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WEATHER: cloudy to start then clear sky, top temp 23C

This was a day of compromise, or so I thought! The morning was to be spent with a little birding-stroll around Topsham and the RSPB Reserve at Bowling Green Marsh, then we were to have lunch el fresco, followed by a stroll along the high street of Topsham before spending a couple of dreaded hours in IKEA!!!!  You know where this is going don’t you? Yes, another day of wallet bashing and very little birding!

the lane down to Bowling Green Marsh

the view from the hide at RSPB  Bowling Green Marsh

We both love Topsham, it is a beautiful little town on the northern bank of the river Exe not far from Exeter. We arrived around 9:40 and walked down the lane to RTSPB Bowling Green Marsh, it was high tide and the reserve was jam packed with birds. There was also a chilly wind blowing in through the open blinds in the hide.

Dawn's bird- photography - from the hide - Little Egret with hand-held iphone

I had a wonderful hour sifting through the hundreds of waders, geese and ducks, my favourite pastime. Apart from hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and Canada Geese,  there was a good number of Eurasian Curlews, a dozen or so of Greenshanks and I picked out at least 4 Whimbrels (all asleep).

Redshanks and Black-headed Gulls

a flotilla of Redshanks

Further scrutiny produced singles of Ruff, Dunlin and Knot. The ducks present were: Wigeon (10+), Shoveler (1), Teal (10+), Gadwall and Mallards. I also saw Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Great Cormorant and many Black-headed and Herring Gulls with a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

A juvenile Ruff with Redshanks

Curlew, Ruff and Redshanks - a little synchronised head tilting going on there?

Curlew foreground and a sleeping Whimbrel further back.

I was surprised not to see Spotted Redshank, Common Snipe or a species of Sandpiper.

We walked down to the River Exe at the Goat Walk, along the lane a few Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and a single Garden Warbler were listed.

Dawn's panoramic view of the river Exe from the 'Goat Walk' - the tide is now ebbing

As it was high tide there was zilch on the River, I did note distant Mute Swans, Common Shelduck and a few gulls. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the lovely sunshine before we walked into Topsham to find lunch.

Dawn's view again of the river

a view of the river after lunch when the tide has dropped significantly

A perfect lunch was taken near the main quay and to walk it off Dawn suggested a walk along the high street. Well, despite entering many shops my wallet survived unscathed, that is until we got to IKEA!!!

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwits feeding on the exposed mud along the river Exe


Two Hours in IKEA and a very thin wallet later we carried two heavy bags of ‘household things’ back to the car. I drove us back in good time to write this blog. Tomorrow I am out with Guy, my wallet is staying at home.