A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Tuesday 29 November 2011


There is still plenty of natural food for the birds around at the moment but as winter progresses bird feeders will become more and more important to support their diets.
Goldfinches such as this one favour niger seed and are a welcome and colourful visitor to gardens.

Monday 28 November 2011

Grass still growing

November has been so mild and there is still grazing for cattle as can be seen from this cow and suckling calf silhouetted against the sky near Uley.

Sunday 27 November 2011


Large numbers of Lapwings overwinter in our area. They make a spectacular sight taking to the air together when startled by a raptor such as this Sparrowhawk which we saw fly into a tree and then scan the fields looking for a meal.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Sunlight through the trees

Lovely wintery scenes here on Coaley Peak when the sun low in the sky shines through the bare branches of trees.

Friday 18 November 2011

Wintering Wildfowl on the Severn

Yesterday we enjoyed the sunshine down on the banks of the Severn at New Passage between the two Severn Bridges. We watched spectacular large groups of Dunlin circling in flight showing first silver, then white, as they twisted & turned. We also saw large groups of Teal, Wigeon, Curlew, Lapwings, Redshank, Black headed gulls and one Common Gull. It just shows how important the Severn is to birdlife, to native, wintering & migrating species.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Winter Sunsets

The sun is low in the sky as the days shorten and this picture of Downham Hill was taken just after 3:30 p.m.

Signs of the forthcoming Spring are already in evidence though as Hazel catkins are starting to form and bulbs are beginning to poke through the earth in the garden.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Shaggy Ink Cap

Damp foggy weather today but good for mushrooms and other fungi.
This shaggy ink cap is also known as lawyer's wig and is edible but only good before the gills start to liquefy as they have on this specimen.

Update damp day now given way to lovely sunshine!

Sunday 13 November 2011

Autumn Oaks

Many trees have now lost their leaves but not the oak which hangs on to it's foliage and looked magnificent in today's autumn sunshine.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Swallow and Barn Owl nests

We  were fascinated to find this tower when walking near Horton which was erected as a millennium project to provide nesting space for swallows and barn owls.These species normally favour old and abandoned buildings which are becoming increasingly difficult to find.
 Good to see an apparent folly designed with wildlife in mind.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Autumn rolls into Winter.

There are still plenty of autumn colours particularly on the Beech and Oak trees but more and more trees have lost their leaves as we move into winter. The bare branches allow us to appreciate the shape and structure of the trees even more.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Bird Bath

With cold weather ahead birds have to maintain their feathers in good condition to protect them from cold and damp so they can be observed bathing frequently in ponds or even wet grass and leaves.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Old Man's Beard

The delightful fluffy seed heads of the wild clematis known as old man's beard or traveller's joy are a common feature of our winter hedgerows.

Thursday 3 November 2011

Puff Ball

The Giant Puff Balls mentioned last month have now turned brown and distributed their spores. The fruiting bodies are now rotting away but don't forget that the main part of the fungus remains alive underground.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Mystery Fungus

We are not sure what these delicate funnel shaped fungi growing in the meadows near our home are. Our reference books do not have anything that looks exactly like them but they may be ivory funnel caps.
Let us know if you have any other ideas!