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Fremington to Barnstaple
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Tarka Trail: Bideford to Barnstaple 10.5 miles, 17 km

Ordnance Survey Maps Explorer OL 9 or Explorer 139.

(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. : (


Links

My List
  1. Cormorant
  2. Little Egret
  3. Grey Heron
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Shelduck
  7. Mallard
  8. Pheasant
  9. Moorhen
  10. Coot
  11. Oystercatcher
  12. Lapwing
  13. Redshank
  14. Curlew
  15. Black-headed Gull
  16. Herring Gull
  17. Lesser Black-back
  18. Great Black-back
  19. Woodpigeon
  20. Meadow Pipit
  21. Pied Wagtail
  22. Wren
  23. Robin
  24. Blackbird
  25. Goldcrest
  26. Great Tit
  27. Blue Tit
  28. Long-tailed Tit
  29. Magpie
  30. Jackdaw
  31. Rook
  32. Carrion Crow
  33. Starling
  34. House Sparrow
  35. Chaffinch
  36. Linnet
  37. Goldfinch
  38. Greenfinch
Possibles (?) and...
Very dubious possibles (??)
Other animals...
Created 23/1/05
Last Modified 8/11/05