With the evening light shortening and the mornings feeling a little chillier, signs that autumn is approaching are beginning. We are eagerly anticipating the autumn/winter migrants; over the next few weeks and months the marsh should regain its marsh qualities and with it thousands of geese, ducks and waders. It’s hard to imagine, after such a dry summer of parched, cracked desert like mud, that the marshes will become squelchy quagmires once again. But these conditions are exactly what make the Exe internationally recognised as a winter bird hot spot.

Preparations for these arrivals have begun, with contractors topping all our fields. This has dramatically changed the appearance of the marshes, with the rushes and grasses going from waist to ankle high. This provides perfect conditions for all the over wintering goose species, which prefer short grass for grazing; the cattle which seem very happy with their new perfectly munchable high green grass; for both winter and spring species which feel far safer in short grass as they are able to see predators from far further away… and for us bird watchers who can get brilliant views across the fields.

Beautiful crisp autumn on the Exe (rspb-Images)

There have been some really nice sightings at Bowling Green Marsh recently including:

  • 6 Yellow Wagtails
  • Water Rail
  • Pintail
  • Juvenile Garganey
  • Whimbrel
  • Osprey 
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Grey seal

Our summer holiday events have come to their conclusion and our summer wildlife art competition has been decided with fantastic winners in each category:

Florence, 4 (and a half) (winner of the <5 years category). WE DON'T HAVE ANY CONTACT DETAILS FOR YOU FLORENCE, SO IF YOUR OUT THERE GIVE US A MESSAGE! 

Ralph, 7 (nearly 8) (winner of the 6-8 years category)

Ross, 10 (winner of the 9-11 years category)

The cycle planning is going well. The RSPB merchandise has arrived and we’re getting set to go! Scotland throw your worst at us!

All prepared and ready to go!

Thank you so much to everyone that has donated, it’s massively appreciated! If anyone fancies sponsoring these two rather sillily dressed cyclists, check out the link: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tom-amey