Bird watch success on River Otter

East Devon bird-watchers hope to encourage younger members with special open hide sessions

FOUR bird-watching sessions over the winter months are attracting new members to the East Devon branch of Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society.

On Saturday the third of the sessions was held at the West bird hide on the River Otter estuary, attracting young bird-watchers from Otterton, such as Jack Mead and his nine-year-old brother George.

Also there was Jonathan Ruscoe, chairman of the East Devon branch of Devon Birds and committee members Jean Millen and Ian Pullan.

Mr Ruscoe said: “We started this exercise last year and decided to do it again because they were so successful.”

He said it was a promotion exercise to get people interested in birds and the work of the society and the sessions were open to anyone, whether keen bird watchers or beginners.

The public hide is on the footpath on the west bank of the River Otter, and there was a “steady flow” of people going through on Saturday.

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As well as spotting ducks, geese and redshank, Mr Ruscoe said the most notable bird seen on Saturday was a red-breasted merganser.

With 220 members across East Devon, including Otterton and Sidmouth, the branch hopes to attract more younger members to join their regular field trips which number 24 during the year.

Membership for Devon Birds is �18 and details can be found at

*The last of the four special bird-watching sessions will take place at West hide on Saturday, February 19 from 2-3.30pm.