Dartmoor Nature Tours

Discover Dartmoor's wildlife with a professional local guide  


January - A Two Faced Month (updated on Friday 4th January 2019)

January was named after the two-faced Roman God, Janus.

December 2018 like November before it, was very wet and windy but there was a much warmer and calmer end to the year as high pressure became the dominant force keeping the Atlantic storms at bay. The changing conditions brought some very atmospheric misty days and also some very thick fog!

Song thrushes (see picture below, top right) and Mistle thrushes started to sing at dawn in response to the lengthening hours of daylight but the onset of cold frosty weather seems to have put an end to that for the time being.

The moorland is largely devoid of small birds now apart from a few wrens, dunnocks, meadow pipits, the occasional stonechat and the over-wintering flock of golden plover (see picture below bottom left) and occasional wintering hen harrier or merlin. Ravens, however, are already staking out their territories and are already actively calling and displaying (see picture below, bottom right)– these are early traditionally nesters but they also like to keep their territory clear of any rivals.

Future Events

Forest on The Hill Walk – Wednesday January 23rd

This walk for Bovey Tracey Library will follow the story of Eden Phillpotts novel, The Forest on the Hill. Set in and around Ilsington and Yarner Wood we will revisit some of the buildings and sites featured in the novel, including the houses occupied by the leading characters (see picture below, bottom right).

The walk will begin in Haytor Lower car park at 10.00 and end at approximately 1.00 at Yarner Wood. You will be driven back to Haytor to collect your car.

The walk is FREE, but numbers are limited. Tickets are available in Bovey Tracey Library. Sorry but no dogs allowed.

Winter Bird Walks

There will be a birdwatching walk on Sunday January 27th. The walk will start at 09.30 hours from the Lower Car Park on Trendlebere Down (Bovey Tracey end). Charge is £5.00 per adult

This is a short stroll of just over 1½ miles and lasts for 3 hours. The objective will be to find as many different birds as possible!

Telephone (0785 8421 148) or e-mail me at enquiries@dartmoornaturetours.co.uk if you need more information about these events.