Saturday, 31 December 2011

Brief Encounter

Walking down Belvoir Road this afternoon I heard the unmistakable sound of a Carrion Crow making its gutteral alarm call just in time to see it chasing a Sparrowhawk overhead. The usual birds at the station - apart from the finches, sparrows and starlings there was a Dunnock and a few Great and Blue Tits. On paper that doesn't sound too exciting but there was lots of activity to keep me amused.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Monty mega-finch, a flurry of Fieldfares and Starlings soar

The station was brilliant this morning, with a female Bullfinch on the feeders. I've heard that this species is becoming more regular at feeding stations around the country and this seems to prove it. Never common on the Wild Monty patch, it was great to see one. Also at the station 4 Fieldfares flew SE and the Starling flock numbered 15 plus - a good count. A Greenfinch, a couple of Goldfinches and several Chaffinches also at the station.

Long-tailed Tits were seen outside the flat this morning.

Thursday, 29 December 2011


Very little to report in the last couple of days. Yesterday a Goldcrest was calling in the pine near the Old Vicarage and today in St Pauls Park there were just Woodpigeons and Collared Doves, a Blackbird, Dunnock and Robin and a few Goldfinches.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

I've been everywhere, man

An extended tour of duty taking in both St Andrews Park and Narroways produced the following birds:

Narroways: 2 Ravens flew over the Church Field, a Coal Tit called from the conifers at the climbing centre and a Blackcap was heard near the brook. Other birds seen and heard included a Grey Wagtail, Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, 2 Song Thrushes (heard in the distance), 5 Greenfinches, and a couple of Chaffinches.

St Andrews Park: A Jay, a Mistle Thrush, 4 Blackbirds, several Goldfinches and Chaffinches, 10 Starlings and a Pied Wagtail.

Fairlawn Road: Several Long-tailed Tits and a Jay.

Station: 10 Goldfinches were notable.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

St Andrews Park etc

At St Andrews Park late morning there was a flurry of activity near the pond, with a Coal Tit singing at the top of a tree and showing well, 2 Blackcaps calling and 1 (a male) showing briefly, a Robin in the wildlife hedge and a gaggle of House Sparrows nearby. A few Goldfinches and Greenfinches around the park too.

The finch flock at the station was tremendous - I can't remember there ever being more. I estimated at least 50 birds, dominated by Chaffinches followed by Goldfinches and then Greenfinches. They were flighty this morning, commuting between the area near the feeders then flying to the park. Also 2 Grey Squirrels at the feeders and a Pied Wagtail nearby.

A flock of 15-20 Redwings flew over the flat this afternoon and there were 3 Blackbirds in the garden.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Thrushes again....

At the station this morning I was busily looking at a Grey Squirrel and a couple of Chaffinches on the feeders when I glanced up to see the tail-end of about 20 winter thrushes, almost certainly Redwings, fly south overhead. Only seconds before, I had heard what I thought was a Fieldfare calling - it's just possible that the flock contained the latter species as well as the Redwings. The usual collection of birds, including the regular Coal Tit, were still in and around the station.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

St Pauls Park

All quiet this morning - a Pied Wagtail, 3 Goldfinches, a Great Tit, 3 Blue Tits, a Collared Dove, 5 Woodpigeons and 3 Blackbirds.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Fly

What was a tolerable number of Bluebottles in the flat a week ago has now become a bit of an infestation. I will have to do some serious swatting.

The Blackcap was calling in the garden first thing this morning.

Nothing new on the station but a Starling flew over and a Great Tit was singing.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Montpelier Station

Once again, the finch flock at the station was mighty impressive this morning - the usual 3 species involved, and the total numbering over 20. Female Chaffinches appeared to dominate. Also good numbers of House Sparrows and the Coal Tit was again present along with Great and Blue Tits.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Green and Black

The female Blackcap was showing well in the garden again today, mainly eating Ivy berries and another (or the same) bird was calling at the station later on.

Also at the station were 3 Greenfinches, half a dozen Chaffinches, 2 Goldfinches, 4 Starlings, 5 Collared Doves, a Robin, 2 Blackbirds, a few House Sparrows, a Coal Tit, 2 Great Tits, a Blue Tit and a Dunnock.

A similar suite of species were at the railway path including Dunnock, Blackbird and Great Tits.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Slightly Foxed III

Hurrah! The first Blackcaps of the winter - a female in the garden this morning and another individual calling and showing briefly in St Andrews Park.

The Fox was at its usual spot along the railway path, also nearby was a Jay and a group of Great and Blue Tits.

A flock of about 20 Chaffinches in the station/allotment area.

Friday, 16 December 2011

A Mistle in Montpelier

A Mistle Thrush was singing strongly this morning - it seemed to be coming from somewhere between the station and the Arches but I could not see the bird. This species is quite unusual on this part of the patch and always good to see or hear. Nearby, lots of Chaffinches and Goldfinches, a Greenfinch, a Robin, a Dunnock and 2 Blackbirds on the station and a Grey Squirrel near the feeders.

There were 3 flies in the flat this morning, one of which fell under the hot water tap as I was running the bath. I rescued it but although it could walk around a bit, its wings were clearly damaged and it was unable to fly (a distinct disadvantage for a fly). At least one of the flies was a Bluebottle species.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

St Pauls - birding capital of Bristol

In St Pauls Park, a very agitated Great Tit was calling incessantly and hopping restlessly from branch to branch, presumably because it had seen a cat, while nearby a couple of Long-tailed Tits gave good views. The only other birds of note were a Pied Wagtail and singles of Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

In Portland Square there were just 2 Great Tits and a Blackbird, and there was nothing much in the cemetery because the Council staff were blowing leaves around, although I did hear House Sparrows above the din and a Herring Gull drifted over.

There is a Blow-fly or House Fly buzzing around the flat this evening even though it is rather cold and normally out and about on only the mildest of winter weather.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

St Pauls Park: Third Sequence

Still quiet but the blustery conditions were not ideal for birding. Blue Tits and Great Tits, a couple of Magpies, a Carrion Crow, a Blackbird, a Robin, 2 Herring Gulls and half a dozen Woodpigeons were the only birds of note.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Montpelier Park & Station

A Goldcrest was calling in the pine near the Old Vicarage this morning - the first for several months and no doubt recently arrived. A couple of Goldfinches and Chaffinches were also seen plus a Grey Squirrel.

There was a spectacular repeat performance from a female Sparrowhawk over the allotment gardens, at one point flying a couple of metres right over my head before heading towards Colston Girls' School - fabulous. At the station proper, Chaffinches dominated with about 15 birds, while the feeders had a Grey Squirrel, 6 Goldfinches, 2 Blue Tits, a Starling and a single Greenfinch. There were 2 Pied Wagtails trotting along the platform.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Montpelier Marauder and Mini Murmuration

A Sparrowhawk paid a visit to the station this morning, causing havoc among some Chaffinches and Blue Tits that had been on the feeders. The hawk then soared over the station mobbed by a Carrion Crow before drifting off over Cromwell Road.

In St Andrews Road, a flighty group of Starlings were investigating the gardens and rooftops - at least 10 birds were involved. Double figures at last!

Saturday, 10 December 2011


The quiet theme continued today on a bright crisp morning at Narroways. The highlight was the dependable Grey Wagtail on the brook plus up to 3 Jays and the odd Goldfinch nearby.

Nothing much to report in Montpelier other than a female Chaffinch and a couple of Blue Tits at Fairlawn Road

Friday, 9 December 2011

St Pauls Park: Second Sequence

The park was a little more lively than a day or two ago, with several Great and Blue Tits, a Chaffinch, a Goldfinch, a couple of Pied Wagtails, 2 Herring Gulls, a Carrion Crow , a Magpie, several Woodpigeons and a Dunnock.

My garden produced a Dunnock, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Great Tits, a Blue Tit, a Magpie and 2 Woodpigeons.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Montpelier Station

A few Starlings and high-flying Woodpigeons overhead, a Dunnock, 3 Carrion Crows, a Magpie, a single Coal Tit plus Great and Blue Tits were the only birds of note this morning. It can only get better.....

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

St Pauls Park

All rather bleak, the highlight being a group of 6 Blue Tits and a Great Tit. Other birds were a couple of Magpies and Woodpigeons, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull and a couple of Goldfinches.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Coal Tit a-calling

A Coal Tit was calling in Richmond Road this morning and 10 Woodpigeons flew south. Nothing new at the station.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Montpelier Park

I chose to walk round the park later than usual to avoid the bloke with the bull terriers. There were 2 Pied Wagtails and a single Grey Wagtail feeding on the grass at the back of the park plus a Great Tit, a couple of Blackbirds, a Robin and the odd Chaffinch.

At the station the Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and House Sparrows were as conspicuous as always. A Dunnock was heard nearby.

Beyond the border in Kingsdown, a Jay was sat in a street tree in Dove Street South and a Jackdaw flew over.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Wagtails 'n' Long-tails

A couple of Pied Wagtails were seen around the industrial units at Station Road and a Goldfinch flew over. Further down the Road a party of Long-tailed Tits were calling and were seen later at the station itself, along with some Great and Blue Tits.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Slightly Foxed II

The same mangey Fox was in the same place as last week, again showing no interest in me other than a disapproving glance. Nearby in Fairlawn Road there was some Blackbird song no doubt encouraged by the mild sunny weather and, amazingly, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee was still out and about.

At St Andrews Park there were several Goldfinches and a 'flock' of Blackbirds along with a Jay all near the park-keeper's area.

The feeders at the station were busy with half a dozen Goldfinches and a similar number of Chaffinches plus 2 Grey Squirrels. There were 4 Starlings on the TV mast.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Montpelier Station

The usual Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and House Sparrows were evident this morning, plus a party of Long-tailed Tits and a Dunnock.