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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 09:25 GMT
Migrant birds flock to estuary
Migrant birds on the Exe estuary
About 1,000 Brent geese have arrived on the Exe
The cold snap has brought a record number of migrant birds to the South West.

They are trying to escape from even colder weather in northern Europe and are attracting many sightseers.

In Devon, the Avocet is the Exe Estuary's most famous migrant bird.

Surveys by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) show almost 400 of the wading birds have arrived at the estuary so far.

It brings the estuary alive, the different calls, the different sights and sounds of all the wading birds flying around

"AJ" Bellamy of the RSPB

A range of birds winter on the Exe and this year a record number of Black-tailed Godwits have also arrived.

There are also more than 1,000 Brent Geese.

They come from Siberia, where temperatures are as low as -30C.

"It brings the estuary alive, the different calls, the different sights and sounds of all the wading birds flying around," said AJ Bellamy of the RSPB.

Sheltered locations

"Each one flies in a different way, or calls in a different way as it glides over the marsh."

The Exe offers a safe and sheltered location and the mudflats are full of the worms and snails eaten by the birds.

The RSPB runs cruises along the Exe for those wishing to get a closer look at the region's feathered visitors.

In Cornwall, areas such as Sennen Cove in west Cornwall and Land's End are also popular places for migrant feathered visitors.


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See also:

01 Dec 02 | England
01 Nov 02 | England
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