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.