Sherryl Woods Exmoor Blog – January 2015
My last visit to Exmoor was just before Xmas and I had an hour or so to spare for a stroll after lunch at the Exmoor White Horse Inn. Walking around the Exford area is always a pleasure so I went across the bridge turning right onto the B3224, the road to Simonsbath. Just round the corner after the stables on the right and well before the kennels is a marked public footpath with wooden steps rising from grass verge. This follows on as a narrow fenced-off track with a couple of gates at the division of the two pastures where it can be muddy where the horses pass through. Continue along where over time I have seen a surprising amount of wildlife by looking and listening and with a little patience.
Today many small birds were out in the winter sun, moving amongst the beech and hazel braches. Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinches, Robins and Blackbirds. Several pheasants in the field below to the right and a Sparrowhawk flew off a fence post near to me. I caught the scent of a fox which might have passed through earlier. Signs of a well-worn animal track visible in several places crossing the walkway obviously a fox’s ‘run’. On the right among the gnarled roots and high bank there are rabbit holes and there are often rabbits in the fields. I have seen grey squirrels here, the beech nuts underfoot are an attraction. What I find a fascination is to look back behind me where the beech and hawthorn lean over the track to appear as a tunnel.
I came to a little wooden footbridge with two steps up and down with a view way down below to the River Exe. Fast flowing today so no chance of seeing a Dipper feeding on this occasion. It’s a steep decent then down to the water with a long wooden footbridge and sign to Edgcot. This will bring you back to Exford following the public footpath. On this occasion I wished to spend some time in the tunnel area bird-watching where I was lucky with a pretty little Wren and then Redwing and Fieldfare.
Happy New Year to all.
Sherryl Woods ………………………..2 January 2015