Birding at the Dawlish Warren Wildlife Park

Birding in Dawlish - Photo by Roger Asa Aherne
28th Jun 2015

Autumn is the time to really get down to birding at the Dawlish Warren nature reserve with many species spending the winter here, and many others stoping over on their way south.

Birding at the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve

Birdwatching, or Birding, to give it its correct term, is a growth industry. It fits neatly into the new wave of what is called ‘ecological tourism’, or eco-tourism for short.

Unlike traditional tourism, which sees people simply travelling here or there to see the sights and have iconic experiences like riding a gondola along the canals of Venice, or bungee jumping over a famous gorge in South-East Asia, eco-tourism is focussed on showing people the natural world in a way that does not impact negatively on the environment.

One could even go so far as to say that Birders are the original eco-tourists. For there to be any thrill at all in Birding, the birds must be observed in their natural setting. Wild birds being naturally shy of mankind, this entails finding a place to observe the birds without disturbing them in any way.

Birds have very well developed hearing and eyesight, as a general rule. Birders, therefore, must learn how to be quiet and still. Not only that they must often pick exact times and places to observe the birds they are currently hoping to spot.

Birding In South Devon

This is as true in South Devon as it is anywhere in the world, and at the Dawlish Warren wildlife park just next to the Welcome Family Holiday Park, autumn is the time to really get down to birding business. Many species spend the winter here, and many others stop over on their way south for even warmer climes during the winter.

Not only that, since the Park incorporates the western side of the tidal estuary of the River Exe, it is frequented by wading birds and wildfowl of many different stripes. The times just before and after high tide can be the most rewarding, as this is when the various strange and slimy creatures that make their home in the extensive mudflats are easiest for the birds to catch.

Birding Helps the Environment

Birders in North America were estimated to spend some $32 million in 2001! From an eco-tourism perspective, Birders are the perfect guests, with a deep respect for wildlife and the natural habitat of their quarry. Not only that, much of the money you spend whilst pursuing each new bird on your list goes right to the places that help to preserve the habitats of the birds, and thus all the wildlife in the area.

The Welcome Family Holiday Park – the Perfect Base for Birding

Our self-catering lodges, bungalows and caravans make the perfect base from which to twitch (twitching is the practice of pursuing one particular rare species at a time).

Well-appointed in a Spanish-style, and within a short ramble of Dawlish Warren, nothing could be easier than rising just before dawn, packing your lunch and thermos of tea or coffee, and of course your all-important binoculars and cameras, and heading down to the little patch of Eden that is the western side of the mouth of the River Exe.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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