Woodpigeon outside the hotel room.
Lu and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary with a night down in the Soar Mill Cove Hotel. The weather was amazing and I was reminded of just how much I love the area. Its beauty, in my opinion, is incomparable with anywhere else in the county. I didn't do any birding as such, but it was hard to ignore the songs of numerous cirl buntings and stonechats as we walked the coastal footpaths. I used to make fairly frequent visits to Soar in the autumn but family commitments and the escalating cost of fuel put an end to that. I'm really going to try and get down there this autumn. The birding is fantastic and if you hit a quiet day there, you never feel as though you've had a wasted journey.
Locally, the female 'Greenland' wheatear is still in residence in the dung field and I was over the moon to hear, and see, a cuckoo whilst walking the dog up on the East Devon Commons this afternoon - the first I've had up there in about 2 years!
Soar Mill Cove
The Bay at the bottom of Starehole Valley, photographed on the descent from Bolt Head - masses of bluebells are in full bloom, all along the coastal path, along with gorse and thrift. Small pearl-bordered fritillaries were among the butterfly species noted.