A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Sunday 30 October 2011


The Dunnock used to be know as the Hedge Sparrow. A delightful little bird they hop around the base of our bird feeders, in and out of the plants looking for food. One of their favourite things is just sitting on the hedge. You might think they are just a little brown bird but as you can see they are beautifully marked.
Do hope that you got involved with the RSPB's feed the birds weekend, we did, although they all flitted in and out so fast that we decided this was one of the best of our photos. We also had a "buzz" from the Sparrowhawk this afternoon although we don't think it was successful.

Friday 28 October 2011

Beech Autumn Colour

Stunning autumn colours today of Beech leaves against a clear blue sky.

Autumn Mists

Fog forms in the vale on these otherwise clear cool autumn mornings. The rays of the rising sun are reflected in the windows of houses across the Severn in the Forest of Dean but the low ground is shrouded in mist where the moist air meets the cold ground.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Bewick Swans start to arrive

It is a sure sign that Winter is nearly upon us when Bewick Swans start to arrive from their breeding grounds in Siberia. Many return every year to Slimbridge WWT where they are fed regularly. We saw three there today and many more should now follow.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Wild Cherry Autumn Colour

Many trees have already lost their leaves in the autumn winds but this cherry in the hedgerow near our home is looking particularly colourful at the moment.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Common Buzzards

For the last few mornings two buzzards have been seen walking around this field. We believe they are hunting for worms and insects. Buzzards normally feed on small mammals and carrion but worms are also an important source of food. In the past we have seen six or more of these birds hanging around on fence posts and watched them fly down and take worms. Common buzzards have a wide variety of colours in their plumage, these two are quite dark whilst others are quite pale. We like to watch groups of these birds soaring around on the thermals created by the edge of the Cotswold hills, together with the gliders from our local airfield, an impressive sight.

Tuesday 18 October 2011


Acorns litter the ground under the hedgerow oaks providing food for squirrels and birds.
Some will be buried and may germinate and may even survive to become a huge oak.
Acorns were once used as pig food and in Spain pigs fed on acorns are still prized as producing the best ham.

Friday 14 October 2011


There seems to be a good crop of conkers this year despite worries about the effect of leaf miners on the health of the trees.
Children will be able to enjoy the traditional game.

Tuesday 11 October 2011


Despite the unseasonable autumn blooming of many flowers this year there are few plants coming into bloom so the nectar of the ivy is a useful food source for bees and butterflies at this time.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Seasons Confused

The recent very hot weather has brought many flowers back into bloom as shown by these fresh dandelions in the pasture near our house.

Friday 7 October 2011

Giant Puffball

Autumn to us symbolises fungi as conditions dampen. This morning when looking out from the window we noticed some large white things in the fields across the valley so we took a look. As you can see this puffball is already quite large apparently they can grow to about 1ft. (30cm) in diameter. They then turn brown and produce a massive amount of spores. Giant puffballs can be eaten if picked early whilst the flesh is still white. They are best sliced and fried in butter and have a mushroom flavour.