A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Monday 30 September 2013

Migrant Hawker Dragonfly

In the sunshine at the weekend we visited WWT Slimbridge and took one of the last Landrover Safaris of the season around the Reserve. It was a lovely experience, the Warden and his assistants pointed out these Dragonflies which were perching on the blackberry bushes in the hedge or buzzing around the grassland catching prey. These look like small Emperor dragonflies with a blue abdomen and a characteristic golf tee shaped mark on the second abdomen. Common in central and Southern Europe they are now often found in the UK.
We were also shown one of the last Hobbys of the summer and a newly arrived Merlin which is common during the winter on the Reserve. Also a Buzzard and a Peregrine Falcon feeding on a kill.

Saturday 28 September 2013

Migrating Hirondines

The autumn migration is always an interesting time and at present large numbers of House Martins are passing through and pausing a while to feed on insects over the fields. A few landed briefly on our house before continuing their journey.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Misty mornings

Now we are past the equinox and into autumn fine days are often preceded by misty mornings which can give interesting views as the mist swirls around the woods and the trees stand out from the background.

Wednesday 25 September 2013


Walking out and about in the countryside we have seen Fungi another indication that Autumn is here.
The misty mornings and warm days give suitable growing conditions.

Shaggy Ink Cap

Field Mushroom

Saturday 21 September 2013


We were lucky to view a small flock  of these delightful birds from the kitchen window flitting around the Fennel presumably catching insects. One of them posed for a moment and we managed to capture it.

We have also been visited by other small groups of Blackcaps and Long Tailed Tits. Guess it is all to do with the autumn migration. 

Thursday 19 September 2013


A lovely bright full moon tonight

Wednesday 11 September 2013


This spider has made it's web over the outside of the kitchen window which has given us a fascinating view of it catching its prey.  As the insects get caught and start to struggle the spider comes down and deals with them.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Yellow Plums

Autumn seems to have arrived and after a few days away we returned to see our plum tree ladened with fruit. The tree has been in the hedge for more than thirty years, before us even and didn't come with a name tag, so we just call it our yellow plum tree. 
They are delicious cooked but rather dry to eat raw.  Some years it is weighed down with plums and often the branches bend and break others years there are none. We knew from experience that we must pick and used them quickly. There are only so many stewed plums you can eat in a day so we have been giving them away, filling in the freezer and found a new recipe for plu and ginger jam which looks good.

Thursday 5 September 2013


The hedges are now loaded with the fruits of the bramble so it's a good time to get out picking to make jam or pies or just for a tasty snack while walking.