Wandering in White Wood

I make a point of visiting White Wood above the double Dart valley on Dartmoor at least once a year in the spring.  Ever since the late Ian Mercer told me that wood warblers breed here I go to listen for them.  This year I was about two weeks earlier than usual, with the advantage that the leaves were not out so birds were easier to see.

It was a lovely sunny day and my friend Hil Marshall and I wandered down the track from Venford reservoir, watching and listening.

6 Sharp tor

Sharp Tor from the track to the wood

There were countless willow warblers, and then we saw a redstart and a tree pipit, which confirmed itself with its flight song.

1 tree pipit tree

Tree pipit country

We entered the wood with its ancient oaks, small at first, then larger as you get deeper in.  The track entices you on.

1a track

The wooded slopes of the Dart valley showed through the trees; we felt as though we were in the canopy.

2 Dart valley through trees

The Dart valley through the trees

About halfway along the track we heard wood warblers whirring, and then we had a fleeting glimpse of one.  The song is breathtaking.  We kept hearing little bursts of it as we made our way through the wood.

3 wood warbler trees

Where the wood warblers were

Further on the slopes were covered in mossy rocks.  Hil saw a pied flycatcher but I missed it.

4 mossy rocks

Mossy rocks

I went back the next day, determined to see a pied flycatcher—and I did, near the western entrance to the wood where I have seen them before.

7 pied flycatcher trees

Flycatcher spot

It is a most splendid place.

5 the pipeline route

The track through the woods





About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dartmoor, Woods and forests and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wandering in White Wood

  1. ishanlin says:

    Wow looks like a awesome place to go! Those mossy rocks are very cute.

  2. ossjay says:

    Makes me realise that I’m not alone in failing to photograph birds!

  3. No, Jay, you are not alone, I usually photograph the spot where they were after they have flown!

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