Image

9th June 2019 – Acton Court, South Gloucestershire

DSC04554 (1)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As I sit here writing this blog (and watching the ICC Cricket World Cup from sunny London) we are having a torrential downpour. Really I shouldn’t be surprised as when editing my photos from our visit this morning to Acton Court, a Tudor manor house near Latteridge in south Gloucestershire, I could see that the weather was quite threatening and the photos rather moody.

In fact we were very lucky to complete our visit to the garden (which was open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme) in the dry. We really enjoyed the vegetable garden, the wild meadows, the wild flower garden and the old English roses as well as the butterflies and insects.

DSC04571

DSC04569

DSC04565

DSC04593

DSC04624Meadow brown butterfly

DSC04647

As well as the lovely refreshments (coffee and home made cakes) there were stands from the Hawk and Owl Trust and Owl Occasions  although the few owls on display looked very nervous and, to me, sad.

DSC04587

DSC04560Great grey owl

DSC04562Barn owl

Acton Court’s website (https://www.actoncourt.com/) says the following of the history of the manor house:

“In 1535, one of England’s most colourful kings, Henry VIII, came to stay at Acton Court with his second wife, Anne Boleyn, while on his summer Progress around the West Country. The owner of Acton Court, Nicholas Poyntz, wanted to impress his sovereign, so for Henry’s pleasure, he built a magnificent new East Wing on to the existing moated manor house. The new wing was a splendid testament to Nicholas Poyntz’s loyalty to his King. He went to immense trouble and expense to impress Henry, decorating the state apartments lavishly and fashionably. He was well rewarded as it is thought he was knighted during the royal visit.

Today, the East Wing which was built in just nine months comprises most of what remains at Acton Court. It offers a rare example of 16th century royal state apartments and some decorations which are said to be the finest of their kind in England.”

DSC04577

Acton Court is open to the public for three National Garden Scheme Days in June, and three Heritage Open Days in September.

 

Image

7th June 2019 – Chew Valley Lake

What do you do when it’s too wet for golf? – Go bird watching.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I spent a couple of hours in the rain at Chew Valley Lake in North Somerset without taking a photo and was about to give up and go home when suddenly a Great White Egret flew right in front of me. Encouraged a stayed for a while longer and got some pleasing photographs. The rain stopped and the sun came out for a while. The GWE moved to the back of the lake and I experimented with a bit of digiscoping. I need to put some more effort in to this as I must say I get a better view through my telescope than I do looking through the camera lens.

DSCF3375

DSCF3380

DSCF3382

DSCF3383Great white egret flying in

DSCF3435Bad hair day for the great white egret

DSCF3672Great white egret checking its hair

DSCF3658

DSCF3660Great white egret fishing for his lunch

DSCF3684Close up of GWE

DSCF3696GWE and mute swan

DSCF3743

DSCF3744

DSCF3746

DSCF3749

DSCF3750Mute swans

DSCF3765Shelduck

DSCF3782Canada geese

DSCF3785Canada geese

FP5A1579

FP5A1595These last two photos were my best efforts at digiscoping

 

 

Image

5th June 2019 – Stoke Park Estate, Bristol

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a gloomy evening but I needed to tear myself away from watching the Cricket World Cup on the television and so I strolled across the road to Stoke Park Estate for an hour of nature watching. There was lots to see and enjoy as I hope you can see from my photos.

DSC04300

DSC04223

Duchess Pond in Stoke Park Estate – only a couple of miles from Bristol city centre and less than 5 minutes on foot from home

DSC04057The grey heron flew in as I arrived

DSC04173A whitethroat made a lot of noise above the pond

DSC04183

DSC04187

DSC04195

DSC04200

DSC04201

DSC04202

DSC04206Flowers of so many colours

DSC04254Insects too

DSC04297Canada geese

DSC04260

DSC04293

DSC04245

DSC04436

DSC04453Moorhens young and old

DSC04413

DSC04418Swallows

DSC04204Mallards

DSC04295

DSC04316

DSC04328

DSC04330

DSC04280And the grey heron kept moving around the pond in search of his supper

I even got back in time to see the end of the cricket match.

 

 

 

Image

4th June 2019 – Eastville Park, Bristol

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On a walk round our local park there was lots to hear (mainly warblers) but not much to see as the foliage on the trees is now very dense. However, there were ducklings, goslings and the chicks (if that’s the right name) of coots on the lake and a dipper on the River Frome.

DSC04013

DSC04023

DSC03969

DSC04026

DSC03927

DSC04042

 

Image

3rd June 2019 – WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had an enjoyable morning at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge visiting the hides which look north out on to the Severn Estuary and taking the “summer walk” down to the edges of the estuary. However, other than shelduck and 3 curlew there wasn’t much to see on the estuary except for the lovely views.

IMG_5562The beautiful meadows and reed beds on the edges of the Severn Estuary

A26I1944A distant curlew

On the pools we had close up views of mainly shelduck, greylag geese, avocet, gadwall and black-headed gulls but there was a common crane, a pied wagtail with two juveniles, a couple of bathing linnets, an oystercatcher and, in the far distance, a little ringed plover.

A26I1837Adult pied wagtail

A26I1881.jpgJuvenile pied wagtail

A26I1962

A26I1963Linnet

A26I1846Oystercatcher

A26I1839

A26I1969Avocet

A26I1899Shelduck with  ducklings

A26I1989Shelduck

A26I1912Common crane

A26I1915Barnacle geese

A26I1833Greylag goose

A26I1865Mute swan

A26I1959_2Gadwall