Organisations in Greater Bedminster/BS3 have been working with Avon Wildlife Trust on their My Wild City project since 2016. Our main contact has been Matt Collis and he will be editing special newsletters on wildlife about once a month. This is the first.
We also want to include information from YOU about wildlife activities in your school, back garden, local park or wherever in BS3, so keep sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com . Pictures and drawing too, please.
South Bristol Voice has been working closely with us on this project, so for even more news look at their monthly reports.
September sees the inevitable close of summer and the dawn of autumn. It’s a fantastic month for wildlife in gardens as many creatures make the most of the remaining nectar-filled flowers and the abundant fruits and nuts.
WHAT TO SEE THIS MONTH
Having hidden away for most of August, garden birds return with freshly grown feathers and are looking their absolute best. They are much more active and vocal again with bird song heard most mornings. Be prepared to hear some weird sounding songs! Young birds spend September trying to learn what they are supposed to sounds like and many will be out of tune for at least a few weeks!
Dripping with hips and berries, hedgerows are a hive of activity with everything taking advantage of the fruity bounty. Early berries like elderberries and the first blackberries are going slightly over, whilst others such as rose hips and the sloes on blackthorn are looking in their prime. As a result hedgerows are a great place to go looking for wildlife in September particularly for moths and hoverflies.
Spiders are very active in September and much more visible as wet weather reveals their intricate webs. Although not everyone’s favourite animal, spiders come in all kind of beautiful shapes and colours. Look out for the classic-shaped orb web of the Common Garden Spider or the bright green body of a Cucumber Spider hanging in hedges and shrubs. They do a wonderful service of keeping flies at bay so be sure to say thank you as you walk by.
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
This tall tower of a plant remains beautiful long after it’s purple flowers stop and many other plants have begun to wilt. Its spiky egg-shaped seed heads are packed full of seeds which garden birds love! The teasel is a favourite of the goldfinch whose bill is perfectly shaped to pick out the individual seeds. Spiders love it to, often building webs between the long flower stalks which can make for a lovely photo.
The teasel is a perfect ‘quiet corner’ plant needing pretty much no management at all. Collect one seed head this month and store over winter. In the spring, remove the seeds from the head and spread over the soil where you’d like the plant to grow. If it spreads too widely, simply dig out the plants you don’t want.
Why not visit the wildflower nursery at Feed Bristol to learn more about gardening for wildlife?
Avon Wildlife trust’s team of experts will help you pick the right plants for you and to help the wildlife in your back garden. See you there! Feed Bristol, 158 Frenchay Park Road, Bristol, BS16 1HB.
Thanks to Finbar Cullen for confirming sightings of the squirrel colony in Victoria Park. Where else in BS3 can they be spotted?
Also, we are still interested in sightings of foxes, hedgehogs, slow worms, diplodocus or anything else that you spot. We’ll be sending soon for your more detailed records of creatures found in gardens, parks and other places throughout the year.
Windmill Hill City Farm
The butterfly survey of the WHCF which began in April has now confirmed 10 species. More details may be in the October edition of South Bristol Voice.
Prizes may be won in this competition which closes on 30 September. See the attachment, but you can use any piece of paper. Photos would be good too. Over 15s are welcome to join in too, but no prizes, I’m afraid. BS3 Wildlife competition 2017 v3