Thursday, 14 January 2016

Berry Head In Sunshine

A visit to Berry Head in the winter sunshine


 The Guardhouse building is now a visitor centre and cafe


Looking through the battlements.......


....and down a well trodden path...can you guess what's at the end?


The lovely Soay Sheep of course...looking very happy don't you think?


positively smiling and enjoying the sunshine in the safety of the moat


A very distressing story on the news about abandoned horses in Kent. I'm including the link to this story but please don't click on it if you are easily upset as it has some terrible images which made me cry. Link here. It's just to say we must be aware of abandoned donkeys, ponies and horses as we are travelling about. Let us good people keep an eye out for anything unusual or maybe take a few moments just to stop and check they are OK no matter where you live. If you live in Kent or know people who do, please pass this message on.



On a much happier note my lovely neighbours lost their dog Mario on Sunday evening whilst out walking. He was found safe and well yesterday evening, but rather smelly and stressed, after being trapped in a cave over in Brixham. They worked so hard to find him, out day and night in terrible weather searching and calling for him and leaving flyers will all the local dog walkers. Here is the link to his rescue details and pictures on doglost.co.uk.


With a cold snap upon us I've had some success with garden birds visiting the feeders. Mrs Blackbird is still looking fine and healthy but a new male (possibly) and female are in the garden regularly and chasing her off . I've also had a male Blackcap visiting the fat feeders for the last few days, as well as Robins, Dunnocks, Sparrows and Wood Pigeons. I've had to go out and have a chat with a Herring Gull and tell him to go fishing instead of stealing crumbs from the little birds.


With clear blue skies and calm waters the swans have been out on the sea over at Goodrington and came across for a paddle towards Broadsands this morning. I wasn't about with the camera to photograph them, but watched them through the binoculars.

Looks like we're going to have mostly sunny days for the rest of the week in Torbay
I hope you are all well
Until next time
SeagullSuzie

40 comments:

  1. Awww, love the sheep. It will be good to see some sunshine again with the coming clear skies. Could do with some of the gloom lifting at last!

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    1. Hi Jessica, I was delighted to find the sheep and it was lovely to see them enjoying the sunshine, the weather is still nice today (Saturday).

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  2. Lovely pics as always Suzie.
    If my memory is correct I think that the Guardhouse was almost a ruin when I lived in that part of the world, so it is really good to see it put into use.
    I abhor to see animals neglected and horses/donkeys are such fine creatures. Perhaps all animals need to chipped with their owners name on them so that they can be traced ?

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    1. Yes Mel, it was a ruin until Berry Head became a national park in 1970, and then restoration began slowly. It was only in 2010 that the Guardhouse was sympathetically extended, but I can't find out when major restoration of the building happened.
      In truth I think its the owners who need to be chipped along with their animals! This is a terrible case of neglect-all I can say is I hope the owners die a horrible death (very uncharitable I know) but it's how their behaviour makes me feel when I see these images.

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  3. Lovely photos Suzie and nice to see the sunshine. Sunny here today but very very cold with a biting wind.

    Great news about the Blackcap - we've occasionally had them in winter here :) Feeders here are getting busier - have just been out and bought another feeder and put out some sunflower hearts in the hope of getting some Goldfinches back!

    So very very sad to read about the horses in Kent - there are some truly evil people about:( Pleased to hear your neighbours found their dog after all their efforts.

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    1. Thank you, we're enjoying a lovely day today (Sat) without that biting wind. I'm delighted with the Blackcap, as I've spent a fortune of different feeders and food to try and attract something (apart from the pesky mice) into this garden.

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  4. I'm glad the dog was found safe. It's extremely sad to hear of the horses I did read about something similar yesterday which was upsetting x

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    1. Hi Jo, thanks for stopping and leaving a comment, my neighbours are very happy and having a well earned rest.
      Yes the story of those poor creatures is heartbreaking, I could honestly push the people responsible off a cliff and walk away contented, so if they'd like to meet me at Berry Head I'd be delighted! We humans are surely the most dreadful things on this planet sometimes.

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  5. We have a terrible problem with fly grazed ponies here, associated with certain folk. One died recently after being rescued in a terrible state. Council vowed to get tough, and then did nothing.

    Happy to see a laughing sheep though!

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    1. Hi Simon, the laughing sheep are great aren't they...I didn't realise they looked like they were smiling until I got the photos onto the laptop.

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  6. Thank you for this lovely tour of Berry Head, it looked glorious in the sunshine. The Soay sheep are wonderful creatures and I love the shot of them from above with the cliffs below :-)

    I read about the awful surge in abandoned horses in Horse & Hound and it really is disturbing that some people can simply dump an animal in such obvious distress. Sometimes I wonder why these people even keep horses and animals in the first place!

    Good news about your neighbours dog and equally good to hear that Mrs Blackbird is still going strong, even if she is being picked on by the 'newcomers'. We haven't had any wintering Blackcaps up here this year so that was nice to see as well :-)

    Hope all is well and kindest regards to all :-)

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    1. Hello David, it was a pretty bad photo of the Blackcap, but the best I could do through the office window. A Robin is getting very brave and not flying off now when I go out to scatter the food which is lovely.
      Animal cruelty just makes my blood boil and seeing this was so very upsetting, I just can't understand who would let their animals get into such a state and then dump them to die...it's sickening.
      I wonder if Mr Blackbird will mate with her again this year. She has been very successful in raising two broods, but her leg must seriously reduce her chances.

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  7. Phew about the rescued dog but awful about the horses. Lovely to see berry head again ;-)

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    1. Thanks CT. Yes that dog was so lucky, it was trapped up on a ledge inside a cave and had to be dragged out, then the owner almost got stuck and he had to be dragged out afterwards!
      Dreadful horse story indeed, despicable people.

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  8. What a lovely trip around Berry Head. I'm so sorry to hear about the horses, and hugely relieved for your neighbours. I'm glad someone's getting sun! It has snowed all day here and it's terribly windy. I thought I had lost one of my new chickens - she's much smaller than my other hens. I was searching for ages in the snow for her, then found her hiding under the nesting box! The things we do for our pets! Great to see your bird feeders getting put to good use.

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    1. Oh poor little chicken and you in your snowy search. I used to have chickens and had a small one who would sit on my lap, she was lovely.
      Still sunny here today (Sat) but a very frosty and icy start.

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  9. How good that your neighbours dog is alright. The sheep look very happy in the sun don't they. xx

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    1. Yes Amy, the sheep are smiling aren't they...they just look so happy in the sun. I know they are a very hardy breed, but even they must have been fed up with all the rain.

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  10. So happy that they found their dog.
    Nothing worst than a lost gud dug or kitty.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks my neighbours are having a good rest, the dog went to the vets the next day for a check up but was fine, just a little stressed. They were so lucky to find him, but we live in a lovely place here, it's small and friendly and everyone was helping in the search.

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  11. The Soay Sheep look as happy as I feel when the skies are blue and the sun shines, which wonderfully it is today.
    So pleased that your neighbours found their dog and what a worry it must have been for you all.

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    1. Yes they do Rosemary, we've been out in lovely sunshine again this morning for a dog walk and everyone is smiling, even though it's cold.
      So glad that lovely Mario was found safe, after three days it was getting very worrying.

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  12. What a lovely grazing ground for the smiling Soay sheep.
    So pleased that the dog was found safe and well.

    Sadly, it doesn`t surprise me that horses are abandoned if past their "useful" lives.

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    1. The Soay sheep must surely have the best views in the whole of Torbay! The trust looks after them very well-just the stupid dog owners that need sorting out (as they do get disturbed by thoughtless owners who let their dogs run without any control).
      Yes Mario is safe and snug at home and looking none the worst for his ordeal.
      Oh those horse owners should be shot and I'd pull the trigger!

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  13. Hello there, such a lot in this post. I wanted to get to Berry Head last summer but never did. Must do that whenever we come back. So happy your friends found Mario. Couldn't click on the link with the poor abandoned animals, sorry, but I admire you for mentioning it as it is a good message for us all. The sheep were lovely as were your birds.

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    1. Next time Denise, I'll take you and Gregg to the Guardhouse Cafe for lunch. It is a beautiful spot and so silent away from any traffic.
      The photos of the dead horses were quite shocking Denise, sorry the link didn't work for you. We must spread the word that there are people doing this-'good' people power is the only way to stop them.

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  14. I found you through Shirls Garden Watch, it's good to find someone else in Devon, we are near Exeter.
    You seem to have had plenty of sunshine recently, what fantastic photos you have taken, what a difference the blue sky makes, the sheep certainly appreciate it!

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    1. Hello Pauline, thanks for stopping and leaving a comment. I bet your weather is different to ours, even though we are relatively near each other.
      It's just been so lovely to get out and about with the camera and feel the sun on our bodies and watch the dog run about without getting soaked.

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  15. Thanks for the tour of Berry Head, I do enjoy seeing your landscape form afar and your photos always tell a story. I like that. Well, I thought I was looking at goats but Rosemary mentions soay sheep in her comment - I've never heard of them. I do enjoy seeing goats so I guess I now like soay sheep too. We have seen Blackcaps briefly pass through here but not for many years now - enjoy yours. I was sighting with breakfast tea at window this morning and spotted a female bullfinch and that's a first here (that we've seen). Couldn't reach a camera, but she was attracted to running water so we may see her return :-)

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    1. Hi Shirl, yes people often mistake Soay sheep for goats, so you are not alone in that. They are such lovely creatures and I was very lucky indeed to get up close with them when they first arrived at Berry Head here's the link http://brixhamlife.blogspot.co.uk/p/soay-sheep.html
      I'd love to have Bullfinches visit this garden-how lovely for you.

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  16. Surprisingly there are a lot of Blackcaps overwintering on the South coast Suzie.

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    1. That'll be why I have one in my tiny garden then...as almost nothing comes to visit, although this cold snap has brought a few visitors in, which makes me happy

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  17. Berry Head looks wonderful even with the puddles! I'm so glad your neighbour's dog was found, it must have been an awful experience for them all. Four sick terrier puppies were found abandoned wrapped in a damp towel and left by the roadside in a nearby village. I can't understand how anyone could do such a thing,lucky they have survived their ordeal. Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah it was terrible, they hardly slept and were exhausted, but they got their lovely dog back at last and I think they were very lucky. We do live in a very friendly place though and lots of people were out looking for him. Poor puppies-there's something seriously wrong with people who can do that sort of thing.

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  18. Hello I've just discovered your blog! I love the light you've captured on Berry Head, it looks so beautiful. My daughter volunteers there and one day took us to visit the sheep. They really do look like goats don't they? :) xx

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    1. Hello Jess, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. The sheep are just lovely and when they first arrived they were not too scared of people (before the idiots with their dogs frightened them) and I got to sit with them. It was a lovely experience.

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    2. They were a little nervous with us, but my daughter said they normally come towards her. I think we looked too scary! By the way, it's great to find a Brixham blog! xx

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  19. I have never seen this breed of sheep, they are gorgeous and very photogenic! I am so glad that your neighbours' perseverance paid off and their dog has been found. Such a stressful situation, but it came good in the end. Take care xx

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    1. Hi Chel, yes my neighbours were very lucky and so was the dog! We do live in a very friendly area, where people are still happy to help each other, and the local dog owners were all keeping an eye and ear out for him-which paid off.
      The Soay sheep are delightful creatures and perfect for the terrain, they are perfect for conservation at Berry Head too, a tough and hardy breed-apparently most primitive in looks (which is why people think they are goats).

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