Garden Birds of Prey

Birding themes today!

Couple of great fly past in the garden this week. A Hobby flew over the garden as I was putting the bins out. Think I have only seen one before from the garden. They are wonderful birds to watch especially when hunting dragonflies over water.

We have had at least three Sparrowhawk fly throughs this week, but no kills in the garden. The birds all scatter for cover and it goes quiet for a while. Tomorrow is our monthly bird survey out by the River tomorrow not sure it will be as good as the June survey but you never know!

Coming Second

Short blog today.

Gloucestershire Seniors Cricketers  travelled to Chepstow to play Wales. Sadly after a great bowling and fielding display we rather lost our way batting- I blame the captain’s batting order! I might even decide to open the batting next week!

Cider Heaven

Super afternoon in the Slad Valley (Laurie Lee country) where we joined  friends for a Cider Tasting and a brilliant illuminating talk by Rod on Cider. There were many fascinating asides about taste, appearance, marketing for different groups etc.

Off to play cricket against Wales tomorrow!

Welcome Visitors


I captured these two creatures on my phone in the garden on Friday night. We used to see or hear them quite often in the past. I saw one in the day time earlier in the week but sadly Hedgehogs have had a bad time in recent years. wasn’t sure if it was a mating ritual or a territorial dispute! Whatever it is good to see them! Another positive from our garden is we recorded 18 bird species last week and that doesn’t include the Oystercatchers, Terns and Martins flying over or the Sparrowhawk that shot through at speed.

Apologies for the technical difficulties with the blog yesterday!

I am currently researching stories for the Two Severn Bores gig in September. We are trying to extend  our River Severn show  into River Journeys.

Wick Court, Exeter etc

Finished for the summer at Wick Court with an entertaining bird watch with young people from Peckham yesterday. One positive note is we have recorded Linnets for eight successive weeks. Sadly I haven’t been able to Story Tell for them because of other commitments.

One of which was visiting family in Exeter today and having fun with my ever smiling ten month old granddaughter Ellen. We have her visiting us on Saturday as well to look forward to.

It was a relief that it isn’t so hot today!!!

Scorchio Again!!!!

Wow!!! I think last night was the hottest night ever! I was up bright and early and went for ride before it became unbearable and dangerous! I mentioned before our cricket was cancelled for today that is the first time I have had a game called off because it was too hot! I agree with the decision- safety has to come first.

I do find it difficult to write at the moment- my work room is South facing so it is conducive to being creative!

Went round to my next door neighbours last night to check they were ok and I was taken up to their bedroom to look out on a House Martin’s nest and under their gutter and could see a young bird looking out. I was jealous- I put a special nesting box up a few years ago and never has it been used!

Third Time Lucky

This morning I set of for the third time searching for the surprise Turtle Dove in the nearby village of Epney. Yesterday early morning had been another fruitless search and once again it had appeared after I had left. At long last I caught a couple of sightings one It was perched on the top of a tree, I also heard that distinctive purring call. (picture below is not mine- didn’t get a chance to get the camera out. Delighted to see one in Gloucestershire they sadly are increasingly rare.

Nearly titled the blog “Catch of the Century” following the club match I played yesterday. I have mentioned before that my team are all under half my age. So as senior citizen I am looked after in the field. I was fielding at a wide slip to a leg spinner, the batsmen top edged it and the old man leapt high like salmon (an arthritic one) bent backwards and snaffled the ball in my outstretched left hand. Not sure who was most surprised me, the batsmen or my team mates! They called it “Catch of the Century” which I think is a wild  exaggeration but I was chuffed! We won easily and I didn’t need to bat. It looks like my seniors game on Tuesday might be called off because of the weather being so hot!!!!!


In Search of a Turtle Dove

An action packed morning! We said goodbye to the delightful Owen this morning and the house seems a quieter and  emptier place now. We had to take to his parents in   Cirencester and then I had to rush to Story Tell at Wick Court.

We had hoped to see the Turtle Dove that has turned up in Epney and only the seventh recorded Caspian Tern in Gloucestershire. Sadly we missed both but had lunch by the river. I may pedal early morning to see if they turn up..

Pretty Flamingo

Thought the classic Manfred Mann song will do for tonight’s blog title! We have gone solo today for the first time as grandparents with our Grandson Owen. His parents have gone to a wedding so we have had him all day and are keeping him until tomorrow morning. So we visited Slimbridge WWT and Owen was entranced by the birds especially the Flamingos – we have been indoctrinating him for a while now so he can say a few bird names -his favourite is Cuckoo!  Pictures below of our Swan encounter and the Flamingo he studied for a while! Looking forward to taking him on more Grandparent outings!

Nearly melted taking the young people from the Battersea area bird watching yesterday. I am Story Telling for them tomorrow morning after Owen leaves!

Cups and Cake

Title today is from Spinal Tap (if you don’t know Spinal Tap look them up!) It refers to my bike ride with my friend Martin and we stopped at the Wild Carrot Cafe near Tetbury. Cake was divine and also a brilliant shop selling nesting boxes and general bird stuff. I may go back to buy some swift boxes at some time in the future (they need as much help as possible).

One positive is my book Pig The Legend has now raised about £800 for Alzheimer’s Society. Pleased with some of my Story Telling and recent sales from my first book sold to raise funds for Farms For City Children I  have managed to raise over £1200 in the last nine months or so.

Picture below of one of our visitors today! Like the way it is looking quizzical towards the camera.