A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Grass Snake

The Grass snake is also known by some as the ringed or water snake. We didn't realise this until researching this snake after seeing this one whilst out with the warden at Slimbridge WWT the other day. Apparently grass snakes are often found near fresh water and feed most on amphibians.
This was one of two warming itself underneath this tin sheet. Later as temperatures drop they will look for places to hibernate that won't freeze such as underground.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blackberry Foraging

 The hedgerow brambles are ladened with blackberries at the moment so now is the time to gather the fruit to make jam or crumbles.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Autumn Crocus

On a recent walk around Westonbirt Arboretum we didn't see many autumn colours but a certain sign of autumn we did find were the autumn crocus which were showing well in the Silk Wood.

Tour of Britain

On Thursday the Tour of Britain passed through our area. It was a lovely sunny day as they cycled by and the crowds were out to enjoy the spectacle!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Hirondine Autumn Migration

 Summer is coming to an end and birds are heading south to spend the winter in warmer climes.
We counted around 300 mostly house martins on the wires near a local farm as they paused on their journey south. An hour or so later there were none left.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Willow Beauty Moth

Lovely little moth resting this morning just outside the front door. We hope we have identified it correctly by its feathered antennae and dark central cross line on the fore-wing.
Willow Beauty are apparently quite common and often rest on tree trunks you can see how well camouflaged they would be. Flight season is correct and can be attracted by lights at night. Also we have plenty of woodland nearby with suitable food plants for the larva such as Broad-leaf trees, Ivy and Honeysuckle.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Pheasant Nest

Pheasants normally nest earlier in the year so I was surprised to find this nest with 18 eggs when weeding our borders. Sadly the bird did not like being discovered and seems to have abandoned the nest

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Falling Sycamore

We have walked past this tree hundreds of times on a bridleway near our house and it never gave us any cause for concern.
Last night was a hot sunny evening with not a breath of wind when we heard a crack and the tree suddenly split up the trunk and fell over the path.
Just shows how unpredictable trees can be!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Hot air balloon morning

Still summer mornings bring hot air balloons over the valley. With the Bristol Balloon Festival next weekend we might see more of them drifting this way during the week

Monday, 1 August 2016

Black Tailed Godwit

It may be early August but for many birds the Autumn migration has started.
This black tailed godwit is still in Summer plumage but has left its marshy breeding grounds to spend the winter on coastal grassland and muddy estuaries such as our local Severn estuary.
The winter plumage will be a lot more drab than this brightly coloured bird.