Monday, 31 October 2011

Purple Sandpiper, taken yesterday, at Battery Pt rocks in Portishead near the outdoor swimming pool - one of the few regular wintering sites for this species around Bristol. The bird will probably be joined by its mates in a few weeks time and they will stay until Spring. The birds are best seen at high tide when they are pushed up higher on the rocks into better view.

Also, in keeping with the hallowe'en theme I have attached a great picture taken of a black swan in the north pools a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Many thanks to Pete Blanchard for sending through some more amazing photos. These are of a Hobby flying over the South Pools recently. Thanks also to the volunteers who carried out some much needed reed clearance in front of the south pools hide.

A camera was left in the middle hide during our recent bird fair. We have also retrieved a body warmer and a cap from a 'scope eye piece. Please contact AWT to claim any of these items.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

"Splash" moves in mysterious ways ! Our sculpture migrates to become more visible to visitors

On a cold but sunny day, I was helped again by our Gordano school 6th formers. Alice, Kris, Sean and Tom all helped move the sculpture back towards Portishead and closer to the two bird hides in the North Pools field.

The sculplure looks like a HUGE rock has been thrown in the lake, leaving it's splash frozen in time! It was created by local Bristol design company, Cod Steaks, who also produced the 'nails' piece within Portishead's Village Quarter. They are best known for creating the sets for Aardman Animations Wallace & Gromit' and more!
Get on down for your new improved view of this interesting piece of art - best seen from the 2nd of our 3 hides as well of from the Tower hide by the foreshore.
Sculpture on nature reserves can divide opinion from those who enjoy visiting them. Some harder line conservationists think they have no place.
What do you think?
Go on, let us know, and be the first to post a comment in the box below!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Autumn watch Bird Fair a sunny success - Sun day 16th October

Just a few pictures to tell the story of a gorgeously sunny day down near the shores of the Severn estuary. Loads of local people enjoyed the autumnal sunshine - children joined in the bird themed activities and people tried out the bird watching equipment demonstrated by Lakeside Optics from Chew Valley.

Most of these pictures are supplied by Sarah Pitt, who we were honoured to have come along, as a Senior Producer with the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. Also present to get things off to a great start was local weather presenter Jemma Cooper.

Well over 200 people enjoyed the afternoon, and all agreed we should run one again next year. So get out your 2012 calendars and pencil in Sunday 21st October!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Return of the Spoonbill (part 2)

Three Lapwings were spotted on the North Pools island today. Hopefully more will follow!

The Little Owl in its usual Spot.

A Greylag Goose trying to blend in.

The last couple of pictures show our VIB visitor who was first seen on the island at 10.00 and was still there when I was leaving at 5.20.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Return of the Spoonbill

We were rewarded for our hard work clearing the vegetation from the island last week with the arrival of a Spoonbill last Tuesday. I'm delighted to report that it was spotted again on Friday. It was not present this morning but we believe it was still in the avonmouth area as recent as Sunday.
Thanks to the conservation volunteers for a reed slashing session yesterday to clear a view from the south pools hide. The reeds will be managed on rotation so that we will have reeds at different stages of their life cycles thus providing a broader range of habitats for wildlife including invertebrates and birds. Managing reeds also allows us to create muddy edges to the pools which waders favour as feeding grounds.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Willow Weavers have a whale of a time at the Wharf

A good group of keen participants, including a good number from the local Village Quarter, were introduced to the ancient art of weaving with willow. In the morning, tutor Sarah Ayling demonstrated how to make a striking garden structure - ideal as a feature and great for climbing plants. The people braved the wet and windy weather in the afternoon and made smaller pieces, sheltering in the roomy Tower bird hide down by the foreshore. Views of the Severn Estuary were not at their most inspiring, but the weavers still produced some excellent birds, fish and decorative circles. I attempted a life-sized spoonbill as a homage to last week's exciting visitor to our North Pools - a Portbury Wharf first! Come along next Sunday to another first - our Autumnwatch Bird Fair. From 1pm-4pm we will host Lakeside Optics, demonstrating a wide range of birdwatching equipment, suitable for the beginner to the seasoned twitcher. With bird related activities for the children and a chance to see The Sanctuary area of the reserve, normally out of bounds, this is a free afternoon out local people should not miss. See you there - you never know you might even spot a spoonbill, or at least a willow version!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Guides from Redcliffe Bay singalong round the reserve!

This actually took place back in July, but as we've only just received it at Portbury Wharf HQ, we couldn't resist posting it on our blog...great picture too!

Thanks to Leader Liz Howells for bringing the group and sending the blog.

We visited Parish Wharf nature Reserve on July 7th with 12 guides from Redcliffe Bay, about half of our usual number as it fell on Gordano School's Activities Week so many were away on residential trips. The girls really enjoyed their visit though, and were delighted to spot rabbits, hawks and the usual ducks and swans. It had been an unsettled day, and we counted ourselves lucky to have made it to the sea wall before we had to hurry the girls into the large hide to shelter from some unseasonal torrential rain for twenty minutes. Luckily it eased off in time for us to make only a slightly damp walk back to the car park, and being guides they couldn't resist singing on the way!

Many thanks for your help,