(1) Arrive at Fremington Quay by walking from Instow. [Alternatively get the
1&2 Barnstaple-Appledore bus to Fremington and walk down from the
village.] There's usually a few of the common waders around this area, redshanks etc.
On the the east side of the old railway bridge is a small cafe/visitor centre but I'm not sure of it's opening times.
(2) Penhill Ridge. Here the Trail runs through a lightly wooded railway cutting. There's not that many trees but it
adds to the variety of habitats along this walk.
(3) Penhill Marsh. A large area of salt marsh cut channels. There's lots of bird life here but it's not always easy
to see. Little Egrets like hiding out of sight in the channels. You quiet often see a head and neck poking out or the sight of
one flying away from you with it's yellow feet trailing behind it. I'm not sure what else hides in the channels,
Isley Marsh is easier to view so don't spend a lot of time here. The one top of the marsh you
get Canada Geese and Shelduck. On one day in January I estimated there were around six to seven hundred geese and one
hundred shelduck here grazing on the marsh.
(4) From here you get a good view a low tide roost for gulls and cormorants. There's Herring Gull and Greater
Black-Back here all year round with Lesser Black-Back in the summer and Black-Headed every season but spring. Rarer gulls
had been occassionally seen, Mediterranean for example. There are also plenty of Curlews and sometimes the 30 or so
Black-Tailed Godwits that winter here are on this side of the estuary.
(5) Barnstaple Railway Station. The area around here (with Brian Fords Car Park and The Seven Brethren Lorry Park)
has played host to a Ring-Billed Gull for the last 20 odd winters. I keep looking for it when I'm going on train journeys
but I haven't seen it yet. : (