Spring On Exmoor

Recently I took a walk at Horner Woods, always a good experience.  This ancient oak wood holds varied sizes and shapes of trees, covering steep slopes and valley bottoms.  Just now, standing leafless and exposing gnarled and twisted branches.  Some branches a green-grey haze with mosses and lichens especially the old oaks standing there for ages.   Soon a profusion of many shades of green leaves will come to most trees with Spring.  Dead trees will stand amongst them and I noticed a few had fallen since my last visit, some across the water like a bridge.  Soon there will be activity below the trees as Bluebells, Primroses, Wild Garlic, Wood Sorrel etc make an appearance.  Many catkins hang from hazel twigs from the outset of my walk and as soon as I cross the old Packhorse Bridge, birdsong greets me and I see Blackbird, Robin and Chaffinch straight away.

Following on I come to one of many superb riverside areas and there it is!  My first Dipper of 2015!  It sees me and flies low upstream so I follow it, or maybe it’s another one I see.  Too quick for my camera this time but committed to my memory.

The track proceeds up and away from the noise of the fast water.  Hearing the birdsong now and with some patience I watch a posse of Long Tailed Tits move noisily through the tree tops above, picking insects from the twigs.  On this walk also I see Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits and a Tree Creeper.  I heard Nuthatch, Goldcrest and Jay.

In this wood in future visits I shall expect to see Wood Warbler, Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and more Dippers and I look forward to that.

Sherryl Woods ………………. 31 March 2015 – Sat having a coffee at The Exmoor White Horse

Written by Peter