Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Devon: Dawlish Warren

Part 4 of the Devon trip

I think this will be the last entry for the Devon part of the trip. I popped into a place called Stover which is a small park with woodland and a lake, and some waterways extending from it. It might have had potential, but there were so many folks around from nearby campsites, it was too busy for anything decent to show up I suspect. There's an interesting walkway though, by some feeders that were attracting woodland birds, such as nuthatches, but the light that lunchtime was poor, so I only managed one shot I think.

Dawlish Warren is a lovely place to mooch around though. Comprising of meadows that attract butterflies, hedges that are alive with bird song, woodland with hidden gems, several fresh water pools and reedbeds for wildfowl and warblers alike, dunes to wander aimlessly across, beaches to stare out to sea from, an estuary to watch waders in, a hide to well, hide from the rain in, and the sky, filled with swifts, swallows and martins, to remind you how bad you are at photographing fast-flying birds!

I visited the reserve several times during the week, in varying weather conditions. I had read on the internet that there was a spotted flycatcher around, but it never showed itself to me. One for the Wyre Forest I reckon.

I did see a few whitethroats around, giving themselves away with their calls and warbling sounds. Along with them in the hedges were chiffchaffs and a few willow warblers, but they stayed high in tops of trees. There are a lot of "normal" birds to be found here, such as blue, great and long-tailed tits, blackbirds and robins too. Amongst the woods were blackcaps, though they never seem to come out when I'm around.

On the meadows I spooked a green woodpecker, which hurtled off into the woods, cackling as it went. The local kestrel wasn't around either, which was a shame.

On the beach I spotted a flock of sanderling & dunlin (though I still can't tell some of them apart, other than looking for the kink in the beak). I was able to creep up on them using some wooden breaks as cover, and got some interesting shots into the sun, as they pottered about on the water's edge.

Alas the weather closed in on me later in the week, and I found myself sheltering under hawthorn bushes, watching Canada goslings waddle around in the rain. On the pond, there was a lone little grebe, which kept at a distance, a heron watching over all the fuss, plus coot and moorhen chicks, making cute peeping sounds as they followed their parents around.

Keep an eye on the gallery over the next few days, as I have a few other pics to add that have missed this first sweep. There's also another entry for the holiday left over, which will be added soon... but it's not in Devon.


Reg Telescope said...

Not too long before I head down there myself. You're right - it's a wonderful place for wildlife.

Nice pics.

Max Silverman said...

Pete more great shots.The 50D is working well.
Pity you cannot click on your pics to get a larger version.I don't know how I do it on my blog but I download my pics at 1024 X 768.I hope this may work.

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