Topsham Lock Cottage


Wild birds on the Exe estuary (Photos: David J Glaves)

Topsham Lock Cottage occupies a unique location on the west bank of the estuary between two nature reserves — one operated by the Devon Wildlife Trust and the other by the RSPB.

The Exe Estuary is an important conservation area. It is reckoned that over 10,000 wild fowl and 20,000 waders spend the winter here, including the avocet, black-tailed godwit, dark bellied Brent goose, ringed plover and wigeon.

Some of the latest bird sightings in the area are listed below. Further sightings can be found at

For the latest information, visit and
Thursday 23rd January 2020
Dawlish WarrenA morning visit saw the first two Black-tailed Godwit of the year off Cockwood with 79 Brent Geese and 43 Shelduck also in the estuary. Elsewhere three Red-throated Diver were offshore, 13 Snipe and two Teal were in the flooded Greenland Lake and a pair of Collared Dove were in Dead Dolphin Wood. (More…)
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Dawlish WarrenThe Slavonian Grebe and eight Sanderling were off Cockwood but no other news was received. (More…)
Sunday 19th January 2020
Dawlish WarrenDue to the significant ongoing erosion, Teignbridge District Council is advising extreme caution when visiting. The dune path between groyne 10 – 18 is unsafe and a section of this path has been washed away, so is completely closed with no access. Access to the Hide and Warren Point is only possible via the beach with the risk of being cut off for a period either side of any high tide. The only access to these areas is along the beach at lower states of tide.17/01/2028/11/1902/10/19 (More…)
Dawlish WarrenA cold sunny day with a flat calm sea, the conditions helped confirmed there was very little offshore, with no divers, a handful of Great-crested Grebe and the returning female Eider. Counts of the high tide included 172 Snipe, 131 Grey Plover, 108 Teal, 85+ Shelduck, 84 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 82 Common Gull, 79 Knot, six Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. (More…)
Saturday 18th January 2020
Dawlish WarrenCattle Egret remain a feature with a couple of birds again in the Railway Saltmarsh early morning but late afternoon a new record flock of 26 were present on the mudflats. The estuary fog limited visibility all morning but cleared by early afternoon and counts on the receding tide included 950 Dunlin, 878 Oystercatcher, 168 Knot, 164 Grey Plover, 87 Teal, 76 Bar-tailed Godwit, 71 Redshank, 69 Brent Geese, 55 Shelduck, just 18 Wigeon, three Greenshank and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere 46 Great-crested Grebe, two Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver were offshore with both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker vocal on site and the first Kingfisher of the year in Eales Dock. (More…)
Friday 17th January 2020
Dawlish WarrenThree Cattle Egret were again in the estuary early morning with 1500 Dunlin, 190 Grey and 34 Ringed Plover, 180 Bar-tailed Godwit, 134 Knot, 90 Common Gull, 80 Teal, 73 Shelduck, 30 Dark and a Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 21 Sanderling and the Slavonian Grebe. Elsewhere three Great Northern Diver and a Common Scoter were offshore. Cattle Egret - Lee Collins. A record shot but award winning compared to the only other Dawlish Warren Cattle Egret photo from February 2008.Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Alan Keatley (More…)

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