Bird Watching in Minehead
You do not have to go far in Minehead to see birds.
The Birds of Minehead Bay Guide is a list with pictures of those you will often see along the sea front. It is a guide that may be more useful for beginners. As well as those listed, you may also see Mediterranean and Common Gulls, Curlew, Shelduck, Mute Swans, Black Redstart (winter), Heron, Kingfisher, Sanderling, Buzzard, Goldfinches, and Long Tailed Tits. If you venture further along to the Golf Course, you may also see Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, Skylarks, and Wheatears (summer).
Or turn right at the Butlins roundabout, up to the level crossing, and go left there on the path that runs from Butlins to the Rose Garden (Seaward Way). On the grass banks, before the crossing, you may see: Herring Gull, Crow, Rook, and Moorhen. Beside or in the rhyne: Heron, Kingfisher, Mallard, Moorhen. In the reeds: Cetti’s Warbler* and Reed Warbler* (both are more often heard than seen) also Reed Bunting. Then in the larger areas of reeds and ponds: Little Egret, Mallard, and Swan. A Buzzard or Kestrel may fly overhead, and there are the song/garden birds, like Blackbirds, etc.
* listen for their calls:
Then there is Blenheim Gardens, where you could see Blue, Great, Coal, and Long Tailed Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, and Bullfinches, Dunnock, Song and Mistle Thrush, also Redwings and Fieldfares (winter), Pied Wagtail and Treecreeper. Listen out for the Chiffchaff in the summer. Then the more common ones like Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Blackbird, and Robin. Flying overhead you could see a Buzzard, and in the night a Tawny Owl can sometimes be heard.
Culvercliffe is a good place to sea watch, although you would need a telescope to do this. In the winter there are various sea birds passing, and also Red Throated, Black Throated, and Great Northern Divers to be seen. Various Gulls can be seen as well and you may see Cormorant drying off on the various warning structures just offshore. Otherwise there are the Buzzards*, Ravens*, and Wood Pigeons, and the smaller birds like Dunnock, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Pied Wagtails, and even Great Spotted Woodpeckers*.
* listen for their calls as this helps you find them:
The Parks, the first section is likely to be similar to Blenheim Gardens. The second and third sections may also have Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Kingfisher, Moorhen, Mallard, and Heron. In the trees, Siskin might be seen (try the third section for these).
Marina Gardens – off Northfield Road and the Zig Zag path, and along Greenaleigh Farm Track are good places for woodland birds. There are several seats in Marina Gardens – so you can sit and enjoy the bird song and squirrels without walking very far.
In the summer, flying overhead anywhere in Minehead, you should be able to see and hear, House Martins, Swifts (listen for their screaming), and perhaps some Swallows (a good place for Swallows is at Bratton Farm and along Bratton Lane on the wires especially once the young have fledged). Or over by the Memorial fields, flying over the meadows.
See also the North Hill page.