We have a huge variety of birds here, being enclosed by National Trust land, a SSSI marsh within 10 mins walk, and a river at the bottom of the garden.
Dunkery & Horner Wood National Nature Reserve (NNR) is owned and managed by the National Trust as the majority of the reserve is within the grounds of the Holnicote Estate. Horner Wood is an ancient oakwood and local birdlife includes the redstart, pied flycatcher, lesser-spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, and dipper. The upper land has a varied range of moorland habitats, from ‘true’ upland down to lowland heath. Moorland birds seen here include stonechat and whinchat, curlew, ring ouzel and merlin. The river Horner and nearby Aller support Kingfishers and Otters.
The National Trust have recently re-introduced Beavers to the area, and they are successfully building dams, which should bring more Dippers into the area.
Obviously, the place to stay while birding is Bossington Hall.
Above Bossington Hall are many species of Birds of Prey – a Kite has recently been spotted, I personally have watched a Sparrowhawk (I hope thats right) catch and drown a woodpidgeon, the local crows keep attacking the Buzzards, and the Owl centre next door occasionally loses (for a day or two) something large, with talons! Probably best to pop up to Selworthy Beacon to view from there. At night, the forest behind the Hall is alive with nocturnal species, and particularly loud (barn?) Owls.
Locally, Nightjars are resident, Cuckoo can be heard, a Ring Ouzel on the moorland, sadly the Dartford Warbler is in sharp decline on North Hill behind the Hall, the nearby cliffs contain Kittiwakes, Hurlstone point is often listed as a birder’s location.
Every bedroom in Bossington Hall has a pair of Binoculars by the window – admittedly they wont be the standard to which a devoted birder would like, but they are to hand, just in case theres a rare sighting from the window!