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Somerset Crossbills

Hodder’s Combe

This is probably the best description of where a little flock called in passing over my head. About half a kilometre south-west of Holford in the Quantocks anyway, the unseen birds became my 182nd Somerset species. That was a surprise because I thought I’d also heard them at Black Down last year.

Not so. This time they chattered over at the end of what seemed a long walk, but was likely only five kilometres up Hodder’s Combe. That turned into Short Combe, Somerton and finally Stert before expiring towards Halsway Post. I returned over Higher and Lower Hare Knaps. Other highlights of the route were:

  • a singing willow warbler
  • one calling yellowhammer
  • five ravens
  • three mistle thrushes
  • a handsome male redstart

Quantock’s Head

The pictures originate from here just to show that Somerset does have some cliffs – not enough for seabirds but some. It also has cool rock formations although not in the same league as Pembrokeshire. A climb up the permissive path along the top produced nearly nothing at all apart from another singing yellowhammer. Still, I had a fine cream tea at Kilve Chantry in the company of sparrows and swallows. Who could ask for more?

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