Excellent Safari Images

Mr Lez Smith who has recently joined us on a wildlife tour across Exmoor was kind enough to send us these fantastic images of his groups experience!

Thank you for your images Lez, we look forward to welcoming you on another Exmoor Safari very soon.

If you have pictures of your day out with our Exmoor Safari Team please don’t hesitate to send them in.

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    Today’s Morning Safari – 18th February

    A very bright sunny February morning with a brisk breeze as we set off from The Exmoor White Horse Inn.

    As we made our way over the moor the bright sun showing the outline at Nutscale of one of the many medieval settlement on the moor.

    There were several large herds of Exmoor wild red deer grazing across the moor including Hurdledown, Stoke Pero common and Goosemoor.

    Small herds of Exmoor ponies dotted around over the moor enjoying the morning sun on their backs and contently grazing.

    A pair of ravens took on an aerial display acrobatics a sign of courtship in ravens along with demonstrating intelligence, and ability to provide food, key behaviours of raven courtship. Once paired, they tend to nest together for life, usually in the same location a sure sign of spring made a very nice morning safari enjoyed by all.

      Today’s Safari- Friday 15th February

      A lovely afternoons safari with a family who had 1st joined us on our safari many years ago when we were the only Exmoor Safari, set in the heart of Exmoor it’s a short drive to the moor loosing no time at all.

      Setting off with good visibility a few clouds in the sky, a calm spring day.

      We were lucky enough to see five magnificent stags all rights and three atop**.

      High on the moor the Exmoor wild red deer were most accommodating we were lucky enough to witness over 100 deer. With signs of frog spawn spring is indeed here!

      To finish the trip we had views of grazing native Exmoor ponies looking very well and content making it a very rewarding trip.

      **All rights and three atop **

      In the west country, a royal stag is described as having all his rights and three on top, meaning that he has a 12 pointed antler (BROW) the first tine, (BAY) the second tine (TRAY) the third tine of an antler and three points on top in the shape or form of a cup or crown, its said it should be large enough to hold a glass or port or wine.

        Today’s Safari – Wednesday 6th February

        It was a blustery morning but dry over head not quite so dry underfoot as the ground is still saturated from lots of rain and deep snow.

        It was a nice morning with good visibility and a few clouds in the sky, the makings of a beautiful brisk spring day.

        The Exmoor wild red deer were most accommodating and on cue there was a small herd that crossed the road in front of the land rover and another group that had not long before us crossed.

        To finish the trip grazing native Exmoor ponies with their manes and tail blowing in the breeze made it a very rewarding trip.

          Today’s Safari 2nd February

          After weeks of adverse weather from dramatic floods to deep snow it was great to get out on a morning safari in early February with a bright clear blue sky and crisp day ahead.

          The moor did not disappoint with a good show of the wild red deer all over moor, soon the hinds will be secluding themselves away from the rest of the herd to have their calves.

          There were also a nice lot of native Exmoor ponies with their thick winter coats and long manes and tails blowing in the breeze, and the moorland sheep enjoying some well needed sun on their backs after a few hard weeks.

          The weather had taken its toll, the devastation to the pollarded beech trees was significant throughout Cloutsham with many trees smashed in half by the weight of snow.

            Deer Rutting On Exmoor

            There is always lots going on around Exmoor and one thing Exmoor is very famous for is for its large population of Deer. The Red Deer are the UKs largest native land mammals. They can weigh anything up to 190kg and the Red Deer are one of only two of our native species.

            Mid September through to the end of October is Deer Rutting Season in the UK. The Rut is when the Stag rounds up a group of females for mating, of course every other male wants to do the same so this results in the Stag having to drive away the rivals to maintain control over the group of females. The Stag does this by constantly bellowing out an echoing roar and if another male approaches the females it can break out into a fight between the males.

            The Deer Rutting is truly spectacular and Exmoor is one of the best places to see it. We run daily from Exford and can give you the best seats in the house to experience this fantastic sight.

             

              Safari Update – July 28th 2012

              Weather very windy but with good visibility and a bright day.

              With a short drive out of Exford we viewed a number of Red deer on Almsworth hill and hurdledown looking towards Alderman’s barrow.

              As we were making out way over the hill we came across a cock pheasant with a lizard in his beak a sight that’s rarely caught, a delight to see something so easily missed.

              As we drove onwards there were Roe deer near Webbers post and after the excessive rain Nutscale reservoir was a dramatic sight in full flood, and passed a nice heard of Exmoor ponies and foals coneycombe hill.

              A very rewarding trip enjoyed by all,

                Safari Update on June 26th 2012

                I had been looking forward to driving the Safari on Sunday Morning. It had rained heavily overnight, and as I negotiated the resulting debris on my road to Exford the sky was clearing. Where would I find the deer today? I decided to check out Cornham Brake* en route, a favourite spot to me: sure enough, three orange dots were visible across the valley: I drove on. My six guests were ready on time, and after brief introductions I drove straight to Simonsbath to give the visitors a sighting of those deer if possible; there was no certainty that they would stay there.

                On the short drive, I could feel expectation growing in the group. I pulled up at a wide spot, with Cornham Brake and the river below resplendent in the morning light.   “There!” I said. One of the three deer was a stag of six or seven years, still with his antlers and looking very fine in that magnificent setting. The party loved it – the deer, the views, the whole thing. The binoculars came out, those who chose to got out for a better view and, having quickly learned what to look for, the lady in the front passenger seat soon spotted more deer on the hill. Further on, three Exmoor ponies obliged us by grazing near the road. A good start.

                My chosen route took us past Bronze Age and Iron Age features, an idyllic picnic spot, a herd of twelve deer and an even larger herd of ponies, plus Highland cattle, soaring buzzards, ancient pack-horse bridges and amazing scenery. The sun came out, and the morning was too good to hurry. I stopped by a stream to check out water quality: lift a stone, and the presence of dragonfly or damselfly larvae will soon tell you if the water is clean. Most of the party had never done that before. OK, we were a little late back, but nobody minded.

                *
                To the Exmoor man, a ‘brake’ is a bracken-covered hill

                  SUMMER MADNESS!

                    Exmoor Safari In The Western Morning News

                    At the end of May we had a very special guest on our Wildlife Safari, Sarah Pitt from the Western Morning News joined us for a trip and has written this fantastic article about her adventure with us!

                      Today’s Safari – June 6th 2012

                      Weather fresh good visibility with a Spanish family as passengers.

                      A very interesting trip while looking at the magnificent Exmoor red deer on hurdle down six more came off the forest and crossed the road very close to us. We also witnessed a cuckoo being chased by a flock of meadow pipits, not a sight that you will see on Exmoor every day.

                       

                      Then we were looking across the moor to landarce and witnessed the first red deer calves, two in fact.

                      The journey finished with a herd of Exmoor pony mares and foals running along the road at east water valley. A wonderful sight.

                        Safari Update – June 5th 2012

                        The Last weeks safari has been fantastic.

                        Many views of large herds of the Exmoor wild red deer taking advantage of the lovely weather and the exmoor ponies and foals enjoying the sunshine.

                        The Highland cows and calves lying in the shade chewing their cud, makes exmoor the idyllic place to be.

                        With skylarks and cuckoo singing away over the moor and an abundance of meadow pipit on the wing.

                          Safari Update 30th May 2012

                          Weather another bright sunny day with little breeze.

                          Insects in abundance and floating seeds drifting in the air. A kestrel was hovering ready to drop down on an unsuspecting pray. And wild Exmoor ponies with there young foals lazing in the sun, a leisurely drive round on the moor with various bird to be seen once again, the increase of insect on the wing with lots of birds swooping and diving for a snack. The elusive wild Exmoor red deer proving a challenge for the naked eye but as we pull up just on the edge of aldermans burrow we spot a small herd of hinds almost hidden and not far away a larger herd making their way toward dunkery. On the drive back it was a different story having had to search for a sighting now they were crossing the road in front of us.

                            Safari Update on May 28th 2012

                            Weather Sunny with a light Breeze.

                            As we climb on to the top of the moor we are greeted with a display, truly one the best displayed of birds on Exmoor that I have witnessed for a while. It looked like a buzzard had a piece of road kill and what looked like a sparrow hawk was in pursuit difficult to tell who was chasing who but a fine display.  We had to stop a few time to scour the skyline and valleys but the russet red coat of thered deerin peak condition made them easy to spot with a paid of binoculars. The Exmoor Red deer were a bit harder to fine but the array of birds found on Exmoor and the native Exmoor pony made up for the lack of Red deer, but we did see a stag in velvet and it looked like he had been wallowing, along with the rest of the herd he was enjoying the breeze blowing up from Porlock vale.

                              Latest Update

                              Weather very sunny

                              A bright sunny start to the day looks like its going to be a hot one!

                              With a clear blue sky and a varying display of birds with buzzards souring high and what looked like red kites too.

                              Although a couple of weeks early its always nice to be out on safari and see the first Red Deer calf on Exmoor but today was not the day. However we did see two Red Deer Stags cross the road in full velvet.

                                Today’s Safari – May 16th 2012

                                Varying weather
                                The last three safaris have been fantastic, on each outing we have viewed in excess 100 deer in several herd over the moor.
                                We have seen a number of very relaxed Exmoor pony mare with new born foals at foot and Highland cows and young calves enjoying sprouts of fresh spring grass and roughage brought on by the recent damp weather.
                                We have been lucky enough to hear and witness the cuckoo several times and lots of wheatear and other birds.
                                Some very enjoyable outings

                                  Today’s Safari

                                  Weather: Bright spring morning
                                  A lovely clear day with sightings of the first cuckoo of the spring. Three new born Exmoor Pony foals enjoying a sunny day and lots of highland cows and a newborn calf. A good show of deer all over the moor and a pleasant views.
                                  A very enjoyable Safari.
                                  Cant wait for tomorrow

                                    Today’s Wildlife Sightings

                                    Weather: Wet

                                    Visibility: Good

                                    Heading up to Alderman’s Barrow we came across a heard of approximately fifty deer, then driving over to Hurdle Down passing Exmoor ponies and an Exmoor Pony foal.

                                    Nutscale Reservoir looked spectacular with the weather we have had recently. Homeward bound near then end of the trip we came across the largest heard that I have ever seen with in excess of 100 with several stags and one with one antler off already.

                                      Exmoor Safari Wildlife Update

                                      Weather: Cloudy

                                      Visibility: Good

                                      Heading up the hill over the cattle grid to Aldermans Barrow was a heard of 70 deer then making our way to Hurdle Down 1st Foal was spotted at Chetsford Water that makes its way to Nutscale Water then on to the reservoir. A field of young spring lambs at poole farm including triplet Zwartbles could be seen. More deer were spotted on Dunkery and some had been wallowing in the mud.

                                      A Fantastic trip