Sunday, 14 June 2009

Horner Wood, North Devon

Today I went with my friend Jane on a two hour drive due west to Exmoor National Park in the county of North Devon. Jane was leading a bird walk there for the Bristol Ornithological Club. We visited two areas. In this post I will write about our first stop at Horner Wood.
This is predominantly a Beech and Oak woodland in the gently rolling hills of the Exmoor National Park. The woodland here tends to hug the steep valleys (coombs) while the hills are mainly heathland/moorland.We come to this area to target mainly western specialities like Wood Warbler, Pied Plycatcher and Redstart that favour this type of woodland. It wasn't too long before we heard the distinctive 'pew pew pew pew' call of the Wood Warbler. The other half of this beautiful warblers song is a pulsating trill which it delivers while shivering its entire body! This is without doubt my favourite 'old world' warbler with its pure white underparts and lemon yellow throat with greenish back. A very 'clean' and smart bird. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any photos.Below is a heavily cropped photo of a male Pied Flycatcher. This male and the female below were attending a nest of young so we didn't want to get too close and cause any disturbance.Here is the female with one of the young birds begging from its hole in this English Oak.There were quite a few Foxgloves in this area (you'd have loved it Christine) (-: I took this one against the fast running stream at the bottom of the valley.This juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was trying out his pecking skills on a dead tree. The juveniles have that red on the top of the crown whereas the male just has a small patch at the back of the crown and the female no red on the head at all.Just a photo of a Fern frond, because I like them! (-:I also liked these birch trunks on the steep climb back up to where the cars were parked.It may not look it from this photo, but this is a killer climb at the end of our walk through these wonderful woods.My next post will cover the other place we visited today a little bit further along the coast at Chetsford Water.

12 comments:

Shellmo said...

Beautiful - I wish I could reach into the computer screen and touch those ferns!

Eve said...

I love that lush green woods Jenny. Great birds and Foxglove...and the fern, a beautiful photo. You will need the practice of climbing that slope so when you come here you can go get the mail with me everyday!

NatureStop said...

Really enjoyed your walk at Horner Wood.Lovely greenery.Teh image of teh fern is amazing.Waiting for your next post:)

Emma Anderson said...

Such beautiful countryside and outstanding birds to see too.

Rural Rambler said...

What a lovely walk you have taken us on. The different shades of lush green and the baby bird in the tree cavity-very special and beautiful. It must have been a wonderful sensory experience with feathery bird voices and other critter noises and views! I was looking forward to your next post! What a nice way to start my Monday morning! Thanks!

I may have double posted here, blogger munched my first comment...

Mary said...

Beautiful place! The name caught my eye first because my maiden name was Herner and some spelled it Horner when it was anglicized from the German. That photo of the trees is very beautiful and I love your fern shot:-) How neat to see the baby birds peeking out of that nest. It is always hard to choose between taking photos and not disturbing birds. I thought of you when we walked a trail over in Ohio and I could hear lots of birds and not see them and kept wishing I knew what I was hearing.

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley, I feel like that about your bird photos. Not to touch them, but they seem so vivid and accessible if you know what I mean.

Hi Evie, would'nt we use that lovely new tractor??? (-:

Hi Arunava and Shantana, glad you liked it. Do you have ferns where you are? Just curious.

Hi Emma, very many thanks for stopping by my blog. I should have time this evening to check yours out too! (-:

Hi RR blogger munches mine sometimes too, who knows why! You didn't double post though. Glad you liked Horner Wood, it is a beautiful wood, I love beech particularly.

Hi Mary, have you ever thought of joining a local bird group. It's great fun and you do learn loads of stuff from other like minded people. Just a thought. I'm so glad I did, it changed my life, literally! I made some fantastic friends. Horner Wood is one of my favourite places.

dog trot farm said...

Jenny, your walk was lovely. The countryside just beautiful, I especially loved the photo of the fern.

Kelly said...

...another beautiful and peaceful post. I always enjoy how you present your walks. The baby of the Pied Flycatcher is so sweet peeping out of his home. It must be incredibly lush there. I see the ferns growing out of the moss on the branches--very beautiful. I would assume they need a lot of moisture to support that growth.

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
This is exactly the kind of area everybody would like to walk through. As Kelly said, a beautiful peaceful post! Thanks!

Jenny said...

Hi Julie, I can't resist ferns I must admit! (-:

Hi Kelly, the west of Britain does generally tend to get more rain. We get our prevailing weather systems in from the south west due to the gulf stream. So, yes it is quite lush and wet in the west country.

Hi Chris, it really is a lovely peaceful place to be. I do hope to go back around September time, tho it is quite a long way for a day trip.

Quiet Paths said...

More foxgloves, please! I would love it there, you are so right about that. Wonderful path, even if it is a bit steep. The male woodpeckers - I've learned they bang on trees and such not only to find insects but it is a mating call. Is this correct?