Deer Around In April
A good friend of mine had not visited Exmoor for many years and hoped to see deer. We took the Porlock road out of Exford crossing a cattle grid at Hill Head Cross then right towards Cloutsham. Going down the steep hill and looking to the slopes on the right there were several deer in the distance grazing. We parked and walked down Bagley Coombe following the well-worn path where sheep tracks lead uphill through the bracken. Here we had good views of around thirty red deer grazing the slopes below Dunkery with several Exmoor ponies to their left. Keeping our distance we were able to watch them for some time. My friend was surprised that in such a large area I was able to find deer so easily but I do come to this spot regularly, as deer sighting is pretty much guaranteed and it’s also en route The Exmoor White Horse Inn, for meal times and accommodation for me.
We continued along past Cloutsham Farm, driving down the steep hill to East Water Valley. A Dipper sighting was next on our ‘tick list’ for the visit so we parked and walked along the stream, looking and listening. We heard it’s sharp, abrupt call then spotted the bird ahead on a stone mid-stream. It’s springy, bouncing movements and bold white chest gave it away and we watched it disappearing under the water to feed. I was chuffed to be able to show off one of my favourite Exmoor birds.
Driving on we came to a pretty cobbled ford where Grey Wagtails moved along the water’s edge feeding. Very pretty birds with much bright yellow in it’s plumage. Moving on and up the steep hill towards Webber’s post we were almost level with the tree-tops and to the right tumbling water falling steeply down, added to the fantastic views we enjoyed that day. We came then to Webbers Post to look across the valley towards Cloutsham and what had been our journey there, with promises of returning soon when the Cuckoo will be heard calling.
Sherryl Woods ……………………10 April 2015