There are some beautiful flowers in bloom on the marshes at the moment. The southern marsh orchid is quite possibly one of the country’s most striking orchids, and can be seen on both Exminster and Powderham Marshes. Another really nice one, is the yellow iris which produce vibrant yellow flowers . These flowers produce the second highest nectar per day, so are loved by insects! As both these plants love damp and boggy meadows, much of the RSPB Exe Estuary reserves land is perfect for them.

Yellow Iris                                                             

Southern Marsh Orchid

We were out surveying our lapwing populations again late last week. The Powderham lookout is a fantastic place to view the huge amount of life which frequents the lakes and scrapes of Powderham Marsh. A slightly hidden and little used part of our reserve, the lookout can be found at the end of a lovely walk which winds its way across the traditionally managed agricultural fields of Powderham Marsh, up a small hill to some well-placed benches which are perfectly positioned to give a 180 degree view of the marsh. And, if you’re lucky, along the way you may spot a cirl bunting.

Lapwing Surveying 

You know you’re spending too much time in conservation land management, when you get excited about the different breed of cattle brought onto the reserve! However, cows provide a hugely important part of our management regime, acting as our large fluffy mowers… and we’ve got some lovely long horns out at the moment. By munching on grass all day, they provide the ideal habitat for many of the bird species which love the grazed marshy land.

We have a fantastic group of regular volunteers which come and lend a hand every Thursday, and this week’s task was to mend a fence line. Between them the group has a huge amount of experience and light weight is always made of a challenging task. The day always provides a great deal of bantering and well-meant micky taking and is always a great laugh. As well as mending fencing, another task this week was to strim along our electric fence line. As many of the bird species on the reserves are ground nesting, this fencing which circles the designated nesting areas, is hugely important for maintaining their safety. 

Work Party Day Fencing