A weekend break in Gloucestershire

Half term has arrived and not a moment too soon for Bernie. So I'd booked a hotel near Cheltenham so that we could spend some R&R around the Cotswolds and drop in on a few birds too!

A Great Northern Diver that had taken up residence on a Park lake in Cheltenham not 4 miles from our hotel was very obliging. It gave us some great views as it fished in the shallows with the local Mallards and Coots for company!
Great Northern Diver, Cheltenham
It does fly!
We had started off with a visit to Slimbridge WWT on the Saturday morning where we quickly got aquainted with the wintering wildfowl population. There were around 40 Bewick's Swans dotted around the place as well as a couple of hundred European White-fronted Geese and a Tundra Bean Goose (there were three but I only picked out one). There were thousands of Lapwings and Wigeon as well as hundreds of Golden Plover & Dunlin. There was a good selection of Ducks at various points around the reserve but the highlight had to be a Bittern (or was it two) at the Kingfisher hide. I first picked it up as it was sky-pointing at the back of some reeds but it quickly dropped down out of view. Fortunately, I pick it up a little later after a water rail screamed. Though never in a good position for a photo, it gave us some prolonged tantalising views - absolutely brilliant. A Water Rail put in an appearance too, running across a track and a Cetti's Warbler sang it's Chitty-chitty-bang-bang song.
Tufted Duck
Moorhen after some serious fighting action that I was just too late to capture.
We followed that with a late lunch/early tea and some retail therapy at Stow before getting a view of the Diver in the dimming evening light.

The following morning it was back to the Diver in the brilliant morning sunshine and then off for a long walk around Cranham/Buckholt Woods - not many birds of note but a crest I caught a glimpse of was probably not a Gold one. Treecreepers were very prominent as were Nuthatches and a few Marsh Tits but otherwise it was a pleasant if somewhat knackering walk.

Today's been spent visiting Gloucester and Tewkesbury before heading home to fill up the feeders and put the Moth trap out in the hope that the warmish day may have encouraged some activity. We'll see....


  1. Have you spent time on Robinswood Hill Gloucester, a truely wonderful diverse habitat


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