Thornbury

Snuff Mills

Report on visit to Snuff Mills August 6th 2018
Twenty one members met in the car park at Snuff Mills on a hot summer’s morning. We saw magpie and wood pigeon in the car park and disturbed a sparrow hawk which flew off rapidly. Following weeks of blistering heat and very little rain we were impressed that the river Frome was still running although the water levels were low. We saw three herons fly away and then noticed one perched high in a tree. From its bedraggled look and pale beak we thought that it was a young one. There were several crows about. A pair of Jays flew into the plum trees in an allotment. Mostly it was quiet, with thick foliage hiding any little birds. With much following of twittering we were able to spot blue and great tits. There were many ripe blackberries and small and large white butterflies. Among the buddleia we saw a silver washed fritillary. By the weir a grey wagtail paraded catching flying insects. There were more sightings of a sparrow hawk, with a passerby commenting that they roost on the church spire opposite Colston’s Lock.

The lake at Eastville Park had mallard, with ducklings, a heron hiding amongst the purple loosestrife, a mute swan, moorhen, and many black headed gulls which were already losing their black heads. There were feral pigeons, a Muscovy duck, and one lesser black backed gull. There was plenty of movement in the water from shoals of small fish. The river too had many fish, identified as tench and rudd, plenty of food for the otters, herons and kingfishers. We managed to see a robin singing loudly in the foliage. Overhead was a buzzard. A green woodpecker was heard and then briefly seen. The water attracted many dragonflies, and damselflies.
Those who ate their sandwiches and then rested on a bench near the bridge north of the car park caught a glimpse of the elusive kingfisher as did a couple who left the group early. It is good to know that the kingfishers are still here.

Birds seen

Buzzard woodpigeon heron
Crow Jay Blue tit
Great tit Sparrow hawk Moorhen
Black headed gull Mute Swan Mallard
Lesser black backed gull Muscovy duck Green woodpecker
Grey wagtail Robin Magpie
Black cap Kingfisher Herring gull

We heard wren and cetti warbler. 23 species
Identified dragonflies; ruddy darter, beautiful demoiselle, emerald damselfly, and a hawker.