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Saturday, 3 October 2009

Devon Short Break from 17th to 19th March 2009

My wife and I took a short break based in Barnstaple in March. It was not essentially a birding break, but we managed to fit some birding in.

17th March

On the way down to Devon, we stopped to stretch our legs at County Gate, on Exmoor. The ponies were in evidence (but in the distance), and there were Skylarks displaying above us, and Stonechats in the shrubs.

18th March

This day we travelled about a bit. We first went to Fremington Quay, where there were several Redshank and Rock Pipits.
We then went to Isley Marsh, where there were several species of birds, including Shelduck, Little Egret, Redshank - and three distant Spoonbill!
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We then continued to Torridge, stopping by the estuary to look at the scenery, and a magnificent Buzzard flew overhead.
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At a stop at Titchberry, I could not resist snapping this Pheasant which shone magnificently in the sunlight.
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Our last stop was at Hartland Quay, to see the spectacular coastal scenery. There were more Rock Pipits here, and Herring Gulls
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19th March

We decided to take the long route home, via South Devon. Our son had recommended the pub on the Teign estuary at Combe Cellars, and we had a very good lunch here. We had hoped to have a stop at cockwood Harbour, but parking seemed to be impossible, so we continued to the RSPB's Exe Estuary reserve. We took the walk beside the Exeter Canal to Turf where, from the pub's boarded area on the Estuary, we saw a Spoonbill (but very distant). I took some photos of a drake Shelduck, rooting around in the very wet mud. It was here that I met local birders, Bob & Margaret Carpenter, whom I have subsequently had the pleasure of meeting up with again.
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