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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Fremington Quay

Greenshank - Femington Quay
I ventured into Devon yesterday (11th February) for lunch at Fremington Quay. I remember there being a small tidal river which empties into the Taw there and hoped for sight of some waders.

I was not disappointed, the tide was out and the mud flats exposed.

I was fortunate to find a dry and sunny window in the extreme weather to observe ducks and waders busily feeding and socialising.

A twenty minute walk along the access road gave excellent sightings of Mallard, Shelduck, Little Egret, Curlew, Redshank and even two Greenshank. The plaintive calls of Curlew were counterpoint to the gentle piping calls of the Redshank.

Shelduck - Fremington Quay

Redshank were in flocks of 20 or 30 walking along the mud flats in characteristic hunched over groups probing the mud for invertebrates. The two lone Greenshank in contrast were probing for invertebrates and mollusc in the shallow edge of the water. Shelduck were dabbling in the river then flying up in groups of 8 or 10 to find another, better place to filter waterborne food.
Redshank - Fremington Quay

The field edges were not empty either with Crows and Magpies chasing three very vocal Buzzards. I think they had sensed that spring was in the air and nest sites were being claimed.

On the Taw itself were many Herring Gull, Black-headed Gulls, Oystercatchers and Wigeon.

I hope the owners of those very large and obviously expensive houses appreciate the birds on their doorsteps.

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