Trip reports

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh and Darts Farm, Devon

Long-tailed tit perched on branch
RSPB Image

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Eight members met at Darts Farm for the field trip to Bowling Green Marsh on a cold morning. We set off along the footpath beside the River Clyst heading for the footbridge at Goosemoor. Long-tail Tits, Blue Tits and Goldfinches were among the few birds seen on route. Travelling along the footbridge, taking care to avoid cyclists with no bells using the same path, we looked out at the viewing points but only one or two Curlews were seen. Arriving at the hide at Bowling Green Marsh with high tide at 1pm there were few waders about but large numbers of duck were present including Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler and Shelduck, and a Little Grebe in a far pool. We did not stay long before moving on to the viewing platform which overlooks the River Clyst. Here there were large numbers of Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Curlews but, surprisingly, no Dunlin. A Long-billed Dowitcher had been seen on previous days but we couldn't positively identify it amongst the sleeping waders despite much searching through our telescopes. Our final visit was to the Goatwalk at the side of the River Exe where Rob saw a Kingfisher fly past and land briefly on a wall. On the far bank of the river Avocets, Dunlin and Lapwings were feeding.

It was time for lunch and, as we made our way back, there was a Goldcrest in a tree by the railway tunnel and an amazing 30 Greenshanks from the viewing points at Goosemoor. After lunch some members popped over to the bird hide overlooking the wetland at Darts Farm. It was a bit disappointing with empty bird feeders and obstructed openings but we did add Jays, Stock Doves, a Grey Heron and Great Spotted Woodpecker to the day's list.

The trip recorded 50 species seen and the party enjoyed a lunch on a picnic table at Darts Farm.

Don Cotton