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.
Geranium molle, the Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill or Dovesfoot Geranium
Cardamine pratensis (cuckooflower, lady’s smock or milkmaids)
Anacamptis morio, the green-winged orchid or green-veined orchid
Bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scripta)
Great crested grebe
Prunella vulgaris (known as common self-heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort and blue curls)
Primula veris (cowslip, common cowslip, cowslip primrose). In French it is commonly known as cuckoo.
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).
Great back-backed gulls
Click below for gallery of photos from today at Chew plus a goldfinch in the garden before we left: