Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Nature walks cancelled with apologies

We apologise but the two forthcoming eventson Weds. 1st Dec. and Sunday 5th Dec. have had to be cancelled. The harsh weather has led to very low numbers wanting to come out - both human participants and the wildlife!
Chris Sperring checked over Portbury Wharf at the weekend, and, despite a distant sighting of a short-eared owl, there was very little about.
The event on Sunday to look for water voles and their evidence, would definitely have been tricky as scrabbling on steep rhyne banks is inadvisable if icey!

Please watch this space and the earlier blog for future events.

Nesting Island Enhancement Works

There will be lots of activity on the reserve next week. We have contractors called Alaska Environmental on-site all week flattening and improving the nesting island in the Pool by the foreshore. They are arriving on Monday the 6th with a Batemag P100 4wd walking excavator (manufactured around the alps!). It should be interesting to see it getting across to the island. The purpose of flattening the island is to create a sheltered habitat that is much more friendly for nesting waders. At the moment the sides of the island are very steep and high and less inviting for waders. We will also be able to create muddy verges around the edge of the island to provide the birds with feeding areas.

The new island should be a much more attractive spot to nest or visit. Fingers crossed we will
be sitting in the new hide, in time to come, peering across at all sorts of visitors.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Events for December and the New Year

Events at Portbury Wharf
(meet by the notice board in Wharf Lane)

Wednesday 1st December – 4-6pm
Early Evening walk Chris Sperring – see the starling roosting display and hopefully, some owls.
Sunday 5th December – 2-6pm
Water vole day with Chris Sperring - learn all about this fascinating and greatly threatened mammal, which is thriving on the reserve.
For 2011
Birdwatching with a local expert – Thursdays 10th February and 10th March 4-6pm
Bird song recognition with Chris Sperring – Friday 8th April 7-9pm at Trinity School, followed by Saturday 9th April, Dawn Chorus Walk – 4.30am-7.30am. This event is a package with the two activities and is charged at £20.00 per person.
For all of these events please book by emailing Neil Hutton on


or calling 07808 789 192

Medieval Quest at Portbury Wharf!
Children from Year 2 Trinity School enjoyed an afternoon at the nature reserve, following up their medieval term topic. They trekked from school, wrapped up in the greens and browns of the Pasturite people, braving the freezing weather and tasked with discovering wildlife from the reserve along the way. They met Gwydion, poor Pasturite farmer, cooking pottage (vegetable soup with oats) over the fire. The children learnt about other foods such as sweet chestnuts and herbs as well as medicines such as St Johns Wort, willow bark for aspirin and ribwort plantain as an anti-septic. Other revolting cures involving slugs and leeches were also outlined!
The class had been following a story, featuring the Pasturite's struggle with the Badlanders. Gwydion led them along Wharf Lane, discovering many things along the way, left behind by the myth and magic of the middle ages. These included a carved wooden (food) chain, giant tree seeds, spiders, deer, rats and water voles, singing birds in giant nests, newts and dragons eggs. The quest led to the Northern Pools and a magic spell to release the Shining Crystal to lead to The Lady of the Living Lake. Badlander magic has left The Lady frozen in time - she rose from The Living Lake with a beautiful watery body, but the spell saw her drop back into the mirky waters, leaving behind a big splash to remind us of her, and to look after all the creatures in and around The Living Lake.
The children of Trinity invite others to Quest to Portbury Wharf to see if they too can discover the Splash of The Lady of the Living Lake!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


A Black Redstart was spotted yesterday on Phoenix Way.

We were busy today clearing some reeds to open a view point for the soon to arrive hide by the Pools and were happily entertained by a water rail hopping about on tractor tracks.

Please email us with any interesting sightings