I’ve had a day out at Slimbridge with Betty, my step mother in law, and we are both bird watchers but not twitchers. Slimbridge is on the banks of the River Severn and is a magnificent spot. The Wildlife and Wetlands Trust has it’s place there and the main part of their facility is a rest home for all kinds of wetlands birds. More ducks and geese than you would ever normally see. It has a bit of the look of a theme park in the main area, which is careful fenced, in the main to keep out foxes who would have a field day in there.
Just outside this area is a walk down to the banks of the Severn, a large area to walk through mainly with reeds and grasses and this is naturally a good place to spot the elusive Reed Warbler or it’s brother Sedge. It’s not been my pleasure to spot these before although I’m told by Betty that they are not that uncommon. They are shy little beasts and although we did get a fleeting glance, they were too busy singing at below eye level in the reeds.
I was racking my brains to recall when I had last heard that song, then it came to me. “Are you sure it’s a Reed Warbler Betty”, I asked. “It could be a Sedge she said with utter confidence”. “I’m sorry to disappoint you”, I said, “I think it’s an HP Deskjet Printer which is just getting ready to print. I had one on my desk just this morning”.
Check it out, they sound just the same.
So you might have expected a couple of Siberian Border guards but the weather today has been so good that they have melted away. They’ll be back soon. Off for a walk through the town and came across this gem of a house, and yes it is a house, here in Cheltenham.
Then up to Pitville to meet my walking companion for the afternoon stroll. Pitville is a super park area that was at one time only available to the residents that surrounded it, but is now thankfully open to all. Here we came across a wild planting area that could have been from deep in the countryside but was right there in front of us, and today looked at its very best. Teasels and all sorts of wild flowers that were a bit of a mystery to me and on the very sunniest of afternoons. This is a bit of a change from of late where we’ve had rain wind and very cold days, so the opportunity to get out and enjoy the sun was just a little too much to resist.
Quite a few of these local residents of the park were out as well also enjoying the teasels.
So here in Cheltenham at 9-30 this morning it went darker, not much darker than normal, and then it went light again. Very light. So I took advantage of a it and went for a walk with ‘she with the map’. A new booklet came through the door with walks in the area and we tested one out: Sheepscombe
Brilliant sunny afternoon and we came across this, which is supposed to be the most beautiful cricket field in England. It’s in Sheepscombe in Gloucestershire and has just the most stunning views across the valley. Laurie Lee, the famous poet and writer apparently used to play here and had a hand in preserving it as a cricket field ad infinitum. The gorse was beginning to open and the birds were in abundance enjoying a warm afternoon. What could be better, perhaps a half pint of bitter before a return to urban life, if it can be called that in leafy Cheltenham. Sadly the pub was shut, and activity around the area was just mums collecting children from the local village school.
Drawing cartoons is best done on days when it’s cold and rainy outside, an afternoon like this afternoon is best used for getting out and feeling the sun on your back and looking at the birds and the trees.
On a lovely hot day, this specimen stood out. also seen a black redstart today, which sounds like a colour conflict but is not.Lovely little bird.
This is, by way of a change, a photo of a wild flower taken in South West France. Anyone know what it is?
It was amongst wild orchids and other super specimens.The recent rain has suited it.