Tuesday, 7 January 2014

East Lyn River valley down to the sea, Devon

FOR a late Christmas treat we stayed in a wonderful B&B in Devon called the Rockford Inn, south of Lynmouth.  The inn sits next to a fabulously wild river coming off Exmoor, which at the time was in spate and thundered past our bedroom window day and night.  A couple of dippers struggled to make themselves heard over the noise, but for the first time I actually heard a dipper song, as well as their call, as they bobbed around and seemed to fly to a potential nest site on the bank.

We walked to the coast, well wrapped up in our water proofs, and this gave me the opportunity to capture a few river images.  The river valley is very deep and the walls quite sheer and clothed in woodland - we were virtually alone all day - maybe as it was a Friday.

The heron was no surprise as it stood poised between the junction of two rivers, the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water, at Watersmeet, but the very tame shag was not what I expected to see.  The shag was a ringed bird too.

Numerous waterfalls and side streams poured into the main river:

The clean, moist air encouraged a wonderful range of lichens - these folliose types had fallen to the ground.


The riverbed is extremely rocky and full of large boulders, and would be a challenge to all but the most confident kayaker.  Small whirl pools were formed by the current.

The river supports a strong population of salmon, although at the moment fishing is restricted.  The NT put up this sign to help us mortals understand their cycle...

During summer the cafe is open at Watersmeet and the robins obviously have grown used to people.  There were three each on a post in very close proximity - with little antagonism between them.

If you get a chance do visit this valley but find a quiet day as I suspect that it is very popular, and rightly so!

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