Monday, July 26, 2010

Brean Down Country Park

At the end of the road to Berrow, bypassing the caravan, holiday and leisure park and the bird garden is Brean Down Country Park.  A large lump of rock jutting out in to the Severn Estuary.  There's a steep flight of steps from the car park and cafe at the base which takes you up on to the top and a spectacular walk along the top of the Down with it's closely cropped grass, ancient field systems (remaining as a faint outline) and steep cliffs on either side.

At the end of the point is the remains of a Fort on the seaward end.  Mainly built in the 19th Century but used during the World Wars.  The original buildings apart from being gutted are in much better condition than the crumbling concrete constructions that were built later.

From the top of Brean Down you realise how massive the Severn estuary is.  On either side is a vast expanse of water - straight ahead to Wales in one direction, to Exmoor and the Bristol Channel and up river towards Bristol.  Weston-super-Mare in the bay behind with it's newly built pier.

Thankfully there was a constant breeze otherwise it would have been extremely hot.  We spotted a lovely stonechat and a number of pipits on the way back.  There's a small herd of goats on the way up and a herd of  lovely and very impressive horned British White.

Luckily the trek up the steps and the attractions further along the beach probably put most people off, as there were relatively few people around but still some of those that were, were inappropriately dressed - although I was slightly over-dressed for the heat.  It was cool and cloudy when we left the house.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spotted Flycatchers Return

The spotted flycatchers reappeared in Harting a few days ago.  Very late in the season if they've only just arrived, so perhaps they were nesting somewhere else and have moved here for their second brood.

They've certainly taken up residence in their usual nesting place by the front door and we've all got fingers crossed that this year they successfully rear their brood and the nest doesn't get attacked by magpies or jackdaws which is what happened last year.

The parent bird(s) appear every now and then on the telephone wire or on one of the over-hanging branches before visiting the nest.

Lovely to see them back again.