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WEATHER: Dry and sunny all day but a strong wind persisted which brought the temperature down to 11-15C

This wasn’t a birding trip! It was just a day out to Topsham on the River Exe but my binoculars went with me as did my wife, Dawn. We parked on the outskirts of Topsham village and walked down the lane to the main hide at Bowling Green Marsh. The hide was shut, a note on the door said that after abuse and blatant non-conformity of social distancing the RSPB had closed the hide.

The views of the mass of high-tide roosting birds was quite limited from the ‘holes’ in the blinds, I did see Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Little Egret, Redshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Cormorant and Canada Geese.

Our walk took us around to the ‘Goat Walk’ which runs alongside the tidal river Exe, the tide was receding fast and many birds were gathering on the mudflats to feed. Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Redshank and a few Avocets could bee seen along with dozens of Canada Geese, Black-headed Gulls and a few distant ducks.

A view down-river from the Goat Walk

We ate a lovely meal in quay-side pub before walking back to the car through the old town. My penance for the birding part of the day was a visit to IKEA!!! We spent a couple of hours in their looking at various things but, and this is a first, my wallet came out of there unscathed, not a single item went into that bright yellow bag!! Phew, it was a close shave though, one package did accompany us to the check-out till, but just before we paid for it dawn found it to be broken, so we discarded it and left.

my effort at phone-binning a Black-tailed |Godwit

Journey bird sightings included mass flocks of corvids, Rooks, Jackdaws and Crows, hundreds of birds in a flock enjoying the windy conditions. I also saw Swallows, flocks of Starlings, a large flock of Goldfinches, Kestrel and a House Sparrows.