Thursday, 20 December 2012

December in Photos

15.12.12,WeBS: 8 Mute Swan, 8 Canada Goose, 92 Wigeon, 12 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 5 Mallard, 15 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, 1 Scaup, 11 Little Grebe, 17 Moorhen, 47 Coot, 2 Snipe, 3 Curlew, 16 BH Gull, 6 Common Gull, 57 Herring Gull.

Sightings 17/12: 60 Wigeon, the 1st winter Scaup still, 25 Lapwing, 1 Jack Snipe, 25 Snipe, 1 Woodcock. Most of the waders on the island at the main pool.

                                                    Sparrohawk- many thanks Ivor Williams

                                                 Kestrel -  many thanks Ivor Williams

                                             Young Roe Deer- many thanks John Rickard                                            

                                            Grey Partridge (has not been spotted in a pear tree yet). John Rickard.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A couple of unusual ducks have appeared on the main north pool recently....

20.11.12: A female Goldeneye.

14.11.12: A Scaup (many thanks John Rickard).

 The works in the South Pools will be completed over the coming days. We have created a new nesting island and a sandmartin bank. The nesting island will be covered with a membrane and stones to supress the weeds. Photos to follow.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Master Hutton, a tudor peasant farmer, met Year 4 pupils from Trinity school this week at Portbury Wharf.  He taught them about all the food you can find for free in the countryside - from blackberries and rose-hips to sheeps sorrel and partridges!  The class saw a brace of partridges up close and then discussed the issues about killing animals to eat.  Master Hutton  learnt about the idea of conservation from the children, and how the nature reserve works to become excellent habitat for a wide range of species.

The class then foraged for food and medicines before treking back to school with their baskets laden.  Their teacher will make jams and rose-hip syrup and Master Hutton itend sto go in to their school for a taster and to inspect their follow up classwork and nature table.  Yum!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

This fantastic snap is of a migrant hawker that was spotted along the rhyne during a guided walk on Sunday. Well done to 7 year old Sam Smith for having such eagle eyes. Earlier in the morning we were treated to a bearded tit and little egret flyover. The hedgerows are fully loaded with berries awaiting the migrants- field fare and redwings have already arrived.
 Another monster tide today but little change in overall numbers of birds/species. There were so few roosting places left for the waders that many Redshank were forced to float it out on the water. 1 flyover flock 20 Ringed Plover to inland.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Pools earlier today: 9 Mute Swan, 12 Wigeon, 20 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 5 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 13 Tufted Duck, 35 Coot, 1 GBB Gull of note.

Elsewhere, 1 Snipe (saltmarsh), 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 60+ Woodpigeon (more than usual).


17 flyover Cormorant (to inland), 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Jay, 1 flyover Brambling N.

7.10.12 Blue Snow Goose /Bar-headed Goose type...?
Chapel Pill mid-day

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Kill the cull, not the badgers!

Kill the cull, not the badgers!
The failure of the Badger Trust’s appeal against the judicial review judgement last week means that the trials will start in Gloucestershire and Somerset very shortly to test the suitability of ‘controlled shooting’ as a method for culling badgers.
We would like to ask for your support in calling on the Government to stop the planned cull of badgers on the following grounds:
· Over 70% of the badger population in large areas of the country will be killed, many of them healthy. The method of free-shooting badgers could cause severe injury to many thousands of badgers.

· Independent scientific studies have shown that culling would be of little help in reducing bovine TB, and even suggest that it could make things worse in some areas.

We urge the government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity.
Please show your support and sign the petition to stop the badger cull

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Spotted Crake spotted...

                                          Many thanks to Paul Chapman for the photo.

A spotted crake was first seen last Thursday afternoon by L Wheatland. It has stayed around and was last recorded on Monday (Sept 3) in the hide book. The photo shows the bird on the nesting island in the North Pools. It is best viewed from the middle hide,  creeping along the water's edge and sometimes flying. A new species for the reserve!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

August Activity

Please enjoy some stunning photos taken on days when that strange yellow thing has made an appearance. Thankfully we have had a few nice days this month and have been able to witness some dragonfly and butterfly activity. More updates to follow. 

                          Barn Owl Planning its evening. Many thanks to Adam Flook for this lovely photo.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Black-tailed Godwits 15+ birds over the main pool yesterday evening.
Other waders, 3 flyover Whimbrel (taking the Gordano valley route), 38 Redshank and 3 Common Sandpiper in Chapel Pill. A good night for the reserve.
The lovely photo of the water vole above was taken by Adam Flook just before the evening walk. Thanks for kindly sharing it with us.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Evening Walk


                                          1st tufted brood- taken in the sanctuary on June 26th.

We had unusually pleasant weather for an evening walk on the reserve last night. Those who came along were rewarded with stunning views of the barn owls. The little owls were also showing and there was plenty of bat traffic along Wharf Lane.
Many thanks to Gary Thoburn for the fantastic barn owl  photos.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Lovely shots taken by Pete Blanchard on Tuesday, June 12th.  The whitethroat was captured near the south pools hide. Also photographed was a little owl and  a reed warbler. Many thanks!
Myself and the portbury wharf volunteers enjoyed an early bird walk at 6 am last Thursday morning,
led by Ed Drewitt. Luckily, the weather was very pleasant and sightings/soundings robins, whitethroats, reed warblers, oystercatchers, redshank, little grebes, gold and green finches, long tailed tits, chiff chaffs and a number of chicks along wharf lane.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

*Portbury Wharf NR:* 13.6.12 Moorhen chicks, 3 new broods out today also another Little Grebe brood out (3 to date) 13.6.12 Little Owl 13.6.12

                                          Barn Owl: Chris Jones- Many thanks!

 Water Vole video clip* HERE* The water voles have been very active in the boundary rhyne in recent weeks, mostly well hidden in the vegetation. This evening, we were able to get some brief film footage

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

New arrivals and a familiar visitor

                                             First Canada Brood.
                                            Second Canada Brood

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

                                          A Heron pays the village quarter a visit.                    

Western Power helicopter over the reserve,checking the pylons hubs for insulation 'hotspots'.........

Lovely snap of a grasshopper warbler (so called because of the sound it makes) taken on Sunday- bringing the total number of bird species ringed to 26. Many thanks Steve Mullins for the photo.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pete Blanchard Photo's taken on 12th April

Many thanks to Pete for sending in lovely photos of a Chiffchaff, Bullfinch and Heron in flight.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Great Crested Grebe: On main pool since April 1st. Photo John Rickard.
Speckled Wood: The butterfly transect has kicked off so hopefully more to report in the coming weeks. Photo taken by John Rickard.
The heron was very obliging as it walked closely in front of the north pools hide while we were having our lunch break after a busy morning on the reserve. Photo- Nick White.
A very rare picture of a water vole taken during the Easter weekend. We are planning on putting this image out on the reserve to highlight the importance of the rhyne and to encourge some dog walkers to assist with miminimising disturbance to the wildlife that live in it.
Many thanks for the lovely photographs.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

GS Woodpecker - P. House

Cettis - P. House

Redkite flyover (North Pools)- R. Holbrook

Marsh Tit- Walton Common

We are really excited about the ringing that has been taking place on the reserve. The migrant season should just be starting to take off so given our location next to the estuary we could have some very interesting arrivals - although the regular visitors are also a very welcome sight. Finding out what birds are using the reserve is invaluable for managing the habitat properly. More fantastic ringing pics to follow.

Have a lovely Easter weekend!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Courting Swans and butterflies

Many thanks to John Rickard for sending these fantastic photos through to us. There's a lot of activity on the reserve with this glorious unseasonal weather. John has captured a peacock and other butterflies have been out and about too. We've been very busy for the past 3 weeks doing badger surveys and setting up for the reptile survey.
I'm also delighted to report that the ringing has been going very well and will let you know the highlights when we get into the full swing of migration.
A great white egret flyover was seen from the tower hide by Andy Middleton at 10 am this morning.