Monday, 14 January 2019

Tarka Tales. Meandering beside the Marshes

This is Isley Marsh, the RSPB Nature Reserve just off the Tarka Trail beside the Taw/Torridge Estuary between Yelland and Fremington Quay. Visitor access is restricted to public footpaths, largely outside the reserve itself, but allowing expansive views across the estuary and the surrounding farmland. From here you can see across the estuary to Chivenor and Saunton Sands and the North Devon Biosphere..

It is an important haven in the busy estuary for undisturbed feeding and resting birds, especially the wintering flocks of ducks such as Teal and waders including significant numbers of Curlew, Greenshank and Dunlin. In recent years, numbers of little Egret have increased. 
An incredbly dull day on Sunday but we enjoyed the walk from Yelland to Fremington Quay. going past Isley Marsh we spotted two Spoonbills, a flock of Lapwing and a little Goldfinch. Further along the trail at Fremington Quay we saw 4 Oyster Catchers, 1 Curlew, 2 Shelduck and one Redshank. (Article photos credit Pat Adams 13 January 2019)
RSPB Isley Marsh Wildlife Refuge beside the Tarka Trail

RSPB Isley Marsh, North Devon. Photo copyright Pat Adams
RSPB Isley Marsh Saltmarsh and Mudflats beside the Taw/Torridge Estuary
Isley Marsh Notice Board. Photo credit Pat Adams

The Tarka Trail is popular with runners, walkers and cyclists. The section between Instow, Yelland and Fremington Quay is popular with birdwatchers. The Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 is from 26-28 January

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