Saturday, 19 February 2011

River Tamar Boat Trip 19th February

Today I met up with Mavis at Saltash for the rescheduled boat trip along the River Tamar originally planned for the 5th February but cancelled due to the bad weather. Today the weather was perfect, sunny and warm although out of the sun it was a bit chilly despite there being very little breeze.

Walking down to the Quay from the High Street a female blackcap and a redwing were a nice find in the small park underneath the Tamar bridge while greenfinches, wrens and dunnocks were busily singing away. Spring is coming!

The Tamar Bridges from the boat
Best birds were 2 spoonbills feeding on the Devon side of the Tamar near the entrance to the River Tavy. Good  views were had as they busily fed together showing their spoon shaped bills regularly as they chucked their heads back to gobble up whatever poor creature they had trapped in their bills! One had a collection of coloured plastic rings on its legs and both were juveniles with pinky bills and some black markings noted on their wing feathering.

The tide was very low so we were unable to travel any further upriver than Cargreen so we did not get to the stretch of estuary where we usually see spotted redshanks. Never mind.

Other birds of note were 2 greenshanks, a male red breasted merganser, black and bar tailed godwit, a grey plover, avocets and a male kestrel. Waders were a little thin on the ground but we didn't get to the best stretch of the Tamar for waders .

A lovely day, a good trip but a little disappointing compared to previous Tamar trips and the recent Exe trip.

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