The Bridges is ideally located between the Long Mynd & the Stiperstones where the birding has more a feel of upland Wales than the more abundant Shropshire farmland.
Both area’s have similar birds with Red Grouse on the heather moorland. Spring is by far the best time to visit when resident species are joined by the migrants, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Tree Pipit & Warblers in the valleys and Wheatear, Whinchat & Stonechat further up. Ring Ouzel sadly no longer breeds but can be seen on passage.
A speciality of the Mynd is the Dotterel, a wader travelling north to breed, but with luck can be seen late April early May either on the sheep fields below Pole Cottage or on Glider field.
Raptors are also a feature of the area with Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk & Peregrine regularly seen, Red Kite are also on the increase. Merlin is less frequent but occurs sporadically as does the summer visiting Hobby.
Having said that these hills shouldn’t be ignored over the winter months, wandering Short eared Owl & Hen Harrier can be encountered, with a large flock of Golden Plover usually around the High Park fields.
Nearer to the pub itself is the delightful Darnford Walk, on the stream here you will find Dipper & Grey Wagtail, in the surrounding fields Curlew and amongst the woodland Pied Flycatchers & Redstart. Green Woodpecker are regularly seen further up the valley.
With such a large area anything could turn up, Black Redstart in recent year’s aswell as winter roosting Long eared Owl, both at Pole Cottage.
But if it’s less energetic birding experience you need just sit outside the pub with your drink, watch the stream for Dipper & Grey Wagtail, the skies for Kite & Curlew or just enjoy the House Martins under the eaves!