Tuesday 03 February – Bristol city centre

Nineteen members met in Millennium Square on this very cold but sunny day. Our first birds. apart from the ever present gulls, were some Goldfinches and a Starling by the Arnolfini. The usual gang of Cormorants were by Prince Street Bridge. One was a juvenile with an almost white breast. Some were adults showing their breeding patches and one was a very smart male with continental type plumage. Beyond the M shed the bushes by the railway tracks were searched but there are signs that these bushes are all being cleared away so a lot of habitat for passerines is being destroyed. There is still a flock of House Sparrows. A break by the marina added Mallard and Mute Swan to the list. We then crossed to the New Cut and picked up a Common Sandpiper and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Approaching the tobacco bonds two Grey Wagtails flew overhead and some saw a Kestrel and a Peregrine. Some Redwings were feeding on berries under the flyover. A Buzzard was seen being chased by a Crow over the Ashton Court woodland. About 60 Black Headed Gulls were dancing over the river like butterflies – a very pretty sight. Both the lock gates of the entrance lock to the Cumberland Basin were open so we had the unusual sight of an empty Basin. Gulls were foraging in the seldom exposed mud. A Moorhen was seen on our walk back on the North side of the harbour then we climbed Brandon Hill to add a few more passerines. Wren, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit were seen and a Nuthatch heard. A few of the group had the energy to climb the tower. Thank you to Nick for his meticulous list of all the birds. Species total 33. Margaret Gorely