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The reserve lies between Portishead and Royal Portbury Dock.
Access points are from Wharf Lane in Sheepway just off Junction 19 of the M5 motorway and from Portishead marina.
This website is created for and maintained by Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve.
You can contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org
A date for your diary . . .
. . . our winter nature trail 21 Dec – 5 Jan
It is a "What do I do in winter?" trail. Some species will hibernate, others will go to Africa and plenty will come to spend the winter here. It will be a chance to test your knowledge and find out who does what. … See MoreSee Less
Now is a great time to see members of the thrush family, such as Redwings and Blackbirds, busily feasting on the reserve’s abundant berries. These birds were easily spotted today in the bushes close to the smaller of the two North Pool hides, but keep an eye out wherever you see berry-laden hedgerows. The Redwing’s ‘chuck, chuck …’ call often gives away its presence. … See MoreSee Less
The temporary closure on the bridle path has been postponed and is now scheduled to take place on Friday 1 November – for 1 day only.
For info . . . temporary bridle path closure today and tomorrow. … See MoreSee Less
Mini Nature Trail in Portishead Library
Just in time for half term we have set up a mini nature trail in Portishead Library. Can you identify the seeds we have put in the foyer?
Pick up a tick card and find the 6 seed posters placed around the library. Then answer the true and false questions on the back of the tick card.
So why not have a go?
Then try to find the seeds out on the nature reserve. … See MoreSee Less
What a contrast between the fine sunny weather of Tuesday afternoon and the gloomy early morning mist of Wednesday. Tuesday’s trip to Portbury Wharf, made under blue skies, was rewarded with the sighting of twenty eight different bird species, including a magnificent Barn Owl, as it flew across Wharf Lane in broad daylight. The last of this year’s Migrant Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies were still on the wing defending territories and looking for mates. A fox made a brief appearance in the meadows close to the cattle pen. Undoubtedly, a worthwhile trip by any standards.
On the other hand, my approach to the reserve on Wednesday morning was met with thickening early morning mist and visibility levels not conducive to successful bird watching: a stark contrast to Tuesday. I weighed up the appealing option of returning home for breakfast against having a quick look around the hides, just in case. I put breakfast on hold and made my way to the South Pools hide.
The shady silhouette of a solitary Moorhen was as good as it got.
I moved to the middle hide overlooking the North Pools. The mist seemed to have thickened. It was as if the pools’ usual backdrop of Portbury Dock and its imposing wind turbines, didn’t exist. For a couple of minutes, the only bird I could make out was a Lapwing, contentedly settled on the edge of the new scrape. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the bird started to call as it took flight. Perhaps, two seconds later, a Kestrel flew out of the murk, directly over where the Lapwing had been. It struck me how well the Lapwing must have been attuned to possible danger, even when visibility was so poor. Clearly, the mist was much less of an impediment for the Lapwing than it was for me.
At this point, even though I couldn’t see any birds, I could hear that there were plenty of them about. The male Wigeons making their delightful, constant whistling ‘whee-oo’ call, which was so different from the well recognised ‘quack-quack’ of a calling Mallard. The Lapwing continued with its ‘ee-wit-ee-witting’ as the cantankerous coot occasionally let loose with their explosive series of squawks. The Mute Swans were silent, except when they ran across the water’s surface with much beating of wings and splashing of their enormous webbed feet. Away from the water, somewhere in the reeds, one of the reserve’s seemingly ubiquitous Cetti’s Warblers, released its outrageous, disproportionately loud outburst of ‘cheweecheweecheweechewee’. And so the next few minutes went on. Herring and Black-headed Gulls, Canada Geese, a Robin and Magpie all confirmed their nearby, but hidden presence.
The strange thing was, because of the mist obscuring the birds, a changed atmosphere was created, which was just as enjoyable as bird watching with full visibility. Perhaps, ‘bird listening’ is a better description.
The photographs were taken over the two days. I’m certain that you will be able to work on which day each was taken. … See MoreSee Less
There were excellent views of three Snipe directly in front of the South Pools hide this morning. This one was very obliging. … See MoreSee Less
Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve Community Group updated their cover photo.
1 month ago
There can be rich pickings for the heron on the salt marsh, especially on a big tide. As the water rises, small mammals like voles race to reach dry land. So the heron stands guard ready to intercept. … See MoreSee Less
*** SEASONAL TRACK TEMPORARILY CLOSED***
Due to the recent heavy rain the muddy Seasonal Track has become waterlogged so is temporarily closed. This is the track which runs around the edge of the South Pool field shown as a dotted line on this map. … See MoreSee Less
The North Pool was honoured earlier today to receive a visit from this Great White Egret. Whilst much of the time was spent hiding behind high reeds , we got one quick glimpse and for about 10 seconds he /she landed in front of the North Pool Hide before heading into deepest Somerset … See MoreSee Less