BS3 Wildlife News

Hedgehogs, Slow Worms and Newts

Following their return to Frayne Road in 2017, there have been a number of sightings this year in both back and front gardens, including hedgehogs wandering up the pavement and along the top of low walls. At least two properties have hedgehog ‘houses’ in situ. Both were occupied last winter and one appears to have a resident hog at present. It is hard to tell exactly how many hedgehogs are active in the immediate area. At least two known litters were born and raised in back gardens in 2017 and a further litter in a different garden last year so it could be that the adults we see now were born hereabouts. A number of people have been putting out dried cat food, meal worms and saucers of water on a regular basis. The hedgehogs are delightful and very much a talking point for Frayne Road residents. (JohnH).

I thought I would report our street’s hedgehog family, which we have spotted over the last few months, with a ‘young-un’ spotted yesterday evening. We’ve had hedgehogs in 2-3 of the back gardens in Frayne Road….but we’ve got brick walls, so there are no perfect hedgehog motorways available at the back. But, this year, I have spotted an adult scurrying along through the front gardens in our house and at least one house either side – much easier to negotiate. The first one was spotted in my garden on May 30th; a while later two adults, who may have been mating or courting; an adult and child on July 11th and a young one last night (August 24). This is all very exiting! (MartinH).

We saw hedgehogs in our garden this morning (August 29). I haven’t seen one for many years. It was investigating close to our back door and then disappeared into the plants around an area where we created a woodpile of old pear tree branches and thinnings. I hope it takes up residence. We live on the corner of a busy road junction created by Marksbury and Bedminster Roads and I hate to think of its fate if it moves on. We also had a newt in our pond earlier this year. I’m crossing my fingers that both decide to stay with us. (HelenM).

Frogs, bees, sparrows, blue tits and now a couple, I think, of Common Shrews in my garden. Tiny little thing, silver grey nesting possibly in a small woodpile in a shady corner of my garden in Gathorne Road. I guess they could be mice, but I think the heads are not mouse-shaped. Haven’t managed a photo of them yet, but will send if I do. (JanE).

All Green Spaces Large and Small

Thanks to those who have already sent in information about community gardens and orchards in BS3. We are also making progress on the report relating to larger green spaces such as parks and allotments. The suggested deadline for information is 1st October, but you don’t need to wait until then. If you have already submitted something, please let us know if you want to change anything. This document, when completed, will be an important base line statement about how things stand for My Wild Bedminster in 2019.

Moths, Butterflies

We are now coming to the end of the butterfly and moth season, ie, say, the end of September. Please therefore send any lists or even single sightings of these creatures to mywildbedminster@virginmedia.com. We will collate this information and publish our third annual moth and butterfly report before the end of 2019. In the event that something interesting pops up after September, please let us know so that we can include it.

Winter Birds

October is the first month of our six month bird survey, ie October to March inclusive. We have mainly concentrated upon garden birds, but last year we had a couple of submissions from allotments. That’s fine, so long as we know. Why not include other green spaces? Parks? Avon New Cut? Wherever?The Victorian ornithologists (aka bird watchers!) often sought to see exotic species or odd versions of common ones, such as albinos. Our focus will be on so-called common species because thanks to ‘progress’ many of these are now under threat. Examples would be chaffinches, green finches and starlings. These were once very frequently seen, but much less so in recent years. If we don’t monitor our birds we might well find that some that we have taken for granted are no longer around. Perhaps by 2030 we’ll just have lots of seagulls, crows and pigeons subsisting on discarded pizzas.

Bee Friendly

Wales claims to be the first country on earth to declare itself ‘Bee Friendly’. The Welsh Assembly, working with Friends of the Earth, intends to award ‘bee friendly’ status to organisations such as schools, businesses and parks, if they come up to the mark by offering suitable and safe habitats for bees and other pollinators. Sounds like a good idea. I wonder if the criteria were applied in Bristol which of our public parks would get a certificate? Lots? Very few?

Please pass this newsletter on to other people and invite them to join the BS3 Wildlife Group and promote My Wild Bedminster. Membership is free and not restricted to people who live in BS3. Don’t forget about the BS3 Wildlife Group facebook: lots of lovely pictures.

Contact: mywildbedminster@virginmedia.com