Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chick or Tweet

Not much to report from the station this morning, although a flock of 10 finches overhead was rather intriguing - they didn't call (or I'm going deaf and didn't hear them) so I couldn't ID them - very frustrating. A Pied Wagtail also flew over and there was still a small group of Greenfinches around plus a calling Wren.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


A late Chiffchaff was calling from trees near the TV mast this morning. Nearby, 6 Greenfinches and a singing Coal Tit were notable at the station.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bring me sunshine

Some good birds at Fairlawn Road this morning - 6 Long-tailed Tits, a Coal Tit, a Goldcrest, a couple of Blue Tits, a Jay and 10 fly-over Starlings. Invertebrates along the verge included a Dark Bush-cricket, a Nursery Web Spider and 5 Green Shieldbugs.

Dark Bush-cricket

The ivy-covered wall along St Andrews Road was absolutely swarming with Honey Bees, Eristalis hoverflies, various other flies and a presumed Common Wasp. Nearby a Garden Spider partook of its prey and a Red Admiral basked in the warm sunshine.

Garden Spider

The station feeders attracted a female Chaffinch, a Greenfinch, a Carrion Crow, 3 or so Magpies and a Grey Squirrel. A Great Tit was seen nearby.

Not much to report from Montpelier Park other than a party of Long-tailed Tits and a singing Coal Tit.

Yesterday a group of 15 Starlings flew over Richmond Road.  

Saturday, 27 October 2012


Quiet on the reserve today apart from the Grey Wagtail on the brook, a singing Coal Tit and 5 Blackbirds at Lynmouth Road allotments and fly-over Chaffinch, Greenfinches and Goldfinches.
Grey Wagtail
A Nursery-web Spider Pisaura mirabilis and a Flesh Fly were also seen.

In Fairlawn Road there were plenty of invertebrates, including 2 or 3 Nursery Web Spiders, a Dock Leaf Bug, a Red Admiral, a Yellow Dung Fly and what I think must be a Grey Damsel Bug Himacerus major - a 'first' for Montpelier. A Green Shieldbug was near Hurlingham Road. Long-tailed Tits were calling nearby.
Red Admiral
Grey Damsel Bug
Nursery-web Spider
Dock Leaf Bug
Green Shield Bug
More Long-tailed Tits were heard at Station Road, and a Robin was in the garden. At the station there were several birds at the feeders - a couple of Greenfinches, a Chaffinch, 2 Starlings, 2 or 3 House Sparrows and a few Collared Doves.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Morning Thrush Hour

About 10 Fieldfares over the station this morning were my first winter thrushes of the year. An influx of Blackbirds too, with several calling from the bushes and 5 or 6 flying overhead - all thrushes flying SE.

The bathroom was a wildlife haven today, with a Zygiella spider and a Twenty-plumed Moth present!

Zygiella spider

Twenty-plumed Moth
Just out of the area the Pied Wagtail roost at the M32/House of Fraser numbered 50+ birds I reckon - very impressive.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Montperegrine 3: Skyfall

The female Peregrine was back on the TV mast this morning. She was preening and being mobbed by a pair of Magpies and a Carrion Crow. You could see she wasn't going to put up with the harrassment for long and after a few stretches of her wings she flew off chased by the corvids. Three Starlings also nearby but not much else to report.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

St Andrews Park

Today's monthly bird walk produced the following:

Redpoll - 1 flew over the bowling green
Goldfinch - present in small groups
Chaffinch - 1 or 2
Greenfinch - 2 or 3 birds believed to be this species high in the treetops with Goldfinches
Great Tit - 2 or 3
Blue Tit - heard briefly near the pond
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 or 2 drifting over
Woodpigeon - several seen
Collared Dove - at least 1 bird noted
Feral Pigeon - 3 or 4 seen
Robin - 4 or 5 birds heard singing or 'ticking'
Dunnock - 2 birds heard calling
Goldcrest - up to 2 birds seen near the pond
Blackbird - 1 or 2. They seem quite scarce in the park at present
Starling - 4 flew over
Magpie - a few
Carrion Crow - a few, including a plastic bag-wielding individual apparently
Jay - seen once or twice during the walk

In the flat this morning was a Tortrix moth which I think was probably a Light Brown Apple Moth.

Probable Light Brown Apple Moth

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Today in and around Narroways: a Peregrine on the climbing centre, also a Sparrowhawk over the hill, a Jackdaw over the stony path, a Grey Wagtail over stony path, Jay near church field, Pied Wagtail over the hill, 2 Greenfinches and 2 Chaffinches over the cutting, Coal Tit at Lynmouth Road.


Invertebrates enjoying the sunshine included 5 Myathropa florea hoverflies fighting and perching on the bridge over the brook, 1 Eristalis hoverfly and a Green Shieldbug on the cutting.
Green Shieldbug
Myathropa florea hoverfly
At Fairlawn Road there was a Small White butterfly, a Harlequin Ladybird and a Green Shieldbug.

Small White
The ivy-covered wall halfway down St Andrews Road was buzzing with Honey Bees, Eristalis hoverflies and at least 1 Syrphus hoverfly.

Syrphus hoverfly

A Raven flew over the station and 2 or 3 Greenfinches were on the feeders. No fewer than 9 Magpies were feeding on the allotmant gardens. Yesterday at the station the Starling flock had reached the dizzy heights of 6 birds.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Red Admiral

A brief visit to the station revealed a Red Admiral, a fly-over Greenfinch and a couple of Starlings this morning.
Red Admiral

Monday, 15 October 2012

Narroways and St Andrews Park

On Narroways today: 27 Jackdaws (1 group of 6 and another of 21) flying SW over the hill, 1 Sparrowhawk over hill, 1 Jay (stony path) 1 Mistle Thrush (Ashley Hill end of stony path), 1 Grey Wagtail over stony path, 1 Pied Wagtail over church field plus a few fly-over Chaffinches and Goldfinches.
Spot the Mistle Thrush
In St Andrews Park: 1 or 2 Goldcrests, a Dunnock and a Blue Tit  at the pond and a Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch and several Goldfinches elsewhere in the park.

A Coal Tit was calling in Richmond Road and 2 Jays were in a neighbouring garden.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Jackdaw Jackpot Roll-over!

A flock of 80 Jackdaws flew SW over Leopold Road this morning - an incredible sight and by far the largest flock I've seen over the patch. Another 2 Jackdaws flew over St Andrews Park where there was also a Pied Wagtail, a Blackbird, a few Goldfinches and a Coal Tit.

At Fairlawn Road there was a Comma butterfly, a Yellow Dung-fly and a couple of Dock Leaf Bugs.


At the station there was a Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus) hunting near the footbridge plus a Speckled Wood and a Large White butterfly.

Zebra Spider

A party of Long-tailed Tits were feeding in Montpelier Park.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Birds noted while bashing brambles on the reserve this morning: 4 Jackdaws, a party of Great and Blue Tits, fly-over Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. A Harvestman species was also noted.

At Fairlawn Road there were about 10 Green Shieldbugs, a Phaonia sp fly, a Dark Bush-cricket and a Dock Leaf Bug. A Pied Wagtail flew over.

Dark Bush-cricket

Green Shieldbugs
At the station there was a Common Darter dragonfly basking near the footbridge - I think this is my first ever for Montpelier. Also 7 Large White butterflies and an Eristalis hoverfly plus a Grey Squirrel.

Common Darter
A Jackdaw flew over Richmond Road this morning.

Friday, 12 October 2012

St Pauls Park

Birds this morning included a couple of Dunnocks, a singing Wren, 2 or 3 Goldfinches, a couple of Blackbirds, 2 Robins, a Blue Tit, a fly-over Pied Wagtail and 2 Woodpigeons. A Grey Squirrel was also present together with 5 or 6 Harlequin Ladybirds enjoying the sunshine.
Harlequin Ladybird

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Caddis Fly!

I don't know much about caddis flies as I've never knowingly seen one before and I thought they would never end up in my kitchen, but last night a Limnephilus lunatus turned up! Described in the books as being common and breeding in 'all kinds of water', I guess this one could have originated in a garden pond somewhere, but it is still a big surprise. Also a Common Marbled Carpet in the flat.

Limnephilus lunatus

Common Marbled Carpet
There were groups of Woodpigeons flying SW over Richmond Road this morning - about 20 or 30 involved. At the station a Sparrowhawk was soaring - the first I've seen locally for months, and 4 or 5 Goldfinches.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Finchey central

A small influx of finches was evident at the station this morning with 2 or 3 Chaffinches, a couple of Greenfinches and several Goldfinches knocking about. Also a party of Blue and Great Tits busily feeding.

This evening, a few Pied Wagtails at Portland Square and about a dozen around the House of Fraser/M32 roost nearby.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Today 1100 - 1300: 1 Redpoll over cutting, 1 Siskin over Ashley Hill end of stony path, 2 Ravens over hill, 3 Jackdaws (1 over community garden, 2 over hill) 1 Chiffchaff (cutting) 2 Jays (1 cutting, 1 stony path) Grey Wagtail over Lynmouth Road, 1 Pied Wagtail over Church Field plus Dunnocks, Goldfinches and Robins sprinkled throughout. 
Yellow Dung Fly
Phaonia sp.
Insects included Yellow Dung Fly (stony path), several Eristalis hoverflies (cutting and stony path) and a Phaonia sp. fly.

Another couple of Jackdaws over Leopold Road and a Jay over Richmond Road.

Butterflies today included 4 Large Whites and a Red Admiral at the station and 1 Large White and 1 Red Admiral at Fairlawn Road.
Red Admiral - station
Large White - Fairlawn Road

Friday, 5 October 2012

St Pauls Park

The usual suspects in the park this morning: a calling Chiffchaff, 2 Dunnocks, a Robin, a Wren, a pair of Blackbirds, a couple of Blue Tits, a Woodpigeon, half a dozen Goldfinches and a Carrion Crow.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Jackdaw jackpot

Another Jackdaw this morning, this time over Station Road. Nothing much else other than the flock of House Sparrows, some of which were feeding on the allotment gardens, a Blackbird and a fly-over Greenfinch at the station.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Carnival of Corvids

I always like to see Jackdaws on the patch as they are by no means common here - this morning 3 flew south over Richmond Road and another one flew in the opposite direction an hour later. Meanwhile the corvid theme continued at the station with no less than 9 Magpies feeding on the track towards the arches and a couple of Jays nearby. Two or 3 Carrion Crows completed the set.

Thre were 2 or 3 Large White butterflies at the station along with 1 or 2 Small Whites. A couple of Grey Squirrels too.