Orchids in the Cotswolds

Orchids in the Cotswolds

May is such a lovely month – and made all the more beautiful by all the orchids popping up around the Estate and at Clattinger Farm – next door to the Lower Mill Estate.

Photo by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#orchids #wildflowerphotography #CotswoldsWildlife #flowers #flowerphotography #naturephotography #nature

 

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Bluebells in the Cotswolds

Bluebells in the Cotswolds

Bluebells

From the middle of April woodlands around the Cotswolds will burst into life with a fabulous blue haze of bluebells.  The bluebell season is starting already with a faint mist of blue appearing under trees in many of our woodlands.  I took this photo last weekend.

Early bluebells

There are many locations within reach of Daisy Chain, but two of the best are Badbury Clump near Highworth and West Wood near Marlborough.

There was once an Iron Age Hill Fort at the top of Badbury Woods which was probably built and occupied from around 600BC.  It would mainly have been used for storage and would have housed round huts and grain storage pounds.  Much of the evidence of a fort has been lost through years of ploughing.  In Spring and early Summer, Badbury Clump is very popular as its beech woods team up with bluebells for a spectacular display.  A 6.5 mile circular walk starting at Badbury Hill, including the Great Barn at Great Coxwell can be found on the Faringdon website.    Have a taste of the Bluebells at Badbury hill in this video.

West Woods in near Marlborough is a large plantation of beech trees on a site of an ancient woodland.  West Woods has fantastic displays of bluebells in late spring and a good network of trails allow easy access.  It is very popular with walkers and photographers alike.

The bluebell season is a short but spectacular one and there are so many beautiful woodlands to explore.  Other woodlands to see bluebells in the Cotswolds include:

Aston-under-Hill Woods – which has been described as stunning with bluebells galore.
Lineover Wood, Dowdeswell
Lynches Wood (near Chipping Campden)
Littleworth Wood, Snowshill
Foxholes Nature Reserve, Bruern.

Enjoy exploring!

Bluebells

#CotswoldsWalks  #bluebells

One of the best places to see birds of prey in the country

One of the best places to see birds of prey in the country

Blakehill Nature Reserve features in a guide put together by the Wildlife Trust of great places to see raptors in the UK. Blakehill Nature Reserve is just a 10 minute drive from the Lower Mill Estate. Short-eared owls are often seen hunting over the meadow. Short-eared owls are unlike many other owls in that they can often be seen hunting during the day. Their very good sight and hearing is good enough to locate a small mammal in the undergrowths. This amazing photo was taken by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons.

Posted by Naomi cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#birdphotography #shortearedowl #cotswoldwaterpark #cotswolds #CotswoldsWildlife #lowermillestate #ns

 

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Birdwatching in Cotswold Water Park

Birdwatching in Cotswold Water Park

Cotswold Water Park is an area of 40 square miles which is made up of over 150 lakes. The area is of international importance for overwintering birds. In 2015, 175 different species of birds were sighted within the water park. Careful records of sightings are kept and a website which reports current visitors is a brilliant resource for guests wanting to birdwatch. At the moment Siberian Chiffchaffs are being sighted along with Mediterranean Gulls and Hawfinch.

This stunning kingfisher was sighted and photographed by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons.

Website for current sightings: https://cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com/

Posted by Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#cotswoldwaterpark #birdwatching #cotswoldfamilyholidays #cotswolds #ns #CotswoldsWildlife

 

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Starling Murmurations

Starling Murmurations

It's starling murmuration season again (this runs from late autumn through the winter). The occurs as the local populations of starlings are boosted by their European cousins arriving to escape the harsh Scandinavian winter. A starling murmuration is an amazing sight, with huge flocks forning into an amazing acrobatic mass before roosting.

There have been huge gatherings of starlings over the lakes of the Cotswold Water Park over the last few days, with flocks in excess of 50,000 being reported. Amazing!

This is a great article giving tips about how to photograph their antics! http://www.theguardian.com/travel/gallery/2014/dec/09/starling-murmurations-how-to-photograph-in-pictures

Post by Naomi cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#starlingmurmurations #lowermillestate #cotswoldfamilyholidays #cotswoldwaterpark #CotswoldsWildlife

Photo credits:http://buff.ly/1lNOHKq shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
flickr photo by ad551 http://buff.ly/1lNOJCj shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
flickr photo by tsbl2000 http://buff.ly/1ImdDh2 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
flickr photo by tsbl2000 http://buff.ly/1ImdDh4 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license
flickr photo by ad551 http://buff.ly/1ImdFFs shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
flickr photo by snapp3r http://buff.ly/1lNOJSx shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

 

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It needs a post of its own

It needs a post of its own

A common darter dragonfly enjoying the autumn sunshine. I was going to post this with other autumn photos….but then it dawned on me…it had to have a post of its own! I took this photo a couple of weeks ago, but common darters are a summer and autumn species of dragonfly that can be found well into November.

An autumn walk around the Lower Mill Estate nature reserve gives plenty of opportunity for catching sight of them.

Posted by Naomi at buff.ly/1LslMBO

#apostofitsown #dragonfly #lowermillestate #CotswoldsWildlife

 

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Albino Swallow in the Cotswolds

Albino Swallow in the Cotswolds

Throughout the summer visitors to the Lower Mill Estate and the wider Cotswold Water Park have been able to enjoy the sight of swallows swooping over the lakes. This amazing photograph of an albino swallow was taken a couple of weeks ago by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons in the Cirencester area. He was priveledged to watch this stunning albino swallow being fed in flight by it's parents. This is just one of his fabulous collection of images. To read more about his sightings and to see more of his collection of photographs do read the article he has written in Bird Guides. http://birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=5221

Posted by Naomi cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#albinoswallow #birdphotography #cotswoldwaterpark #CotswoldsWildlife #ns

 

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Otters on Lower Moor Farm, Cotswold Water Park

Otters on Lower Moor Farm, Cotswold Water Park

Some of the most magical moments we have spent on the Lower Mill Estate have been watching beavers and otters. Lower Moor Farm, which is the farm next to the Lower Mill Estate has a wonderful group of otters which are often seen. There is an easy walk around the nature reserve, and if you take up position in the hide you might be lucky to see them yourself. This fabulous photo was taken a few days ago by local wildlife photographer Dave Soons.

For more information about Lower Moor Farm visit http://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/Reserves/lowermoorfarm

#otters #cotswolds #cotswoldwaterpark #CotswoldsWildlife #naturephotography #ns

 

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Sunday Sunrise

Sunday Sunrise

A sunrise from the archives for you this morning – this sunrise was taken in September a couple of years ago from Daisy Chain on the Lower Mill Estate. The turn of month has brought a distinctly autumnal feel to the weather, and the leaves on Horse Chestnuts are beginning to turn – it won't be long until it's conker time!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Posted by Naomi at www.cotswoldfamilyholidays.com

#sundaysunrise #sunrisephotography #cotswoldfamilyholidays
#selfcateringholidays #cotswolds #cotswoldwaterpark #lowermillestate #CotswoldsWildlife

 

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