Thornbury u3a

Bishops Knoll

The Bishops Knoll Nature Reserve visit.

15 species sighted 
Goldcrest Blackbird Blue Tit Carrion Crow Goldfinch Jay 
Great Tit Jackdaw Magpie Mallard Moorhens 
Redwing Robin Wood Pigeon Black headed Gull 
Lesser black backed gull 
Two heard but not seen 
Nuthatch Wren 
Also spotted 
squirrel Dragonfly Red Admiral butterfly Speckled Wood butterfly 

On a wonderfully warm October day, eleven people joined the outing to Bishops Knoll Nature Reserve in Bristol. The Reserve is managed by the Woodland Trust . The plan for the walk was to take the higher paths through the woodland towards Old Sneed Park as this was over more level ground and returning with the option of walking the inclined gardens of the grounds of the old house.

Bishops Knoll was planted on the site of a deer park enclosed in the 13th century. It later became the grounds of a large, late-nineteenth century estate house called the Knoll. In the First World War, the now-demolished mansion became a makeshift hospital for Australian soldiers. The house later passed through various owners, becoming a hostel and then a school for nurses, until it was eventually demolished in 1972 with the grounds becoming overgrown. The land was then donated to the Woodland Trust in 1983.

We were greeted early in the walk by a close up active display from 3 Goldcrests, holding the groups attention for over 15 minutes. A restful time/coffee break was taken beside the pond in Old Sneed park, with a group of over 40 Mallards expecting to be fed but were disappointed. The less attractive sighting was a busy Hornets nest in the hollow of an oak tree. The visit lasted for two and a half hours returning back to the cars for 12.30.

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