(a) Arrive at Instow by walking from Bideford. There is a foot
ferry service over to Appledore during the summer, but it only operates around high tide. [Alternatively, arrive on the
1&2 Barnstaple-Appledore bus.] There are two possible routes to Fremington. The first just follows
the cycle path inland. The second is the old South West Coast Path route which follows the shore more closely. This route is
muddy in places but it provides more opportunity to see wildlife.
(b) This is a great place for observing birds of the lower estuary. The two rivers join here and in the winter it
seems to be a favoured place for Great Crested Grebes and the occassional Red-Throated Diver. You'll need a good telescope
to see these, the river is about 1km wide here. Other wintering birds include Brent Geese, Wigeon, Common Gull. There was
also an American Wigeon reported here in January (which I failed to see).
(c) A couple of hundred lapwing here. Also some Teal and a Dabchick in the inland pool.
(d) Isley Marsh (RSPB). This is closed reserve but the footpaths allow observation from the west and south sides.
This is another 'salt marsh with tidal channels' type habitat. It provides plenty of hiding places for things that don't
want to be seen. This was a favourite spot for the 3 Spoonbills that wintered on the Taw this winter. It's also good for
Teal, at least 200 of them can be seen here. If you have patience and a telescope you might be able to spot a Green-Winged
Teal amongst them (I didn't).
(e) Fremington Quay. Another place to get some food if you're still hungry. Watch the redshank from the railway
bridge and decide whether to continue the walk to Barnstaple or to walk up the pill to the
village and catch the 1&2 Barnstaple-Appledore bus.