A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Thursday 29 January 2015


As January comes to an end the first Primroses are already starting to bloom in sheltered spots. Named as one of the first flowers of spring the pale yellow flowers are a welcome sign and will be common from now until May.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Garden Birdwatch

Don't forget the RSPB big garden birdwatch this weekend.
We are not sure if this Common Buzzard on next door's roof counts but was a magnificent sight this morning.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Swan Feed

The cold spell has brought thousands of winter birds to Slimbridge WWT including the Bewick Swans.  This is making the Swan Feeds a very spectular event.
We enjoyed watching the 4pm feed recently, the warden's commentary was excellent explaining about the birds as he dispensed the wheat.
There were more than 200 Bewicks last week as the cold since Christmas has brought them over from the continent to enjoy the balmier conditions of the Severn Valley.
The photo below shows an attentive parent stirring up food from the bottom of the pond for its youngster.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Hazel Catkins

Hazel catkins can be seen in the hedgerows everywhere so spring is on its way!

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Pregnant Ewe

On a cold January day we walked through a field of heavily pregnant ewes like this one. Mules, crossbred sheep like this one make good mothers to their lambs. At this time of year they are still out in the open countryside protected by their thick fleeces and fed extra rations by the farmer.

Snow Showers

 Looking wintry with a light fall of snow this morning.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Mistle Thrush

The Mistle Thrush is a larger thrush than the Song Thrush. It likes to eat invertebrates, berries and seeds. We spotted this one feeding well on worms amongst the ducks at Slimbridge WWT the other day.  Apparently one of its favourite foods is Mistletoe hence its name, good job we left ours in the garden after Christmas - hopefully it might attract a visit.

Friday 9 January 2015

Golden Plovers

Field of gold at Slimbridge WWT as thousands of wintering Golden Plovers show well in the winter sunshine.
When in flight among the Lapwings the white undersides contrast with the golden brown upper plumage as the flocks turn in the sunlight making a spectacular display

Thursday 8 January 2015

Snowdrops starting to flower

With the festive season done and decorations put away thoughts turn to spring and one of the first signs is the flowering of snowdrops which are already in bloom in some places.
There are a few in our garden but we saw this display in Slimbridge.

Friday 2 January 2015

Buzzard looking for Earthworms.

Happy New Year. Yesterday our son who was home came downstairs to tell us he had seen a big brown bird in the field in front of the house.
On inspection it was a Common Buzzard walking around the field amongst the mole hills. We have observed these birds quite often, but had failed to photograph them previously, this time we managed to although still quite distant.
We have seen Buzzards even run around the field attracting worms to the surface. Our research shows that Buzzards eat worms during the winter especially to supplement other food sources. They have very long guts which mean they can absorb goodness from what is a poor source of nutrients.