Brandon Hill is one of the best places in Bristol to see urban birds and wildlife. The hill is alive with activity all year round, but Spring and Autumn are the best times to see raptors and passage migrants, with sightings of peregrine, sparrowhawk and buzzard on a daily basis and migrant passerines constantly moving through.
This video is of Clifton’s urban peregrine falcons. The first 2 clips are views from Cabot Tower, looking out to the Wills Memorial Tower at the top of Park Street and the spire of Clifton Catholic Cathedral on Pembroke road.
Brandon Hill has a large variety of resident songbirds, with nesting blackcaps and goldcrests, many passage migrants like redstarts, willow warblers, garden warblers and the occasional kingfisher that stop for short periods and seasonal visitors like overwintering redwings.
Cabot Tower has recently reopened to the public, which has given a new perspective from which to view Bristol’s bird life. Since reopening this summer, it has provided unique opportunities to monitor Bristol’s urban peregrines – from Clifton Village down to the City Centre, and so far this autumn, it has delivered some exciting sightings of passage migrants that would have been missed from ground level.
The reason for the formation of the Cabot Tower Bird Study Group is to monitor this visible migration over Bristol, and submit valuable data to the BTO about bird movements over cities. We will also be comparing data with the Tower 42 Bird Study Group in central London.
After movements of willow warbler, garden warbler and chiffchaff in the last few weeks, wagtails and pipits are now starting to pass over regularly. Perhaps skylark next, some Scandi thrushes, siskins or maybe some woodies in October..?