22nd April 2018 – Chew Valley Lake

We spent the day at Chew Valley, renewing our birdwatching passes and visiting Villice Bay and Herriots Bridge.

We did consider trying to get a bite to eat at the Lakeside Café but, even though we did find one free parking slot, we baulked at the thought of competing with the hundreds of visitors (mainly there for the fish and chips). In comparison, we were the only customers at the new outdoor coffee kiosk next to Woodford Lodge.

At Villice we saw great crested grebe, tufted ducks, coots and barnacle geese, a passerine I couldn’t make out, a pair of mallards making their way through the undergrowth going about what mallards do at this time of year and a grey heron. However, the best was the orange-tip and peacock butterflies and the flowers in the meadow en route to the hide.

FP5A6535Male orange-tip

FP5A6540Peacock butterfly

FP5A6549Geranium molle, the Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill or Dovesfoot Geranium

FP5A6551Cardamine pratensis (cuckooflower, lady’s smock or milkmaids)


FP5A6556Anacamptis morio, the green-winged orchid or green-veined orchid

FP5A6576Bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scripta)

FP5A6581Great crested grebe

FP5A6651Prunella vulgaris (known as common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort and blue curls)


FP5A6678Barnacle goose

FP5A6686Primula veris (cowslip, common cowslip, cowslip primrose). In French it is commonly known as cuckoo.


FP5A6692Grey heron

At Herriots there were lovely displays of  male behaviour from the mute swans and the Canada geese. On the other hand, two more barnacle geese were behaving quite serenely.  There was a distant buzzard, some splendid great black-backed gulls (and other gulls too), more tufted duck, a few shelduck and shovelers and I heard a cuckoo (my first of the year).

MT1D5434Great back-backed gulls

MT1D5470Tufted duck

MT1D5490Canada geese

MT1D5516Barnacle goose


MT1D5563Mute swan

MT1D5574Canada geese


MT1D5586-2Tufted duck

Click below for gallery of photos from today at Chew plus a goldfinch in the garden before we left:

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