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Bristol Birding

Bristol from Narroways Nature Reserve

Bristol from Narroways Nature Reserve

Not the most avian of walks from Southville (apparently that’s my bit of Bedminster) to Stapleton yesterday, but among the interesting. The amazing enclave of St Werburgh’s provided the bulk of the gosh factor.

I had no idea. The city farm there is like Windmill Hill at first glance but wander into its café and you’re wandering into Hobbiton. One or two of the self-builds in the area continue that theme. Certainly they all seem to have had an architect somewhere near their plans, unlike Portishead, say. I wish I could have taken a decent shot of one but the view lines weren’t good.

You’ll have to make do with a snap across Bristol city centre from Narroways nature reserve. This nestles where an old spur ran from the Severn Beach railway to the LMR’s main route into Bristol. My 1990 A-to-Z marks a gasworks in the vicinity, maybe the one that gave Rovers their name? Eastville, which is now of course Ikea, is nearby.

Earlier in the morning I caught the No 7 ferry (on the subject of the source of names, is this the inspiration for Bristol Beer Factory’s ale?) across the Floating Harbour. I couldn’t swear I’ve ever been on that stretch of water, so the 50 yards from the SS Gurt Biggun to Hotwell Road was 80p well spent.

Four paragraphs later we get to the birds. Four paragraphs and about six miles put me at the Masons with a view over the Frome valley. Its downsloping garden was splendid and swallows chattered and a green woodpecker yaffled for the highlights of the walk.

Then it was on to the number 4 bus down to traffic chaos in town. We have the Balloon Fiesta to thank for that. At least something flies around the city.

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