With the marshes filling up, and the winter species moving in, these cold crisp mornings provide fantastic conditions to be out on the marshes. After desert like conditions all summer long, with cracked mud and yellow grass, the last week’s rain has created a very different landscape; and with that a change in kit has been required: the wellies have been retrieved from the cupboard and the waterproofs firmly donned!

A beautiful sunrise over Bowling Green Marsh

Out on the lagoon on Exminster Marsh, a group of about 200 teal and mallards have taken residency. Although we’re all familiar with pictures and videos of starling murmarations, who would have known, when the right numbers are present, ducks provide just as amazing a specitcal!

With regular sightings of buzzard, sparrow hawks, kestrel and peregrine, we’re being treated to great views of some of our spectacular birds of prey. For the last few days, a peregrine falcon has been dive bombing the duck mermaration as it dances across the skyline. Then, two days ago, a rather mangled mallard was found, suggesting that the at least one of the flock has fallen to the peregrine's aerial acrobatics.

Other recent sightings include:

  • Pintail 
  • Avocet 
  • Siskin
  • Shoveler 
  • Short Eared Owl 

The team out busy replacing a gate

As always, we’ve been busy over the last few weeks on work party days, with great turn outs and a few new members. As our desired habitat is a boggy, marshy, wet one, the marsh has a network of all-important wet ditches, streams and rivers. One week we all spent some time in one of these ditches getting rather muddy and a bit smelly.

Jo, Henry and Becky getting a bit mucky in a ditch whilst being observed by some cattle

The avocets are back! With their arrival along with that of many other waders, ducks and geese, the RSPB will be running a number of Avocet Cruises along the Exe Estuary throughout the next few months. These cruises provide the perfect means to gain a new perspective on some of our most stunning wildlife. For more information and details on how to book, visit www.rspbsouthwest.eventbrite.co.uk

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