A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Tuesday 31 January 2012


Moles are rarely seen above ground where they are vulnerable to predators but evidence of their presence is easy to see with mole hills common in fields and gardens. These are caused when the mole pushes excess earth from their tunnels.
Moles are solitary, living in a burrow about 200yds long and feeding on the earthworms which drop into the tunnel.

Monday 30 January 2012


The loud melodious song of the Robin is much in evidence at this time as the birds establish their territories for the breeding season.
To humans these birds seem tame and friendly but will defend their territories violently from other Robins

Sunday 29 January 2012

Garden Birdwatch

This weekend the RSPB is holding its Big Garden Birdwatch so take an hour to record what you can see in your garden. Pictured are a few of the birds we have seen this morning.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Clifton Bridge

We were a bit out of the Cotswolds today in Bristol but the wintry sun made a nice picture behind Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Friday 27 January 2012

Stormy winter day

Today started frosty with sleet and snow on the ground from yesterday's storm. Then all to soon lovely morning sunshine was followed by a stormy afternoon, complete with large hailstones. Eventually a wonderful winter sunset showed our our oak tree in silhouette.

Monday 23 January 2012


This dark time of the year was said on the news today to be the most depressing time. We do not really agree as so much is starting to grow.
If this is not enough we caught sight of this colourful Kingfisher fishing in a mill pond in Uley today.


Snowdrops are usually at their peak in February but this year they are already putting on a fine show.
Snowdrops have been recorded growing wild in Britain since the 1770s  in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire particularly in woodland although they often mark the sites of long demolished cottages where they were once garden flowers. They occur in clumps as they usually reproduce by division as there is little insect activity for pollination at this time of year.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Fallow Deer

Now is a good time to spot deer With no leaves on the trees and bushes there is less cover for them to hide in. We spotted these fallow deer on the Sherborne Estate where they were originally introduced for hunting and deer coursing.Fallow deer are not a native species but are thought to have been introduced by the Normans.

Friday 20 January 2012


The first primroses of spring are starting to bloom in the local fields and banks. Our native wild primroses are a delicate shade of yellow but elsewhere in Europe they can be white pink or red.These somewhat scruffy first arrivals will be followed by many more later in the season.

Thursday 19 January 2012


Bright sunshine and showers today gave a lovely rainbow over the fields.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Misty Woods

Warmer weather today brought fog making the woods look mysterious

Saturday 14 January 2012


We are still getting good sightings of Bitterns in the wetlands of WWT Slimbridge although they may move on if we continue to get frosty weather.The birds are so well camouflaged that they are almost impossible to spot when standing still in the reeds,

Friday 13 January 2012

Frosty Morning with Balloon

Frosts have been rare so far this winter but the fields were white this morning. The clear calm conditions were also ideal for this hot air balloon.

Thursday 12 January 2012


Nice to see the sun setting progressively later as we move towards spring. It was a particularly impressive sunset this afternoon,seen here from Uley tumulus

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Fox Hunting

As we settled down to watch birds on the Dumbles today they all suddenly flew off and we were treated to a view of the Berkeley Hunt instead.
 Hunts are no longer allowed to pursue and kill foxes but hunting is more popular than ever.There were certainly enough birders with long lenses trained on them to ensure they did not break the law today!
WWT Slimbridge is leased from the Berkeley estate so the Hunt has the right to use the land but they restrict themselves to four times a year.

Monday 9 January 2012

Ferns in Winter

Most ferns have normally turned brown and died back after being frosted at this time of year but as this winter has so far been mild we still have a good display of greenery.

Friday 6 January 2012

Hazel Catkins

The mild weather has brought some of the hazel catkins out early in sheltered spots. The yellow "lamb's tails" showing spring is on the way.

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Gales and falling trees

Recent high winds have brought down some of the trees in the woods near our cottage. Many are old and rotten and covered in ivy like this one . The spaces opened up will give woodland plants and saplings a chance to grow up as part of the natural woodland renewal.

Monday 2 January 2012

Winter walk with steam trains

A lovely sunny winter's day today so we took advantage of the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway guided walk on the hills around Winchcombe.
It was a pleasure to travel on a steam train and then walk with stunning cotswold views around us.
Sadly the railway now closes for the winter until March so will have to wait a few months if we want repeat the experience.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Best wishes to all for 2012.
The first of the spring bulbs, the snowdrop, is already starting to flower at the start of another year with all the rich variety that nature brings.