A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Rococo Gardens

 Snowdrops are getting past their best with daffodils and cyclamen coming into bloom at the Rococo Gardens in Painswick as spring progresses.

Sunday 26 February 2012


Herons are one of the first birds to start nesting and this  grey heron was busy sorting out it's nest and adding twigs today near South Cerney.  They always seem to be too large and ungainly to walk around in trees and seem much more at home standing in water.

Friday 24 February 2012

Fruit for the birds

We kept some of last Autumn's apple harvest to feed to the birds and this Blackcap was having a good feed today.
Feeding in winter is thought to have been one factor in the increasing winter population of these in Britain.

Mild Weather

Mild weather  made it look almost summer amid the pine trees at Westonbirt yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday 21 February 2012


This Great Spotted Woodpecker was making a lot of noise together with a male and we assume looking for a nest site in the Uley valley.
The birds are easier to observe now before the leaves emerge on the trees.

Monday 20 February 2012

Three in one tree

This is a very strange tree and difficult to identify at first.
It is actually several different species with a hollow crack willow playing host to an ash tree growing inside it and in turn covered in ivy!

Sunday 19 February 2012

Cuckoo Pint

The green leaves of Arum maculatum are one of the first to emerge in the spring and are now much in evidence in the woods.Later in the year it will display its unusual flowers

Saturday 18 February 2012

Sunshine after rain

 It was a lovely sunny but cool evening today after a spell of heavy rain

Thursday 16 February 2012

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpeckers have  been regular visitors to our feeders for many years but we have not seen any for 6 months so we were delighted to see this female and hope they will breed in the woods again this year.
Females unlike the males have no red patch on the nape of the neck while juveniles have red crowns.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Old Mill

The countryside is looking a bit drab after recent cold weather but should soon be greening up.
The remains of this old mill near Painswick are a reminder of the woollen industry which was once a major source of wealth in our area.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Water Rail

Now is a good time to spot this elusive bird which normally skulks in the reeds but is forced out into the open when the water freezes enabling us to get more than the usual fleeting glimpse.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Female Kestrel

Our garden has been very busy with small birds during the last few days as the cold weather hit this part of the country.  Looking out this morning we saw something larger and thought it was a Sparrowhawk at first.  However it landed on the Apple tree and we were able to identify it as a female Kestrel.  She was probably looking for a juicy meal too and could have found one as there is at least one little rodent scampering around under our bird feeders catching bits that others leave behind.

Saturday 11 February 2012


We always think of Blackcaps as a Summer visitor but some do winter in this country although we rarely see them near our cottage.
This bird was spotted in a nearby hedge today and is either an early arrival or a wintering bird. Unusual on one of the coldest days so far this Winter!

Wednesday 8 February 2012


Nice to have a woolly coat to keep  warm in winter!

Sunday 5 February 2012

Snowy Weather

A cold and snowy weekend gave some nice wintry views although the snow in our area soon melted as a warm front moved in from the west.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Bewick Swan

Wintry conditions today for this Bewick Swan standing on the ice.
Bewicks are winter visitors from their breeding grounds in Siberia which must be much colder now.

Friday 3 February 2012

Frosty Days

A hard frost last night has left the ground hard and puddles frozen. 
Good for walking in the sunshine but not for the birds which are struggling to find water to drink.

Thursday 2 February 2012


February 2nd is Candlemas halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and traditionally a time to celebrate the strengthening power of the Sun with a festival of light. 
It is a beautiful sunny day in the Cotswolds but that is not all good news according to ancient weather lore.
"If Candlemas day is fair and bright Winter will have another fight
If Candlemas day brings cloud and rain Winter will not come again"
says the old rhyme
I am not sure how much to believe these old sayings but they come from centuries of experience and often have some truth and are as good as many met office predictions!