A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Thursday 31 March 2011


When we were visiting my cousin in Herefordshire a few months ago we saw what to us seemed an amazing sight: a large flock(50+) of goldfinch around her feeder. This inspired us to puchase a new feeder and some niger seed. Today for the first time we noticed a pair of goldfinch visiting the feeder. One of the pair pictured above has more white around the head than is shown in our books, we can only imagine that it is a fairly young bird. The other of the pair showed no white on the forehead.

Monday 28 March 2011

Mandarin Ducks

All the birds are looking at their best now with the breeding season starting. Particularly impressive is the Mandarin Duck as shown by this fine pair.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Daffodils in Uley

Daffodils are early this year and with Easter late there will not be many left by then.The village green and banks in the village of Uley are particularly spectacular at the moment

Friday 25 March 2011

Wood Violets

The tiny flowers of the Wood Violet are now blooming in the woods and roadside banks.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Blue Tits

Winter is the most important time to feed birds but feeding helps them to survive year round. Sunflower seeds are still the most popular and this morning two blue tits attended and we noticed one of the pair begging the other for food. They soon flew off in close formation in what looked like part of their mating ritual.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Wood Anemone

The delicate flowers of the Wood Anemone are now blooming in our local woods. Bluebells will follow then Wood Garlic before the leaves restrict the sunlight.

Monday 21 March 2011

Woodland Floor Greening

Green shoots of Wood Garlic,Bluebell,Dogs Mercury and Wood Anenome are fighting for space as the woodland plants rush to bloom and set seed before the sunlight is reduced by the leaf canopy overhead.
We are now at the Spring Equinox with day and night the same length and half way to midsummer.

Sunday 20 March 2011


The moon was at its closest to the Earth for 20 years this week so the full moon was a spectacular sight which apparently will not happen again until 2016

Saturday 19 March 2011


The yellow flowers of the celandine are now brightening roadside banks and verges,another welcome sign of spring. They are the earliest member of the buttercup family to come into bloom and open in the sunshine.

Tuesday 15 March 2011


Hawthorn hedges are bursting into leaf now. The Hawthorn is one of the first trees to come into leaf with its white flowers following later unlike that other common hedgerow tree the Blackthorn which flowers now before the leaves come out.

Monday 14 March 2011


As the days lengthen and the sun strengthens adders can be seen coming out of hibernation to bask in the sunshine and increase their body temperature.
The adder hibernates from October to February. It is our only venomous snake but rarely attacks humans if left alone.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Spring Planting

Spring planting of crops is well underway as shown by this newly planted field near Nympsfield

Saturday 12 March 2011

Bird Table Visitor

Not all of the birds visiting our feeders do so to feed on the nuts and seeds put out. This Sparrow Hawk paid a visit to prey on smaller birds but was unsuccessful on this occasion.

Wednesday 9 March 2011


Hellibore is a woodland plant and varieties have been developed for gardens where it provides green and purple flowers early in the year when little else is in bloom.

Friday 4 March 2011

Weeping Willow

Green leaves are bursting out on this willow tree overhanging the Ewelme stream in Uley contrasting with the wintery trees behind.


The delicate yellow flowers of the primrose are another welcome sign of spring. Meaning first rose it is neither a rose nor the first of our spring flowers.
It is native to Britain and reminds us of our youth as when we were "courting" we took photographs on a sunny bank in the delightfully named Waterley Bottom near Dursley.
Primroses seem to like moist conditions and thrive in the hedgerows of the south Cotswolds.

Wednesday 2 March 2011


The bright yellow flowers on the bare stems of the forsythia are now brightening cottage gardens showing that Spring really is here.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

St David's Day

We thought we should have a daffodil picture for St David's day although we still only have a few early ones in the garden.
The saying is that if March comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion and today was a fairly quiet and dull day so we suppose that counts as a lamb and we can expect stormy weather later in the month.