Good Morning All
I do hope you are well. We are enjoying the Spring, dare I say Summer like, weather at the moment – and so are the wildlife!
We have seen a juvenile Kingfisher now on the Thames, and we definitely appear to have two sets on our main stretch that appears in the Goring Scenic Circuit and the Goring Riverside Return.
On these same two routes we have some nesting Kites with chicks along the River (at a safe distance).
The Goring Scenic Circuit heads down past the Reed beds where we are seeing and hearing the Warblers loud and clear now they are back! I was also delighted with a group last week to see a Hobby on this route – will be keeping a close eye as didn’t see any in this area last year, had to travel a little further afield for them.
On our Woodland Trail we have Roe Deer with young and some Pheasants with chicks (but the latter stay well hidden in the long grasses!).
The Streatley Woodland Adventurer views are giving a wonderful Panorama now we are so green across the Goring Gap, and the Woodland Birds clearly have a lot of young they are feeding.
We are hoping to see juveniles at Moor Copse as we know we have had a nesting pair of Kingfishers there, and recent guests got to watch the nesting nuthatches back and forth with nest material so hopefully they will be back and forward with food for young soon!
The week and coming weekend is booked up but next week we have:
- a few spaces left on the Goring Riverside Return at 7am Monday 14th
- a Kingfisher Spotting at 6am Thursday 17th with a couple of spaces
- Wildlife on the Water boat trip, great for photography, at 6am on Saturday 19th 6am which has two spaces left
- Walking up an appetite – a 10am Saturday 19th wildlife walk from Goring to The Beetle and Wedge Pub which has three spaces left (we also make your reservation for you at the restaurant).
Some images for what you might see on some of these:
Wildlife on the Water
Please drop us a line for how to book on any of these experiences, or if you haven’t yet thought of Fathers Day gifts – a wildlife walk voucher might just do the trick! They look pretty good inside a wildlife card too.
Have a great week,
Steve & The Team @ GG Wildlife Walks
I’m delighted to say that a beautiful nature reserve in Oxfordshire, Withymead, has opened its doors to the public a short while ago – and now is offering a guided tours!
This is a small but really diverse site, for wildlife, plants and insects etc.
Some of you might have seen the Kingfisher photo I took from their Kingfisher hide a short while back. They also have an incredibly beautiful pair of Firecrests as well as numerous warbler species and even some owls on site.
The site is managed by a charitable trust which I am proud to be one of the trustees of, who together with the amazing wardens take great care of the habitat.
If you would like to try a guided walk covering both the wildlife and history of the site, with the ticket price all going to the charitable trust.
You are welcome to bring a picnic / refreshments with you, and enjoy them on site after the tour.
The tours are in small groups to allow a personal experience.
Have a lovely day,
Well…. what a wet and windy Friday! Not quite the scenes of May last year where we had the start of a very warm and long Summer… However, the weather starts to clear a bit tomorrow, the birds are still singing joyfully from 4am, and bookings are still coming in – showing people still want to get out and meet other like-minded people, or want a great activity to do with family and friends.
It’s the start of the Chilterns Walking Festival and I’m delighted to be running 6 different walks for them over 2 weeks!
These are at a real special offer price point as part of really promoting the benefits and joy of walking, so I wanted to let you know about them too – as customers who love wildlife walks, there’s something for everyone, and at a really special price for these two weeks too!
If you fancy a an afternoon out, there’s a Street Food Market being held by Big Top Events from 2pm on some beautiful farmland, and I am running a guided wildlife walk at 3pm at just £10 per person called “Up with the Larks” as it’s a wonderful area for Sky Larks, and has a beautiful hill view (after a bit of a climb!).
This is in Bledlow Ridge. I am running a 10am version for the Festival and it sold out immediately with a waiting list, so I’m running a second slot at their request.
Have popped the link below in case of interest, and also the wider Chilterns Walking Festival Link as there’s lots on – so whether one of mine, or one of the other great walks – could be a great activity choice over the next couple of weeks.
WALKING FESTIVAL: you can search by date or location
I am running as part of the festival the Goring Riverside Return, the Watlington Nature Trail, the Goring Scenic Circuit… and many more!
Kingfisher Courtship | West Berkshire Villagers
Good Afternoon on this sunny Friday!
Some of you may have seen our series on Kingfisher Courtship….. Phase 1 being the males fishing incessantly to present a suitably large enough fish to the female that she is happy with.
Phase 2 being once she approves of the offering, she accepts via a food pass, and he stands up tall, pleased as punch with himself!
We will be releasing Phase 3 this weekend on social media; as we managed to capture the “reward” – a shot of them mating behind a beautiful willow tree curtain.
It appears this very recent mating was successful: we have completed many riverside walks in our time, and very very few result in no sightings of Kingfishers – and this morning was the first Kingfisher Spotting with zero sightings!
Why am I telling you this?
Because the lack of sightings this morning, means the female is sat on the nest. She is incubating the eggs, and the male will stay in and around the nest as protection, other than to leave and collect food for her. BUT in just 22 days, which is the incubation period for Kingfishers, we will have a very busy stretch of river, as the male will have several mouths to feed!
Today’s guests will be returning to a walk in a few weeks time, and I will be updating you on social media regularly re sightings and activity over the next few weeks.
Let’s hope we end up with several young and they thrive here, in this beautiful eco-diverse environment
Have a lovely weekend,
The Bird Whisperer with Steven Gozdz / Introduction
Billie, my partner, and I moved here last year, as part of relocating from Surbiton to Goring & Streatley. Billie continues to work in Finance for Selfridges (although given COVID 19, she said she has swapped fancy dresses and heels lately for the still stylish but rather comfortable pants and shirt combos given all this working from home at the moment)…. However, after moving and sorting out some changes to our home we wanted to make, when I was due to head back into corporate life, COVID 19 had happened. During this time, we re-assessed, and we agreed now was the time to swap that corporate lifestyle for my passion. Wildlife photography and wildlife tour guiding.
Our friends have called me “The Bird Whisperer” for some time as I’m often able to help them enjoy the wildlife around us when visiting us back where we lived near the river in Surbiton, and now here in The Chilterns, or when we went on holiday. In addition, Billie and I travelled often pre this current situation, and would regularly pay for a guide for half a day / a day to see the sights but also the wildlife of different locations; Gambia, Senegal, South Africa, Portugal…. and so on.
I started building a wildlife photography portfolio and have now launched GG Wildlife Walks. I started on Instagram as a bit of a novice some 5 weeks ago now and have grown to just over 1,000 followers but I am conscious I still have a lot to learn!
As a business I cover a range of needs and desires for all different customers.
SHORT WALKS, GEARED TOWARDS CHILDREN
From parents looking for a both educational AND fun activity to do with the children, I run Family Friendly Wildlife Walks. Here we have the children checking of what they see from a check lists, learning how to use binoculars. At the start, they tell me what they would like to spot – which runs from everything from a snake some days, to a unicorn on others. I just do the best we can on that day! Still to spot a unicorn…..
PRIVATE / TAILORED WALKS
I have had a number of couple of families book private ones from one of my two, three-hours excursions I offer; both take you through a really scenic route, but I help you explore what you are seeing and hearing around you. In some cases, they have specific sighting in mind, and so I tailor the route to maximise the chances to see the birds or animals they are most keen to see.
I do a number of prescheduled group walks individuals, couples or small groups can book onto which can be seen on my website and Facebook events list.
I think one of my favourite parts has been the gifting – I have sold a number of gift vouchers which have been people buying for parents who love wildlife and their gardens but can’t get out and about to walks anymore, as one of my options is “At Home Wildlife Watch”. Quite a few people in our area have lovely gardens and land, and have a lot of wildlife visiting it but either don’t know how to identify what they are seeing, or even know what is there. I did a three hour session with an older couple recently and we found evidence of moles, foxes, deer – as well as sat and watched a variety of birds which I helped them identify and learn more about. It was a really lovely morning and they gave such lovely feedback.
I think there really is a growing interest in the countryside and appreciate of the wildlife within it. This might not be the kind of business you would normally be interested in, but I saw a comment about you asking people to write in if they have a business which really has grown out of the COVID 19 situation, and for sure, following relocation and COVID, my desire to follow my passion and make a business out of it is coming true!
Please find some relevant links below.