Monday 19 March 2018

The Thaw

Overnight last night there had been even more snow, and although it had stopped by dawn, we had a 100% white-out. An early morning trip out showed the local area looking incredibly beautiful...

Looking east along Seaton Beach
Looking west along Seaton Beach to Beer Head
Seaton from a distance
Axmouth from a distance
The A3052 at 8am. Most Monday mornings this would be busy with commuters and buses!
A random county lane - looking lovely!

Despite all the snow there were surprisingly few birds about. The only species that seemed to be struggling a bit were Meadow Pipits and the odd Chiffchaff, but there were no Golden Plovers or Lapwing, or that many thrushes really. Great news.

Mid morning the sun came out, so before lunch I enjoyed another quick whizz around. This showed a bit more variety, with eleven Dunlin, four Pintail (two pairs), three Gadwall and the lingering Marsh Harrier and first-winter Caspian Gull on the Estuary. Was nice to have some blue sky above the stunning snow too...

Colyford Marsh and the upper Axe Estuary
Bridge Marsh
Looking up the Axe from A3052

The welcome sun saw an increase in temperatures and an impressively rapid thaw. More birds appeared once this began, with lots of thrushes taking full advantage of the freshly revealed green, along with numerous Chiffchaff, Snipe and various wildfowl on Seaton Marshes mid afternoon...

Common Snipe
Common Snipe
Common Chiffchaff. So happy to see so many feeding well after picking up the dead bird yesterday.

Tim Wright scored our first Little Ringed Plover of the year an hour or so later on Colyford Marsh, does this mean we've finally seen the back of winter?

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