Birdland:Admiral's Advice:Snowball.

When D. and I were first married in 1974, we lived in a flat upon a farm in the village of Slimbridge.
About a mile and half down the lane from the flat,  was the Wildfowl Trust, founded in1946 by  The Late Sir Peter Scott.

Because D. and I lived in Slimbridge, we were entitled to  Parish Membership, at a special rate of 50p (if memory serves.)
Naturally we availed ourselves of this bargain, but alas, as so often happens, when one lives so close to an attraction, we rarely visited the centre.

Five or so years ago, on a whim , we decided to visit the wildfowl centre on a cold, but clear January morning. We found the experience so satisfying, with the birds, seeming much more mobile, combined with the crisp atmosphere, interesting low light and bare trees; that we decided to make this an annual event.

So it was last Tuesday ( 14/ 1 ) , on a clear, blue day D. and I made our way there.

Sir Peter Scott.

What continues to please, each year is the way the centre is managed, making  changes, with new additions to buildings, notices and improved walkways. One feels an organic growth at work. Long may it continue.

Main Building and Observation Tower

The observation tower, gives a lovely  panoramic view of the surrounding wetlands.

Here we can see from the tower in the near foreground, a flamboyance (honestly!) of Flamingos, stretching away to the river Severn in the background.

The Otter Enclosure

We were able to get up close to the otters and listen to a talk by their keeper.

New Lakeside Building

From the above  building could be seen the Flamingo lagoon.

All the birds, ducks and wild fowl looked very contented with their lives. I loved the way many of the geese and ducks in particular  adopted a static position and appeared to pose for the waiting cameras.

The view from the Martin Smith hide gave an excellent view of the Wetlands.

Finishing  in the early afternoon with a fresh pot of tea in the restaurant, rounded up a very worthwhile visit. We will be back next year. (D.V.)


@CTFOfficial Cheltenham Expects-- They say there's no place like home, so that being the case, show off your skills with a win.COYR


Rooting through old photos the other day, I found the above two. They were taken in the winter of 1981- 2, when we lived in Cam near Dursley.

I remember listening on ' Severnside ' radio one Sunday morning. The radio warned of a "white-out " by noon that day and my goodness they were right on the button. It came with big flakes and continued to pour onto the ground.

The picture on the left shows nearby Knapp Lane, covered in snow and on the right you can see the amount of snow we had on our garage and house roof. It stayed there for what seemed,  weeks upon a time, whilst the freezing temperatures remained.

I remember distinctly, when the thaw suddenly arrived. It turned our house into a temporary waterfall, as the water poured and dripped from every part of the roof. Astonishing.

Here is one more photograph from that time, culled from the " Dursley Gazette. "

That picture,  believe it or not was taken in Cam's High Street, the main thoroughfare to Dursley.

 Of course this winter will be nothing like that,  will it ?


To cheer us all up after all that cold stuff,  here's a better form of snow for you, drops in fact.
 The first of the season taken at Slimbridge.

Have a good week and maybe take a ' wee dram ' for Burns Night next Saturday (25/1).


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