I started off in the hide and quickly found the spoonbill which had been present for a few days but it was doing what spoonbills always do - sleep! It occassionally awoke and showed its bill but would quickly tuck its bill under its wing again and return to sleep.
I headed off to the viewing platform overlooking the River Clyst and scanned around where the highlights were a spotted redshank roosting with redshanks on the mudflats, presumably a second bird to the one seen feeding on the marsh, a Sandwich tern resting on a buoy down river on the Exe, 2 juvenile curlew sandpipers feeding along the shoreline (sandpiper species number 2) and greenshanks and black tailed godwits feeding and flying around.
A holly blue was flitting about along the hedgerow as I headed back to the hide and it was a surprise to find the hide totally packed out after being virtually empty earlier but I managed to find a standing place at the back. Birds were flying in from the estuary as the tide came in and I added ringed plover, dunlin, a bar tailed godwit, 3 knot, curlew and a calling whimbrel to the wader list.
I eventually found the bird I had come to see, a very smart wood sandpiper which had been around for a few days. At first it was tucked away to the left of the hide but eventually flew in right in front of the hide giving some great views, the best I have had of this species and sandpiper number 3 for the day.
Slightly Awake Spoonbill
It started to rain as I headed home on the train but I managed to see the resident Slavonian grebe on the River Exe at Cockwood from the train on the journey back to Plymouth.
Duchess of Sutherland at Plymouth Station on my return
Common blue, speckled wood, large white, meadow brown, small tortoiseshell, red admiral and holly blue were on the wing but there were no moths again in the toilet block.
We enjoyed a coffee and a pasty for lunch from the cafe on the beach before heading off home to cool down and prepare for dreaded night shifts, bringing to an end some excellent days of wildlife watching with 2 lifers added to my British list.