most of the waders had gone over to the estuary, I seached for the Spotted Redshank but it was not there. More Lapwings appeared as did Wigeon and we had excellent views of male Pintails. Common Snipe fed very close to the hide now that the water level had receded.
Wigeon on ice, walking in the reflection of the clouds.
We left around 3pm just as the light began to fade.