Tuesday, 16 August 2011

North Somerset Environmental Health Officers inspect the reserve - and pass it as a great visit!

The team of Environmental Health Officers enjoyed a morning outing as a visit to Portbury Wharf. Organised by their own Dee Mawn, who has worked with Portbury Wharf on the issue of dog bins, the group took a leisurely stroll in the sun. However we were caught by a summer squall and sheltered in the South Pools hide till it passed. The picture shows the group on the steps of the hide, and was kindly taken by Councillor for Redcliffe Bay ward, Marilyn Koops, who joined the group.

We reached the foreshore via both the other hides, and having spotted a heron catching a fish and our pair of oystercatchers. We had earlier found a grass snake and three slow worms warming up under a mat.

Discussions ranged around the levy charged to residents, access and rights of way, dog control and poisonous plants. It is good to have this contact with NSC and perhaps other teams will take the opportunity to enjoy some team-building in the great outdoors?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Bees thriving on nature reserve.

I was honoured to join local beekeeper and Village Quarter resident Clive Bowell to inspect his bees in early August. The few hives started up this year, and the colonies are building up very strongly indeed.

I was there with my daughter, Erin, aged 12 and our community assistant volunteer, Ceri. both were fully suited up, and the bees were quite lively, but never aggressive, on such a hot day. The hives feature British black bees and Buckfastleigh bees, from the famous abbey.

Bees are so essential it is wonderful to see them doing so well on the edge of Portishead.
We look forward to a jar or two of Portbury Wharf honey in the future!

Den building fun on national Play Day!

Seventeen children aged six to nine, had a wild time building dens and campfire cooking with popcorn and toasting marshmallows - all as part of a national celebration of children's play... Play Day!

On a scorching day the children had lots of fun in their natural habitat - the great outdoors! They used teamwork to construct their dens from whatever materials they could find. On the journey back to be picked up by parents, the tired children still managed to sing that classic and vaguely appropriate song, 'The bare necessities'!

Look out for Play Day events next year in the locality, and we are sure to have more natural outdoors play on the reserve then too - always the first Wednesday in August, so should be August 1st in 2012. Wild AnimalOlympics sound a possibility - what do you think?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A Visit to Portbury Wharf in late July

Many thanks to Pete Blanchard for capturing these amazing wildlife images on visits to Portbury Wharf on the 25th and 28th. No more words needed!



Tuesday, 2 August 2011

You wait an eternity for a tufted brood then 3 come along at once!

Tufted duck is normally a uncommon breeding duck in the Bristol area but they have been regular breeders here at our reserve since 2007. This first brood was seen out in the water at the North Pools last Monday. The following day two more broods were found in the Sanctuary Pool. The ducklings in the sactuary are older than the North Pools brood- probably at least a couple of weeks old. We had no idea they were there, which goes to show how clever the birds are!