A few days of annual leave after the Christmas and New Years Frenzy was just right for winding down after all the festivities and a chance to get out birding properly with kids back to school and adults back at work.
Monday 4th and on a walk to the allotment to pick some veggies for dinner a male blackcap was feeding in the ivy by the small pond behind the aquarium, a brief view before it disappeared into cover but a nice find.
Tuesday 5th and we headed off to Burrator for a walk on a sunny but breezey day. With all the recent rain the reservoir was full and overflowing the dam and the ground saturated and boggy but at least the walk around the reservoir on the road was easy going and dry and mud free. A male goosander, a cormorant, 2 little grebe, 2 Muscovy duck and 3 white feral geese were on the water with the mallards and a treecreeper circling up a moss covered pine tree was a nice find. A photographer at the top car park was tempting birds close to his lens with some seeds and nuts and amongst the coal, blue and great tits were a few marsh tits and nuthatches. 2 roe deer feeding out in the open close to the road were a surprise and totally unfazed by the cars and people passing by.
Roe Deer, Burrator Reservoir
Oystercatcher, Rusty Anchor
Glossy Ibis and Teal, South Huish Marsh
Glossy Ibis, Black Headed Gull and Teal, South Huish Marsh
Friday 8th and it was off to Topsham on the train, £9.90 for a single after 09:00 but a staggering £17.30 before 09:00! I arrived at the hide at Bowling Green Marsh just after 11:00 to find the Marsh too was well flooded and covered in wildfowl - mostly wigeon, teal, mallard and Canada geese but amongst them I found gadwall, shoveler, pintail, 2 male pochard, a pair of tufted duck, a coot and greylag geese. The tide was low so the only waders on show were lapwing and curlew with a flyover greenshank and redshank. Unfortunately I couldn't find the wintering American wigeon amongst the wigeon flock but it was reported as being present that day - never mind.
Pair of Wigeon, Bowling Green Marsh
Male Wigeon, Bowling Green Marsh
Spotted Redshank, River Clyst Viewing Platform
Daffodils, Topsham Goatwalk
The highlight though was a cattle egret feeding in the field in front of the hide with little egrets, presumably one of the birds I saw at Teigngrace in November last year, and a nice end to a good day out.
Cattle Egret between Little Egrets, Darts Farm