Christmas Day

Lunchtime walk, evening meal. Seen at 1pm on the Exminster Marshes, and the Exe Canal and Estuary around the Turf Hotel and Topsham: one heron; two cormorants, and at least one other on a loop, maybe more; two mute swans, another two mute swans; teal and shelduck; Mr & Mrs Merganser fishing by the lock; small flock of and scattered avocet; many many probably sanderlings, like midges across the mud’s surface; redshanks and curlews; grey plover, we thought; various herring, black-headed, greater black-backed gulls; something startled, with a striking white bar on its black tail; various coots, mallards, robins, magpies, pigeons, small brown birds; two interweaving flocks of lapwing; one angler; two canoeists; mum, dad, daughter and miserable-looking son-in-law; several dog walkers and cyclists. Heard likewise: the call of an oystercatcher.