’20 Days Wild’ – Days 16 and 17: Blaise Castle and Royal Fort

As already suggested on several occasions on this we are fortunate in Bristol to have a number of green spaces in the city in which one can escape the concrete jungle and spend some time within a softer, greener atmosphere. Royal Fort Gardens at the University of Bristol is one such place, usually the preserve of copious numbers of students. However, at this time of year the vast majority of the students have migrated away from the city, not to return until September and so this little oasis of green is usually quiet and is a beautiful place to sit, look and listen for wildlife. This was my wild escape for day 16.


Above: Royal Fort Gardens as it is usually seen (with lots of students).

Yesterday (day 17) I went along to the first ‘meet up’ event of a new Bristol Wildlife group, with a few friends of mine. For a couple of hours we walked around Blaise Castle and observed lots of wildlife, despite the time of year and there being lots of people and dogs about. We saw Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Swallow and Buzzard. We also heard Wren, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Nuthatch, Song Thrush and Blackbird. We found two butterflies: a Meadow Brown and a Ringlet and also several beetles including a Swollen Thighed Beetle.

We also spent quite a lot of time in the couple of wildflower meadows we passed and were able to identify several grasses and wildflowers including Birds Foot Trefoil (or eggs and bacon as it is sometimes known!), Yellow Rattle, Timothy, Meadow Grass, Meadow Cranesbill and Agrimony, among others. On the way back we also saw lots of silverweed. Thank you especially to Pip for lending us her knowledge!


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