Saturday, 31 January 2015

Slimbridge Sunday

Though we love living in Somerset, the major downside is that we don't have family living within less than a two hour drive away.  To maintain relationships we often plan trips which are partway between each others' homes.  That way, we only drive an hour each way and a family meet up is much more do-able in a day.

One such meeting took place last Sunday - fortunately a beautifully sunny, crisp winters day, at Slimbridge Wildfowl Centre.  In my former life I spent a few months employed assisting the Swanherd at Abbotsbury Swannery and knew lots about different wild fowl.  I am still very passionate about conservation and wildlife; although I had not visited Slimbridge myself I had heard good things about it so we were all really looking forward to spending the day there.  The children donned their borrowed binoculars and joined a whole host of 'twitchers' excited about what they could spot.

We met the Hubby's folks there, I hired a scooter (by donation - a fantastic option for mobility impaired people) and we set off to explore and witness as many different breeds of birds as we could.  We were certainly not disappointed.

Unfortunately, I have forgotten so much of my former knowledge - I simply couldn't mentally access the names of birds that seemed so familiar.  So frustrating!!  On the flip side, we all enjoyed looking them up in our bird books when we got home.  I loved that.  It extended the fun and the learning for us all.  Although... I think we could all spot these pink fellas - beautiful flamingos!!  There were actually three different types of flamingo there and we sat for some time watching their interesting antics.  They really did have personality!

I was really impressed by the accessibility of the site.  So much of wild terrain is beyond my access now and yes, if you wished there were more wild areas to visit; you could go further 'off road' or out towards the wetlands.  However, the main path accessed all the key areas of the reserve, were well maintained and it was a delight to share this completely as a family.  Some of the ducks and geese were tame enough to be fed by hand much to the Littlie's delight.  There were also a couple of play areas and trees to climb to burn off excess energy when needed - perfect.

The sheer diversity of birds and wildlife at the reserve was awesome.  I love the abundance of creatures in our world and the idea that just a fraction of the total are sheltering in this reserve.  I find it a very spiritual experience to witness so much beauty surrounding me.  There were a whole range of wildfowl (some of which are pictured above), three different types of Swans...


...and even some harvest mice!!

A very interesting, inspiring and wonderful day.  It was a brilliant way to enjoy a rare blue skied, crisp winters day and we enjoyed the whole day there.  We all left with lovely memories to treasure of time spent with family and I was reminded of natures beauty and abundance.  Happy Days.

Happy weekend folks, 

J9 x


  1. It's a truly wonderful place isn't it, one of the most important wetland areas in Europe. I'm so glad you had such a good time there. My eldest is a really keen birdwatcher, so we visit every two or three weeks, we were there this afternoon in fact. Your photos are brilliant, you've captured it all beautifully. CJ xx

  2. Sounds like you had a great day. I've never been there myself but I think "Spring watch" have presented their programmes from there before x

  3. A wonderful day out for you all! How great that you could access so much of the site and that they have a scooter for hire. That really makes such a big difference doesn't it. It is amazing about you with the bird names, we know all this stuff, but when we stop using the knowledge we forget it so quickly too! I am back to touring this week after not doing it since before Christmas and I am dreading finding out what I have forgotten! xx

  4. That looks like a wonderful place to visit! And a fine day, as well. Thank you for sharing your photographs, which are beautiful. And also thank you for visiting me over at Comptonia :)