The Exe Estuary is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) in recognition of it's international importance as a wintering ground for a diverse community of over 20,000 waterbirds.
Waders including Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Redshank and Lapwing flock to the habitat these nature reserves provide. The eelgrass bed between Exmouth and Lympstone provides feeding grounds for thousands of Dark-bellied Brent geese and Wigeon. And at Dawlish Warren, the Wildlife Refuge and secluded bight provide winter sanctuary for Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Grey Plover.
These charming monochromatic birds spend their breeding season on the boggy arctic tundra of northern Siberia...
Wigeon are grazing ducks, feeding on grass or mud-flat plants - a feeding habit usually associated with geese. However, they do also feed in water and go "end-up" in a more duck-like fashion
Along with the Avocet, the black-tailed godwit is one of the few species re-established in the UK as breeding birds - in 1953 there were as few as four breeding pairs recorded!