It’s January and time to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Twistgates Farm nestles in the Blackdown Hills and this means that we’re surrounded by a patchwork of gently rolling hills where open fields are bordered by hedges, swathes of woodland dot the landscape and snaking through it all is the River Otter – ideal habitats for a huge variety of birds.


They give us so much pleasure that we’re only too happy to encourage them to the garden and have several feeders positioned where visitors to our holiday cottages can watch their antics and observe the pecking order – definitely the greater spotted woodpeckers take priority over the nuthatches and in turn they lord it over the great tits and blue tits.

All year round you’ll find robins, wrens, blackbirds, thrushes, gold finches, sparrows and ring collar doves to name but a few. Pheasants are regularly spotted strutting across the grass and buzzards wheel overhead, owls are heard at night and near the river there are a pair of herons as well as wagtails.


From April the swallows will return to nest in the barns as they have been doing for generations, and over the summer we’ll look out for the spotted flycatchers and garden warblers. In the winter the murmurations of starlings heading to the Somerset Levels stop us in our tracks as they swirl through the air and if you’re staying in Meadow Cottage (our 2 bedroomed self catering cottage) you’ll have a ‘birds eye view’ and can watch flocks of fieldfare in the opposite field.

Another bonus of living in East Devon is that we’re near the Jurassic Coast where the wetlands at Seaton host wading birds including avocets, or you can view from the warmth and comfort of special bird watching cruises.

Enjoy watching these fascinating creatures for yourselves and book a holiday or short break at Twistgates Farm Cottages. Call Suzanne on 01404 861173 or book on-line