Wildlife watching at Exmoor lake

Wildlife at West Withy Farm Lake.

It has been an Exmoor winter’s day, today – sleety snow in the morning, then rain – cold and damp but with little wind. So not a great day outside for humans, really. But when I ventured out early afternoon, I was very well rewarded around our lake.

Great Crested Grebe on Exmoor Lake

Wildlife on West Withy Farm Lake

The trees have lost most of their leaves now. As Railtrack would say, it’s been a ‘bad year for leaves’. There has been little wind on Exmoor and until the last few days, autumn has been very pleasant, with lots of sunshine. So the leaves on the trees have been spectacular in all their autumn colour. But lack of wind has meant the leaves have just ‘fallen’ to earth – waiting patiently to be collected!! A good year for leaves here is when there is a strong wind and the leaves just ‘well, disappear’.

Kingfisher, Great Crested Grebe and Moorhen.
My first reward around our lake was sighting of our kingfisher – it was flying around for 20 minutes – but never settled in a convenient place for a photo.

More accommodating were the Great Crested Grebe – (at least that is what I think they are – does anyone know better?). There are three on the lake at the moment. I suspect they are this year’s young, just emerging into adulthood. They have slim pointed bills, with a lot of feather on their heads, slightly shorter than our mallards and much slimmer.

We also have a moorhen now living on the lake. Like the grebe, it is very shy and I have not managed a photo yet.

There is so much to see on our Exmoor lake, if you are quiet and patient.