Thursday, 20 May 2021

A Visit to Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire

 

Was it a hawk, a buzzard or a kite? All I know is that it was a bird of prey


Mighty oaks from little acorns grow (photo by the blog author)

I only noticed it when we were walking towards the exit. It hovered just above us, as if to show off its aerial skills. Was it a kite, a hawk or a similar bird of prey? I don’t know. The sky was a dull grey and fascinated though I usually am by wildlife, I can’t tell a buzzard from a sparrowhawk that far.

We were at Batsford Arboretum, in Gloucestershire. Home to one of the UK’s largest private tree collections, we’d just spent a good hour walking among cherry blossoms and oak trees.

With 56 acres of wild gardens, paths and streams, the arboretum offers something to everyone. Set up as a charity, the Batsford Foundation (the body that oversees the venue’s management and maintenance) aims to promote education, conservation and research into gardens and historic landscapes.

Originally the estate belonged to Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, who had worked for the Foreign Office in Russia, Japan and China in the 1860s. A passionate lover of the oriental landscape, this was the sort of design Mitford had in mind for the arboretum.

A cedar tree (photo by the blog author)

Sadly, during the Second World War and the years that followed the grounds became wild and fell into neglect. It wasn’t until Frederick Anthony Hamilton Wills, 2nd Lord Dulverton, succeeded the previous owner that the garden was returned to its former glory.

Once we left the arboretum I realised there was another building next to it. It was a falconry, where many birds of prey can be seen daily in free-flying demonstrations. I spotted another couple of birds up in the air with the one I’d seen before.

But hard as I tried, I still couldn’t tell them apart.

23 comments:

  1. I could watch the birds of prey soaring on the wind currents for hours. If they would stay in view of course.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Arboretums are WONDERFUL places. And raptors are the icing on the cake (even when I don't know which raptor).

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a large area of ​​the Arboretum protected forest ..., and it was great to be able to easily see the movement of eagles in the wild.

    Have a wonderful week.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi ACIL - that must a beautiful place to spend time in ... and fascinating family to learn about. Fabulous history on trees and perhaps where the 'seeds' had come from. I learnt to recognise the odd raptor ... I recognise the Red Kites when they're hovering over the M40 ... and the eagles and vultures in America and South Africa ... others ... I've no idea about. Sounds like a wonderful visit. Delighted to read about the Arboretum ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful place to visit! Both trees shown are magnificent specimens. I've gotten pretty good with identifying most of the birds in my area - by sight, that is. I'm not as good with their calls.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't know if I'd be able to tell it was a bird of prey, so you've got more information than me. Looks like a nice place, and great for bird watching.

    ReplyDelete
  7. great photoes -lovely to be out in the nature-always something to see--greetings

    ReplyDelete
  8. It must be a fascinating woodland in which to walk and to observe, CiL, and, once again, I find the word "envy" in my thoughts about the places you have to explore.

    Bald eagles (usually alone) and vultures (usually in a group) are the birds seen soaring high in the sky here. Occasionally, there will be a visit by a smaller bird of prey. A Cooper's hawk was drinking from my bird bath a few days ago.

    Love the tree in the first pix and the photograph of it ....

    ReplyDelete
  9. thank you for taking us a walk through the arboretum. fascinating place, and its history too.
    in my part of the world, birds of prey are not so common, mostly found on the coastlines, and once a while a brahminy kite wanders into some urban areas. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Boa tarde meu querido amigo. Que vontade de conhecer esse maravilhoso lugar.

    ReplyDelete
  11. WOW, such an amazing place to walk! We are lucky here where I live, as there is woodland all around us that is just a short walk from home. I guess that is why we frequently have Kites and Buzzards circling around above our garden...probably not quite so good for those people who have recently lost kittens and pet rabbits to them though.😕
    I do love these large birds, but can't help feeling sad for their unfortunate prey!
    A fabulous post, many thanks.😊😊
    And thank you so much, also, for your wonderful words of support on my blog...which I appreciate so much.

    Greetings from Hampshire.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks a very nice place to visit.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds like a beautiful location. For the longest time, there was a hawk dubbed "Pale Male" who lived near Central Park in New York. Not sure what became of him, but he had quite a following.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gracias por compartir tu paseo por este interesante parque natural, y por tu narrativa pienso, que debe de ser un lugar de paz y sosiego.
    Un saludo desde Sevilla.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't been to Batsford so thanks to the introduction! I'm useless at identifying small birds, but I'm more familiar with our oceanic birds of prey. It's exciting to watch bald eagles and ospreys dueling for fish.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like a beautiful location and interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Are you ok, my friend? I am becoming concerned about you as you haven't posted for a while now.
    Do hope all is ok with you.

    Greetings from Hampshire.

    ReplyDelete
  18. At Cigar Royale, we offer a great selection of premium cigars and cigar accessories as lighters, cutters and humidors at affordable price. Best Cigar Store Online, We strive to provide you with the finest quality cigars and accessories in the market.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...