Enjoying nature

bird watching

One of our favourite outings, as a family, is to head down the Somerset Levels to one of the nature reserves. Binoculars at the ready. Last weekend, we visited two: Shapwick and Grey Lake. speckled wood butterfly

At Shapwick, we saw king fishers, bitterns, great egrets, black winged stilts, lapwings……the list goes on. All of which would not stay still or venture close enough for a photo.  The mini-beasts were far more co-operative. A speckled wood butterfly landed on a leaf for me. As did froghoppers and damselflies.

reed bunting

Next day, we headed out to Greylake reserve. Apart from the fabulous willow snake, I love spotting the reed buntings. I love the way that they land right at the top of the reed and bounce gently. Often a small flock will land together. Moments like that they really do look like bunting.


A marsh harrier swooped above the reserve. Beyond my humble camera lens.

four spotted chaser dragonfly w

Fortunately, a four spotted chaser dragonfly was more obliging. The children stood for quite some time watching this dragonfly. Fascinated by its wings and translucent abdomen.

left behind

As we walked, the foliage was alive with damsel and dragonflies. The banded demoiselle damselfly was particularly eye catching as it looks almost like a black and blue feather fluttering and bobbing along beside us.

banded demoiselle damselfly

boardwalkswan family

It really is a beautiful place to while away an afternoon. We must have spent a couple of hours pottering around the paths.

We stopped in one of the hides, which includes a children’s display board area with magnets to arrange. As I watched out of the hide windows, I could hear the children listing all the wildlife they had spotted. Their knowledge has grown so much. From behind me, I heard my six year old pipe up, ” That was a four spotted chaser we were watching.”  It certainly was.

Joining in with the as-always inspiring Fiona over at Coombe Mill Farm. On a mission to get us all outside and enjoying the outdoor world.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

20 thoughts on “Enjoying nature

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 12:10 am

    How wonderful to watch your children learn so much from such a lovely place to explore. They really are very lucky. Beautiful photos too, thanks for letting us take a look at your outing x

    • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 7:41 am

      It is a beautiful place.

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Gorgeous photo of the dragonfly! It sounds like a lovely afternoon, your children are so engaged by these adventures, it’s wonderful.

    • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 7:37 am

      The dragonfly was amazing. It really didn’t seem to mind us watching or getting close. In fact, we walked off and it was still there when we returned. Experiences like that are a wonderful way for children to connect with nature.

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Wonderful outing and just beautiful photos. There’s something magical when kids start looking out for and identifying wild life and fauna around them. #countrykids

    • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Isn’t there just!! Eldest can out-identify me on most birds. Job done!

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Beautiful photos of what looks like a lovely afternoon

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Lovely photos. I don’t know much about birds and insects but I’m intereseted in finding out more from my dad who bird watches a lot so I can pass on info to the kids – they love watching through the ‘noculars’ with Grandad 🙂 #countrykids

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 9:56 am

    It does look like an idyllic afternoon and I love all your photos, the close up ones are stunning. I feel quite rested and peaceful just reading this post. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Amazing photo of the dragonfly. I used to love nature walks (I belonged to WATCH group, part of the local Nature Trust) and knew so much, but I’ve lost so much of that knowledge. Would love to get N interested in it when he’s a bit older.

    Looks like a lovely relaxing and informative walk.

  • Saturday 31 May, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    As always your photos are the best. Looking for birds and insect is a nice way to add to the excitement of the trip and yours looks like its a really really nice one =) #countrykids

    • Sunday 1 June, 2014 at 7:13 am

      This reserve is turning into one of my favourites. It’s only been open a few years. Really worth a visit.

  • Sunday 1 June, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Oh my God I have never seen anything as good or as DETAILED as your photography. It’s like looking through a microscope. WOW.
    Thank you! Like Merlinda says above your photos are the best! Wow!
    Liska xxxxx

    • Sunday 1 June, 2014 at 7:15 am

      You and Merlinda are both very kind! Easy to photograph the subjects that I find interesting. Its the mundane stuff that I fail to photograph!

  • Sunday 1 June, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Love the photo of the dragonfly and speckled wood. I’ve attempted photos of both of these this week – unsuccessful – so am very envious of yours!

    • Sunday 1 June, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Sometimes I think it is the luck on the day. I suspect the dragonfly was either at the beginning or end of its time. Buzzed around us and then headed for the leaf. Almost like it was saying, “Come and look at me!”

  • Monday 2 June, 2014 at 4:55 am

    what wonderful spots for outings!
    that third photo from the top is stunning, and ooooooh! baby swans!! eeeee!!!!!

    • Monday 2 June, 2014 at 10:08 am

      It is a wonderful place. Almost don’t want to advertise its existence. 😉

    • Tuesday 3 June, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Thanks! 🙂

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