Exe estuary river trip








All About Birds Group

On Wednesday, January 31st, 27 members of the group made their way to the Quay at Exmouth, where we boarded a Stuart Line boat down the Exe estuary for a bird watching cruise.  Despite the challenging cold wind and occasional rather violent rain and hail showers, we had a fantastic three and a half hour boat trip at low tide to Dawlish Warren, returning via Topsham before returning to Exmouth.

There was a continuous commentary from a bird expert who was able to alert us to the birds we could see feeding and wading in the tidal marshes and sand bars.

Apart from seeing many beautiful birds such as oyster catchers, curlews, shelduck, dunlin, red breasted mergansers, the great northern dipper, cormorants, black tailed godwits, sanderlings, shags,  and many others, most of us particularly enjoyed the spectacular sight of avocets feeding and in flight in large quantities.  There was even the unusual sight of a peregrine falcon using the sand bars to hunt its prey.  Adding to the pleasure of many, a seal lazing on a sand spit watched us sail by.

The boat was very comfortable with lots of open seating and a large warm and dry cabin from which it was possible to bird watch in comfortable surroundings.  The AAB members had a great day and would certainly recommend this trip to anyone, as the passing scenery from the boat was beautiful and worth the trip alone.

Rosie Bowden

Photos by Dave Gilbert