Wildlife 5, Poppydog 0 …….

After some heavy, noisy, splodgy rain and then some twit-twooing owls having a party when it stopped around midnight, we eventually slept well, waking to a beautiful sun rising over the hilltop.

Today I thought we would walk in the opposite direction and follow the coastal path (and Exe cycle trail) up the estuary towards Exeter. In Cockwood Harbour and surrounding marshland, we were lucky enough to see a couple of Little Egrets, a flock of Avocets and a couple of Lapwing feeding in the shallows.

Little Egret

Flock of Avocet

After Cockwood, I thought maybe I had made a mistake as we were hemmed in not only by the railway but also the A379, but once we reached Starcross the main road moved inland and we followed a very quiet country lane along the boundary’s of the Powderham Estate. It was lovely in the sun shine and excepting the trains very peaceful. Fortunately the estate boundary was quite a low wall, easy for me to see but not Poppydog! There were enough fallen leaves to keep Poppydog entertained leaving me to enjoy the sight of the fallow deer grazing in the parkland, Canada geese flying overhead and resting by the parkland water. There were many small birds fluttering around the marshland but too small and distant alas for me to identify.

Fallow deer

Canada Geese

The castle (built in the 13th Century and still in the Courtenay family – the 28th descendants and current Earl & Countess of Devon) is open to the public up until the end of October and sits in autumnal splendour in the centre of the parkland. The pretty church sits just on the edge and the Belvedere (folly) which is currently being renovated sits on higher ground behind the castle – keeping an aged eye in the estate and Exe Estuary, I think autumn suits this kind of landscape and indeed in the sunshine it was painting perfect – would also make a great jigsaw puzzle!

Powderham Castle

Powderham Church

The Belvedere in the distance

Two thoughts of the day:

I do feel robbed by the railway of experiencing the best this bit of the coastline has to offer.

You have to be in an area with lots of trees to truely get that Autumn feeling.

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