Des Bowring's Blog (74)

Bird Walk 21 March

If birdwatching is all about the thrill of the unexpected, then this morning's walk certainly delivered. A fantastic view of a Peregrine cruising over Effingham Road then circling over the park will live long in the memory! Full list of birds seen as follows:


Blackbird - several including one collecting nesting material

Long-Tailed Tit…


Added by Des Bowring on March 21, 2010 at 14:00 — No Comments

Bird Walk 21st February

The first bird walk of 2010 was excellent with both signs of spring and reminders of winter to entertain us. Birds seen were as follows:

Goldfinch - at least half a dozen showing well as they fed in a birch tree

Chaffinch - including males singing and another having a bath!


Redwing at least 6, maybe more, feeding on the grass


Mistle Thrush - not seen, but song heard rather distantly

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Starling -… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on February 21, 2010 at 14:30 — 2 Comments

January Bird Walk Cancelled Shock

In view of the latest weather forecast I have cancelled January's bird walk because of the possibility of marauding polar bears adding to health and safety concerns.

The bird walks will resume in February when I'm sure we'll all be basking in above-average temperatures. See you then!


Added by Des Bowring on January 7, 2010 at 14:30 — No Comments

Bird Walk, 15th November

It was a lovely sunny morning following yesterday's stormy conditions and it was good to welcome some new people. Highlights included a vocal but elusive Goldcrest, a confiding Jay and some winter thrushes flying over the park. Birds seen or heard today are as follows:

Blackbird 3 or 4

Chaffinch small groups of mainly female birds, mostly around the park-keeper's compound

Greenfinch 3 Flew around near the main Effingham Road entrance at the start of the… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on November 15, 2009 at 14:46 — No Comments

Bird Walk 18th October

Another successful bird walk on a dry autumn morning - it was good to see some new faces among the party as well. After a quiet start with just a few singing Robins to entertain us, things improved at the pond where a Grey Wagtail did a flypast. Later, a party of Mistle Thrushes feeding in adjacent gardens and flying to and from the park gave excellent views.

Full list of birds seen and heard as follows:

Mistle Thrush (up to 4) These may have been locally bred birds… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on October 18, 2009 at 12:00 — No Comments

Montpelier Poplars Under Threat Again


Colston's Girls' School is the subject of a planning application submitted in May 2009. Supplementary documents have been posted in September which include felling the remaining black poplars, the very same trees which were saved by protesters in 1989. They omitted to mention this tree felling in their original exhibition leaflet too.

The application also includes… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on September 24, 2009 at 17:14 — 3 Comments

Bird Walk 20 September

It was a great turn-out for the first bird walk after the summer break, but actually seeing any birds was a challenge due to the leaf cover, so we contented ourselves with getting to grips with songs and calls. The highlight was a superb Grey Wagtail which spent time on the usually biologically sterile bowling green! List of birds seen and heard as follows:

Robin (many - including lots singing and calling)

Greenfinch (1)

Great Tit (seemed everywhere!)

Coal Tit (heard… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on September 20, 2009 at 15:00 — 2 Comments

Your chance to comment on Montpelier Park proposals!

Here are the three proposals for the refurbishment of Montpelier Park. Please feel free to comment on the form provided below. The consultation ends on 17th July.

Concept Proposal 1.pdf

Concept Proposal 2.pdf…


Added by Des Bowring on June 25, 2009 at 22:16 — No Comments

Make your wildlife observations count!

I work at Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC) as a volunteer, and I would urge anyone to send in records of the wildlife they see in the park. The centre has literally millions of records and is busy digitizing them - a mammoth task. The database is an invaluable tool with which to identify key wildlife sites and threatened habitats throughout the Bristol region, and it would be great to see St Andrews Park well and truly put on the map and recognised as a wildlife haven,… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on June 1, 2009 at 22:30 — 1 Comment

Bird Walk 17 May

Despite heavy rain before and after the walk, another good turnout proved that members of the local community are certainly not fair weather birdwatchers! As it transpired, we enjoyed a sunny start and a dry hour for strolling around the park. The highlight was watching a Blue Tit entering and leaving one of the nestboxes we erected in the autumn. The birds seen or heard were as follows:

Blue Tit - three or four birds seen and heard, including the nestbox occupier

Great… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on May 17, 2009 at 12:46 — 1 Comment

Bird Walk 19 April

We had another good turn-out this morning, but the promised summer visitors and other bird migrants failed to materialise! Instead we had a good collection of resident birds - many posing nicely for us - and a Buzzard being mobbed by Lesser Black-backed Gulls was a highlight.

I counted 16 species (I stand to be corrected if necessary, Simon):


Blue Tit

Great Tit







Feral… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on April 19, 2009 at 16:19 — 2 Comments

Bird walk 15th March

A record number of people turned up for today's bird walk on a gorgeous sunny morning. We were rewarded with a real rarity - a Ring-necked Parakeet! This species has a stronghold in the London area but has been threatening to move west and there have been increasing numbers of records in our area in the last few years. Also we heard a Blackcap in full song and another surprise was a Buzzard drifting overhead.

Full list of birds seen and/or heard as follows:

Ring-necked… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on March 15, 2009 at 19:24 — 3 Comments

Bird Walk 15th Feb

Another successful walk in the park this morning; the total number of birds seen and heard was the same as last month - 17! One lucky participant saw a Siskin - a small finch which tends to be a winter visitor to these parts. Another highlight was a Long-Tailed Tit carrying nesting material - in this case a white feather - so spring cannot be far off!

The full list is as follows:

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Coal Tit

Long-tailed… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on February 15, 2009 at 12:52 — 1 Comment

Nestboxes - they're up!

The twelve nestboxes donated to the park by the good people of St Andrews are now up! Despite the rain, several families turned up to watch as their nestboxes were expertly installed by Keith and Linda Hall. The huge Tawny Owl box is an impressive sight and will hopefully be occupied in the future. Next time you are in the park, see if you can count all the nestboxes!

My thanks to Keith and Linda and to the generous park users who have donated a nestbox - here's hoping for a bumper… Continue

Added by Des Bowring on November 9, 2008 at 15:00 — 2 Comments

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