An afternoon at Portbury Wharf

Despite intending to spend today catching up on all the jobs I keep putting to one side, I couldn’t go the whole weekend without getting some birdwatching in – so, not wanting to go too far or spend too long out, I decided to explore a reserve that I haven’t been to before but which is only about 10 minutes outside Bristol.

Rabbit at Portbury Wharf

Portbury Wharf is owned by the Avon Wildlife Trust, and lies next to the Severn Estuary, between Portishead and Royal Portbury Dock. Despite being so close to the city, and being next to a housing development, there’s plenty of wildlife to see.


The weather was a bit grey and damp today, but there were still birds everywhere – goldfinches everywhere I turned, plenty of whitethroats singing, reed warblers, and more house martins than I’ve seen all year. There were also lots of youngsters around – some fledgling robins (like the one below), a young song thrush, young mallards and lots of baby coots.

Fledgling robin

One of my favourite spots was three colourful bullfinches – I have to confess that it’s the first time I’ve ever seen this species! I’ve heard them lots of times so really chuffed to finally get some good views. There was also an interesting chiffchaff around, with a slightly unusual song, plus my first skylarks of the year – was beginning to wonder where they’d all vanished to so I’m relieved that they are about! Also great to hear the haunting calls of a curlew out towards the estuary.

The other interesting spot of the afternoon was a black rabbit – it got scared away by some passers-by before I could take a photo though (although I did manage to catch one of the ‘normal’ rabbit above).

Burnet moth
Six-spot burnet moth

All in all, a nice relaxing afternoon and some good birdwatching to keep me going for the week! 🙂

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