Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A fantastic picture of an oystercatcher in flight over Portbury Wharf. It is a black and white wader with a striking long red bill. They can be quite noisy and if you are walking along wharf lane by the hedgerow you will often hear them before you see them. A pair have bred on the nesting island in 2009 and 2010 and it is looking very promising for 2011! Thanks to Pete Evans for the Photograph.

Monday, 21 March 2011

I hope the high tides and 'super' moon were enjoyed by all over the weekend. The barn owls were quite active on the 19th and 20th so keep your eyes peeled for them hunting in the evenings. The inland sea bund or large mound near the houses is being managed as an owl hunting corridor. Thanks to everyone who has avoided walking along it as this reduces the level of disturbance.

I'm delighted to post a drawing by an up and coming young artist who has also featured on the BOC sightings page. It's lovely to see the hides been enjoyed and people recording what they see.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Three bar-headed goose types at North Pools yesterday. One bird looked the genuine article but the others may have been hybrids. This trio of birds has been seen around the Gordano Valley for the past couple of years.

Bar-headed geese are an asiatic species (China) but many were introduced into collections... with some escapees. They are the true high-flyers of the bird world and been recorded at over 33,000ft over the Himalayas- well in line with the commercial jet line stream!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Portbury Wharf Bird Walk....Spring is springing into action

Despite todays gusty cool weather Spring is definately on the way. If you take a walk around the reserve you will notice some of trees/plants starting to bloom and the birds starting to pair up. Now is also a good time to spot a water vole along the rhynes and there is also evidence of badger activity.
We enjoyed a very informative and inspiring bird walk this morning kindly led by the portbury birdwatcher. It's exciting to think that any bird travelling along the estuary or up through the Gordano Valley may pay us a visit over the coming months. Keep your eyes peeled between mid April and mid-May as this is when the airways are expected to be most conjested!

We were lucky enough to see sand martins (the smallest European hirundines) for the first time on the Reserve this year. A pair of oystercatchers were also on the island alongside a meadow pipet and the usual suspects.
Please keep recording your sightings in the middle hide and also check out our events calender posted around the reserve.

Although we didn't see the little owls this morning I'm posting the latest picture of them because they are fantastic.