Before I get to the substance of today’s post, and introduce you to an excellent experience, I have a little project in mind to share. As a follow up to yesterday’s post I want to invite you to join me in posting about the animal and bird kingdom’s nesting habits. It would be great if you spot a nest, or burrow or other dwelling and photograph it and perhaps we could build some sort of mutual animal estate agency network for spying on little things getting on with their every days lives. I know bloggers do like to post nest pictures, so if you would like to take part, drop me a line or a comment and a link and we can perhaps become nosy neighbours. Who knows what we might end up spying on.
Right, on with the main part of this post. I spent a grand afternoon on Tuesday walking around the estate at Great Chalfield with a very knowledgeable and companionable guide, Charlie Moores. Charlie and his family have the good fortune to live on the estate and I know if I lived there I would be reluctant ever to be prised away again.
Wiltshire Nature Walks is a new venture at Great Chalfield started by Charlie this year , with the intention of introducing the visitor to the abundant wildlife present around the manor. He introduces the walks here, so you might wish to read his own words, rather than my ramblings. As well as daily walks, there will be dawn chorus walks on Saturday mornings for the rest of April. I can imagine few finer spots to be able to witness and experience the phenomenon that is the dawn chorus. The picture shows the manor house bathed in dawn light at about 6.00am last Saturday.
In the company of two other very interesting adults and 3 children, we had an excellent afternoon in the sunshine, spotting birds, butterflies, bees and wild flowers in a variety of habitats, as well as learning more about the history and geography of Great Chalfield. Charlie is an outstanding ornithologist and can not only identify ANY bird from about 100 paces by its call before he see it, but can charm the little things out of the trees too. Literally. We could hear a Chiffchaff calling and he called back until it hopped so close we could almost touch it. Now that’s what I call skill.
So if you are in this part of Wiltshire, visiting Bath or Lacock Abbey or Great Chalfield itself, you might want to spend a couple of hours being informed and entertained by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable naturalist. I found the whole experience richly rewarding. Thank you Charlie.