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Enjoy a New Year Cruise with RSPB Avocet Cruises from Topsham

RSPB Avocet cruises are wonderful nature cruises that set off from the idyllic town of Topsham in South Devon. The avocet has made the Exe Estuary their home and you don't have to be a bird spotter to get excited about watching them.
Whilst bird watching may not be everyone’s cup of tea the RSPB Avocet Cruises going out of Topsham and Starcross are a fun trip to enjoy during the winter months. The informative cruises appeal to a wide cross-section of people due to the fact that the surrounding area is breathtakingly beautiful.

Set sail in January on an RSPB Avocet Cruise

These cruises and mini cruises are operated by the RSPB with the main aim of spotting local Avocets. Sightings of these birds was, until recently, extremely rare but is now a common sight on the Exe Estuary, thanks to the efforts of conservationists. Avocets are long-legged wading birds with black and white plumage and slender slightly upturned curved bills.

The Exe Estuary is now one of the best places to see these birds sweeping down on the mud plains in their search for food. In fact, the Exe Estuary welcomes over 40,000 birds that migrate here for the winter from Siberia and Greenland, which is why January is a great time to take this cruise.

As you would expect from anything to do with the RSPB, these cruises are highly informative due to the expert commentary. For non- birdwatchers, the trips are still very enjoyable as they offer a very relaxing scenic cruise whilst taking in the gorgeous South Devon scenery.

If you decide to go on one of these cruises, the main thing to remember is that during the month of January it can feel cold even on a sunny day. The Exe Estuary is renowned for its chilly weather, so make sure you wrap up warm in order to make the most of the wonderful experience that awaits you. Although there are some binoculars on the cruise, it’s a good idea to bring your own.

There are two types of Avocet cruises on offer, the mini cruise, which lasts for one and a half hours and the full cruise which lasts three to four hours. The choice of which one to go on is obviously entirely up to you but most wildlife enthusiasts say the full cruise is packed full of action and is a bird spotter’s delight.

It costs £14 for an adult on the full cruise and £11 for the mini cruise, but both represent excellent value for money and are well worth considering if you are in the area. Dates and times for the RSPB Avocet Cruises can be found on the RSPB website. Be aware that the cruises can be subject to change if the weather conditions mean that the estuary is dangerous.

A stroll around Topsham before your Avocet Cruise

The Avocet Cruises pick up passengers from both the Starcross Jetty and Topsham. This is a lovely area to visit and a fabulous place to rent a holiday cottage in Devon for a week off-season. Topsham is only a short drive away from the bustling city of Exeter, so there is plenty to keep anyone occupied before or after the cruise itself. Very quiet at this time of the year, a walk around the town of Topsham or a meal at one of the top restaurants is most enjoyable.

Cruises like this take place out of Topsham from November to March, but January is a popular month for bird watchers. The Avocets are one of the main attractions so these are the cruises which most wildlife lovers will opt for. As you might expect, they do get very popular so it is essential to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Have you been on a RSPB Avocet cruise and spotted an Avocet? Let us know what you thought of the experience. Perhaps you are a keen wildlife lover with your own particular favourite nature watching spot that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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