10th of June 2012.

Tarka Trail – River Taw Estuary – North Devon

Species seen 45.

After many days of torrential rain, the weather changed for the better for our last full day in North Devon, and what better way than to take a leisurely walk along the Tarka Trail to view the different areas of Farmland (from the trail) Trees, Meadows, Ponds, Mudflats and Salt Marsh. The tide was going out and this meant that any waders would be quite a distance from the footpaths! Although the species count was 45 for the day, there was not a great deal of birds actually in the River area!

The open grassed area again gave up superb views of Adult and juvenile Dunnock and there were plenty of Skylark heard and seen high above us. Stopping to chat to two local birders from Barnstable, we swapped Birding stories and pointed out the locations of recent sightings of Cetti’s, Reed and Sedge Warblers.  Also seen was a Redpoll by the farm.

The estuary had the usual Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Grey Heron, Black Headed, Herring, Lesser Black Backed and Great Black Backed Gulls and that was it. At Yelland Quay we caught sight of a single Rock Pipit, a treat for me, as I don’t get to see many of these in the Central area. A pair of Pied Wagtails were busy amongst the pebbles foraging for food, but were soon off due to an extremely loud Oystercatcher passing over.

While walking back towards Fremington Quay, a Buzzard, which was seen quite a few times overhead during our walk, perched it’s self on one of the electric masts. Here it stayed for a few minutes before swooping down towards some trees were it took a Wood Pigeon. Nature at its most intense and a reminder that when you go looking at wildlife, that’s exactly what you get!
This pictured Buzzard, didn't go hungry.
I’m already looking forward to my next visit to North Devon and as always will be checking the superb Devon Bird News  for interesting reports each week.

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