Devon Birds has two small reserves at Prawle, the most southerly part of Devon. These were bought and developed primarily as migrant stopover points.
The Prawle Point reserve comprises a fenced wooded area directly opposite the National Trust car park, and an adjacent small area of open scrubland either side of the access road to Prawle Point cottages to the South. Access to the fenced area is through a gate with a combination lock and is restricted to Devon Birds members. The combination number of the lock can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.
East Prawle reserve lies next to a public footpath through the Pig’s Nose Valley. The reserve is covered in woodland that has been left in its natural state and is therefore inaccessible.
The Prawle Point reserve is reached through East Prawle village and following the lane which leads to the National Trust car park at Prawle Point. The reserve lies directly opposite the car park.
Finding the Pig’s Nose Valley reserve is more of a challenge! A lane runs West from East Prawle village to Vinivers Cross and on towards East Portlemouth. Midway between East Prawle and Vinivers Cross there is a right angle bend in the lane. Park on the grass verge beside the lane and take the footpath leading from the bend down Pig’s Nose valley towards the sea. The reserve is the woodland on the right hand side of the path about 300m from the bend.
Viewing the Birds
A path runs around the Prawle Point Reserve with a walkway and steps to make access easier over a boggy and then steep section. A couple of gaps have been formed through the perimeter vegetation to view the fields to the West of the reserve and sea to the South.
Nearby Prawle Point is a good spot for seawatching.
There are no paths within the Pig’s Nose Valley reserve and it has to be viewed from the public footpath.
Most people visiting the area will likely be looking for Cirl Buntings, which can most easily be found in the vegetation between the National Trust car park and the sea as well as along the SW Coast path in either direction. They may also be found in the open area in the centre of the Prawle Point reserve which is managed for seed production as winter feed for buntings and finches.
Among the annual haul of scarce and rare migrant visitors found in the area were two vagrants from North America: a Chestnut-sided Warbler at Prawle Point (a national first ever record) and a Red-eyed Vireo at Pig’s Nose Valley.