Thursday 6 December 2012

Whooper Swan at Exminster Marsh - at last!

A very busy few weeks with work, a trip to Ipswich to see the parents and a week long study course at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, so limited wildlife watching opportunities, but I have managed a few interesting sightings along the way.

Heading up to London by train on the 15th November I did my usual sitting by the window from Newton Abbot to Exeter to watch the Teign- and Exe Estuaries and the seafront in between, and on reaching Exminster Marshes I had a look out for the whooper swan that had been refound here recently. There were plenty of distant white swan blobs in the distance so I didn't hold out much hope of seeing it but as we passed the RSPB carpark and under the road bridge there it was, feeding with 4 mute swans close to the railway line. It raised its head up showing its yellow and black bill and then was gone from sight as we whizzed by in the train but I had finally seen it, a Devon tick!

Other sightings from the train included fallow deer at Powderham, 18 red kites between Swindon and London and 5 roe deer.

My time in Ipswich was spent catching up with family so I didn't get out birdwatching. The current waxwing influx across the country includes Ipswich which always seems to be something of a waxwing hotspot. There had been recent reports of a small flock of waxwings showing well at a car park in the town centre so I spent an hour staking out a rowan tree full of berries without any success but at least I got out of Christmas shopping for an hour!

Waxwing-less Rowan tree at a carpark in Ipswich!

My stay in London was very busy and the only birds of note were 2 Egyptian geese and ring-necked parakeets in Hyde Park.

Interesting (and tasty) noodle bar in London near The Royal Marsden Hospital

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