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.
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.
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!
The 2015 Bonfire Night and Fireworks display takes place at Bradstone Playing Field today, Saturday 8th November. The fun begins at 4:30pm. Included are a BBQ, bar, glow performer, music from the fantastic Barking Chickens as well as food stalls. The evening ends with a wonderful firework display.
Tickets cost £6 in advance £8 on the day), children £4 (£6 on the day) Tickets are available in advance from the village shop.
During the winter we sometimes sleep with the curtains open at Daisy Chain so that we can watch the stars in the darkness. At 2am this morning Jupiter, Mars and Venus were shining so brightly in a clear sky that they were reflecting in the still lake. As our last guests wrote in the visitors book, "On clear nights the start are great" I took this photo from the decking just outside the bedroom.
As promised the view of the kingfisher from behind. The colour really does have to be seen to be believed! In case you missed it I posted his front view yesterday! I'm hoping to be able to take some more photos of this amazing bird soon.
A few days ago I finally got to take one of the photos I've always wanted to take…a kingfisher…close enough to be recognisable as a kingfisher on the photo! It was a wonderful moment…and he even turned around so I could photograph his back too – I'll share that tomorrow! He's not as in focus as I'd like him to be…but not bad for a first timer! Cotswold Water Park is a wonderful place to see kingfishers.
A beautiful sunrise sent to us by our guests who stayed last weekend. We're always pleased when guests enjoy watching the sunrise as much as we do…and at this time of year it's easier to do with the sun rising later! They have also left us this lovely review:
Superb house for a family getaway
Daisy Chain provided an excellent base for our extended family gathering. The house is modern and well equipped plus it had lots of childrens toys that kept my nephew and nieces entertained for hours! The estate felt very safe and we enjoyed making use of the pool and spa facilities. Bike hire was straightforward and it was easy to explore the local area. We are already discussing returning in the summer.
The weekend at the end of half term (30th October – 2nd November) is available if you'd like to enjoy Daisy Chain too! Contact Naomi on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
A beautiful sunset photo today sent by our guests who were staying this week. This sunset is taken across Flagham Fen on the Lower Mill Estate (the lake which is home to beavers). There have been some beautiful sunrises and sunsets this week.