Hobby by Chris Townend

Tour Dates 1: Tuesday 4th – Friday 7th May 2021 (Exmouth to Exmouth)
Tour Dates 2: Monday 17th – Thursday 20th May 2021 (Exmouth to Exmouth)
Tour Price: £575pp
Deposit: £250 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £50 – £100
Minimum Number: 4 people
Maximum Group Size: 6 people

Target Species
Birds: Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Dipper, Marsh Tit and a good selection of commoner woodland birds. Plus Dartford Warbler, Cuckoo, Tree Pipit, Yellowhammer, Whinchat, Hobby, Nightjar and more!

Tour Summary
Based in the beautiful seaside town of Budleigh Salterton this short Spring birdwatching trip for beginners will focus on woodland and heathland habitats. Having a small group size of just 4 people will allow us plenty of time to learn some basic identification skills with an always relaxed and friendly approach from our local leader. We will spend a full day based around the woodlands and moorlands near Dartmoor where the primary objective will be to enjoy prolonged and close views of many of the special species that breed here as well as many other and just as interesting common species. Our second day will be spent exploring the Pebblebed Heaths where a good mix of birds, butterflies and plants await us. An evening visit to the heaths for Nightjars should most definitely be a highlight! During the evenings you will have the opportunity to go through all the sightings of the day with numerous useful notes to help you identify the species on your own in the future.

ACCOMMODATION: 3 nights in Budleigh Salterton, Devon
3 nights in a very comfortable guesthouse
Included Meals: Breakfast only

DAY 1: Arrival Exmouth and transfer to Budleigh Salterton
After a mid afternoon pick-up from Exmouth train station we will take the 15 minute drive east to the coastal town of Budleigh Salterton. Once settled into your very comfortable bed and breakfast we will eat at one of the local Pub restaurants. Overnight Budleigh Salterton

Pied Flycatcher, Devon by Chris Townend

DAY 2: Dartmoor Woodlands & Moorland
This morning we will head for the edge of Dartmoor which is fast becoming one of Devon’s most important sites for many declining species. We will spend the morning exploring one of the many special woodlands on the slopes of the moorland where we hope to find impressive species such as the dapper black and white male Pied Flycatcher and the stunning male Common Redstart. If we are lucky, we may get a Dipper on the nearby river along with Grey Wagtail and in the quieter parts of the woodland, if we are very lucky, the tiny Lesser Spotted Woodpecker! Of course we will also be looking for the numerous common species here too and by the end of the morning we should have seen in excess of 40 species. We will then head onto the moorland for a number of different species with good chances for Cuckoo, Stonechat, Whinchat and Tree Pipit.
After lunch at the highest Pub in southern England we will then explore some other woodland for any particular species that we may wish to see again or try and get better views of. Dependent on our arrival time back in Budleigh Salterton, we may be able to visit the nearby River Otter for some different species. Overnight Budleigh Salterton

Hobby, Devon by Chris Townend

DAY 3: East Devon Pebblebed Heaths
Today we will visit the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths a vast area of specially protected heathland with a wealth of important birds, plants and insects. From our base the sites today are very close and will allow us to spend plenty of time to get good views of what we see. Dartford Warbler will be high on our list of special species to see today and the Pebblebed Heaths have a very healthy population. Stonechats, Linnets and Yellowhammer should be easy to find too and we will always be keeping our eyes to the sky for a newly arrived Hobby from Africa!
After lunch, at a nearby cafe, known for its excellent Cream Teas(!), we will then spend some time exploring the nearby River Otter. The river walk will give us opportunities to see some different species including an excellent chance of Kingfisher and we are sure to see many signs of Beaver activity! During the evening we will meet again and head up to the East Devon Commons where we will enjoy the amazing sight and sound of the European Nightjar! Overnight Budleigh Salterton

Dartford Warbler, Devon by Chris Townend

DAY 4: Budleigh Salterton – Exmouth
After a leisurely breakfast at our accommodation, we will then take the journey to Exmouth train station where the tour will conclude.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Leader: Chris Townend / Mike Langman
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin en-suite rooms, breakfasts only (starting with breakfast on day 2 until breakfast on day 4), ground transport and services of leader.
Not included in cost: Travel to Exmouth, lunches and dinners, drinks and travel insurance.
Accommodation: Good quality local guesthouse.
Single Supplement: £100
Transport: People carrier / minibus throughout.
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Walking on footpaths within the woodland and heathland will be undulating and we will cover distances of around 4 – 5Km per day.
Climate: Be prepared for a typical unpredictable English summer!
Tour Start Point: Exmouth Railway Station, Devon.
Tour End Point: Exmouth Railway Station, Devon.

Budleigh Salterton, Devon by Chris Townend