Birdwatching on Exmoor

Travelling to Exford via the B3224 last Sunday, I was impressed by the amount of Gorse flower and Primroses along the roadside. A short walk then before a carvery lunch at The Exmoor White Horse Inn. Passing through the village car park, generally several species of small birds here. This morning, Blackbirds, Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinch and several Robins. One very tame Robin posed for me. Following on to Court Farm I did see a Dipper briefly. They nest locally so I look forward to when the young birds follow the parents upstream to feed.

Later I drove to Horner via the Dunkery Hill road. My only sighting of a Dartford Warbler was here and I stop to look, ever hopeful of another. Not so today, so onward to walk Horner Woods.
Being Sunday it was busy with many folk out enjoying the sights and scents of Spring in this beautiful part of Exmoor. Though a good place to see them, no Dippers at this time but a Grey Wagtail with it’s striking yellow underparts didn’t mind the crowds and stayed for some time making its way across the rocky stream to feed.

Whilst I love the force and sound of the water here, it does drown out the birdsong so crossing over the first footbridge I was able to stop and listen. Here I caught site of Coal Tits, Wood Warblers and Chiff Chaff. I heard a couple of Nuthatch calling to each other but out of view as many trees here are ancient and massive. I noticed how many more trees had fallen since my last visit, some across the water and the children of a large family group were enjoying using it as a bridge.

Soon the starry white heads of Wild Garlic will be on show along with Wood Sorrell. I look forward to the speedy expanse of Bluebells here, their many shades of blue have an uplifting effect after the Winter. I had a lovely day out with an added highlight of an elderly gentleman raising his hat to me, bless him. A rare sighting indeed!
Sherryl Woods ……….11th April 2016

Written by Peter