Monday, 30 December 2013

St Andrews Park

Birds in the park this afternoon included a Pied Wagtail, 2 or 3 Blackbirds, half a dozen Redwings and a few Goldfinches. The dead wood habitat had some Velvet Shank fungus on it and probable Chondrostereum purpureum - a bracket fungus.
Velvet Shank
Probable Chondrostereum purpureum

In Montpelier there were at least 10 Starlings in and around the station along with several Chaffinches and Goldfinches near the feeders.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

All quiet....

Along the path between the top of St Andrews Road and Fairlawn Road this afternoon there were about 10 Redwings flying about plus 2 Jays, a party of Great and Blue Tits and 5 Greenfinches.
St Andrews Park produced a few Goldfinches and Greenfinches, several House Sparrows and a Pied Wagtail.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Montpelier Station

The station has been quiet this week, but today there was a female type Blackcap on the feeders and a single Starling as well as the usual Chaffinches, House Sparrows and Goldfinches.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

St Paul's Park

Nothing much to report in the park other than a singing Greenfinch, a couple of Goldfinches, 2 Blue Tits, a pair of Blackbirds and a Robin or two. A Pied Wagtail flew over.

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Today on the reserve: 2 Ravens on the church tower, 1 Coal Tit in the conifer next to the climbing centre, 2 Redwings in Church Field, a party of Long Tailed Tits (about 8 or 9) plus Blue and Great Tits feeding with a single Goldcrest plus 1 Jay and female Chaffinch and 1 Mistle Thrush flying over the Stony path.
In St Andrews Park, half a dozen Redwings, 2 Pied Wagtails, a few Starlings plus singles of Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird,  a few Goldfinches and 2 Greenfinches

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

St Pauls Park

The park has failed to produce many good birds in recent weeks and sadly today was no exception. The only birds of note were a Mistle Thrush and a Pied Wagtail flying over, a couple of Blue Tits and 2 Chaffinches.

A Grey Squirrel also present.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Redwings and Blackcaps

Quite a bit of activity today from the top of St Andrews Road to Fairlawn Road. In one tree alone there were 2 Blackcaps (male and female), 5 Chaffinches, 2 Greenfinches and a couple of Blue Tits. Nearby were a Long-tailed Tit, a singing Coal Tit, a Great Tit and 2 Jays. A group of 11 Redwings flew over.

At the station there were a further 10 Redwings (or possibly the same group), a Long-tailed Tit, Blue and Great Tit and a few Goldfinches and Chaffinches on the feeders with House Sparrows.

Not much at St Andrews Park other than 12 Starlings, 5 Goldfinches, a Dunnock or 2 and a Robin.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

St Andrews Park

Things were slightly more interesting in the park than last week, with 6 very flighty Redwings seen several times in flight and briefly sitting in trees. Also a Black-headed Gull was strutting its stuff - an unusual bird to see locally although there were 2 in the park last winter. In addition there were 4 Starlings, a Jay, a rather pale Pied Wagtail and, best of all, a flock of about 40 Goldfinches - very impressive.
Black-headed Gull
Pied Wagtail

At the station a Raven was sat on the TV mast and a Jay was nearby. A couple of Greenfinches were seen with the usual Chaffinches, House Sparrows and Goldfinches and a small group of Redwings flew into the trees briefly.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Montpelier Park

Lots of common stuff in the park  this morning - the sound of Goldfinch and Robin song was almost deafening! Also a sub-singing Blackbird heard. Great and Blue Tits were feeding in the trees along with a few Chaffinches. Also a Grey Squirrel running along the top of a fence.

The feeders at the station were dominated by Goldfinches with smaller numbers of Chaffinch and House Sparrows.

Friday, 22 November 2013


The station seems to be producing better birds these days and this morning there were no less than 3 Blackcaps; 2 males and a female. These are my first of the winter. Nearby a Coal Tit was singing and the Chaffinch flock numbered about 15.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


A flock of 10 or so Fieldfares flew over the station this morning and the feeders attracted a gaggle of House Sparrows, half a dozen Chaffinches, a Goldfinch, the usual Collared Doves and a Greenfinch.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Montpelier Station

A Mistle Thrush flew over (unusual here) and the feeders had mainly Chaffinches on them plus a Blue Tit.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

St Andrews Park

Another very quiet bird walk this morning. Perhaps the mild weather means that many birds are not using the park's food resources. There was also lots of leaves still on the trees which made spotting birds more difficult. The full list is as follows:
Blackbird - 3 or 4 seen
Carrion Crow - a few
Robin - 1 or 2 seen and heard
Goldfinch - just 1 or 2 birds noted
Chaffinch - about 3 birds
Starling - 2 or 3 seen
Feral Pigeon - a flock of about 10 birds seen
Woodpigeon - a few
Jay - 1 gave goodish views
Dunnock - a few about including 1 in the wildlife hedge
Great Tit - 1 or 2
Coal Tit - 1 seen
Pied Wagtail - 1 'flyover' heard
Wren - 1 heard

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

St Pauls Park

Not much of note this morning - a Wren, a Blackbird, a Goldfinch and a few Herring Gulls. A Skylark flying northeast over Portland Square was a surprise.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


A Sparrowhawk flew over the station this morning. The only other birds of note were a couple of Goldfinches, a Robin and a Dunnock.

A couple of Harlequin Ladybirds in the kitchen yesterday evening.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Harlequins and hoverflies

A bright morning - quite warm in sheltered sunny spots - so I had half an eye on invertebrates. At Fairlawn Road there was a butterfly sp. briefly - possibly a Small Tortoiseshell.  The Ivy-covered wall halfway down St Andrews Road was buzzing with wasps, Eristalis  and Syrphus hoverflies and various Muscid species. At the station there were several Harlequin Ladybirds on the footbridge.
Syrphus hoverfly
Harlequin Ladybirds
Birds today included a party of Long-tailed Tits and 2 Jays at Fairlawn Road while at the station the feeders attracted a Coal Tit, a Greenfinch, a Chaffinch, 2 Collared Doves, a Great Tit and a Goldfinch. A Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail flew over the station. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

St Pauls Park

Nothing to write home about this morning - a fly-over Pied Wagtail, a single Herring Gull, a couple of Goldfinches, a Robin or two, a Great Tit and a Dunnock.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thrush Hour

There was an influx of Blackbirds at the station this morning - I counted 8 or 9 at least. Also about 10 Redwings flew over along with a couple of Chaffinches and Greenfinches and about 15 Woodpigeons, so things were definitely on the move. About 7 or 8 Long-tailed Tits were feeding in the trees on the disused platform.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


There were 4 or 5 Skylarks noted over the patch this morning - part of a larger movement of this species over Avon apparently. They were mainly heard at Fairlawn Road and Balmoral Road. Also a Pied Wagtail, a Chaffinch and a Greenfinch overhead and a Jay nearby.

Along the railway path and Fairlawn Road there were still 3 Speckled Wood butterflies, a Dark Bush Cricket and a Green Shieldbug. A mite species on the top of the fence might have been a Velvet Mite but I'm not too sure about it, also an unidentified spider and beetle present on the fence.
Possible Velvet Mite

In St Andrews Park there were a couple of Robins, several Chaffinches and Goldfinches, a couple of Jays, a Coal Tit and Great and Blue Tits. A Marmalade Hoverfly was enjoying the sunshine by the pond.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


An influx of Chaffinches this morning at the station, with a couple of small groups flying over. They will no doubt be building up through the autumn and winter here. Also a singing Coal Tit at Station Road.

Yesterday a Blackbird in song at Bath Buildings - unusual at this time of year.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

St Andrews Park

Well once again the birds were playing hard to get this morning. There seemed very little activity during our walk and of course the foliage made spotting any birds rather difficult. The full list is as follows:
Raven - 1 did a circuit of the park, calling and flying surprisingly low.
Jay - up to 3 seen
Great Tit - a few calling and 1 or 2 seen briefly
Carrion Crow - several birds
Magpie - 1 heard
Robin - 2 or 3 calling and singing
Blackbird - 1 heard calling briefly
Feral Pigeon - several birds
Woodpigeon - 1 or 2
Goldfinch - a group of about 6 birds seen.

There was a clump of interesting fungi in the park, possibly a Psathyrella species.

Meanwhile a party of Long-tailed Tits were active in trees at the top of Richmond Road this morning - this species has been a little thin on the ground on the patch recently.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

In yer face Sparrowhawk

A Sparrowhawk drifted over Stokes Croft this morning, scattering the pigeons. Another or the same bird flew over the flat an hour later. Not often I have two sightings in one day of this species.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


A Skylark over Hurlingham Road this morning - October is the month I usually see or hear them overhead. Also a Jay near the rainbow bridge along with a Great Tit, a Blue Tit and a Goldfinch, all feeding on Ash keys.

There was a Harlequin Ladybird at Fairlawn Road and a Speckled Wood near the bridge.
Harlequin Ladybird

The Ivy halfway up St Andrews Road was absolutely covered in Honey Bees, Common Wasps, hoverflies (mainly Eristalis, Syrphus plus 1 Helophilus) and a Red Admiral.
Honey Bee
Red Admiral

Saturday, 12 October 2013

St Andrews Park

Birds in the park at lunchtime included a Jay, 3 or 4 Blackbirds, a Dunnock, a couple of Robins, a party of Blue and Great Tits, a calling Coal Tit, several Goldfinches and 2 fly-over Pied Wagtails. A very confiding Carrion Crow entertained me for several minutes near the play area. Insects seen included both Syrphus and Eristalis hoverflies and a Speckled Wood basking on the roof of the park-keepers van. Signs of the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moth were particularly noticeable.
Carrion Crow
Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner damage
Speckled Wood

Syrphus hoverfly

In Fairlawn Road there were still some Honey Bees around plus an Eristalis hoverfly, a Dark Bush Cricket, a Green Shieldbug and a Harlequin Ladybird. Birds included a Jay and a calling Chiffchaff. A Moth Mullein plant was still in flower along the rainbow bridge!
Dark Bush Cricket
Moth Mullein

Sunday, 6 October 2013


There was some evidence of migration this morning with 3 Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail flying SW over the hill. Also seen and heard today: a Raven which circled for several minutes a Jay, a singing Chiffchaff, a party of Long-tailed Tits and a Grey Wagtail, the latter in its customary place along the brook.
Small Copper
Thecophora atra
Eristalis tenax

Plenty of invertebrate activity in the warm sunshine, including an uncommon fly called Thecophora atra which is my first ever. It looks like the first record for urban Bristol. Also seen: a Melanostoma hoverfly, a few Eristalis tenax hoverflies, a Small Copper butterfly, a Myathropa florea hoverfly, a Marmalade Hoverfly, a Dock Leaf Bug and a Speckled Wood

At nearby Fairlawn Road there were 2 one-legged Dark Bush-crickets (a bit of a coincidence), a couple of Green Shieldbugs, several Garden Spiders, a couple of Speckled Wood and a Sphaerophoria scripta hoverfly.  
Dark Bush Cricket
Sphaerophoria scripta

St Andrews Park was quiet - just a Robin, Blue and Great Tits, Goldfinches and a Blackbird.

A Chiffchaff was calling outside my window this morning.

Friday, 4 October 2013


Two distant hirundines seen from the footbridge at the station this morning were likely to have been Swallows.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Another Chiffchaff

A Chiffchaff calling and showing well in trees at the top of Station Road this morning. At the station, a Speckled Wood made the most of a brief sunny spell and several Common Wasps were loafing around the ivy at the far end of the footbridge.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Chiffchaffs galore...well, at least two.

The autumn migration is in full swing - a Chiffchaff at the station again this morning, singing and calling and showing very briefly as it flew across the railway line to the bushes on the opposite platform. Also a Pied Wagtail overhead.

There was another Chiffchaff calling in St Pauls Park and a Jay nearby.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Carnival of Corvids

A flock of 20+ Carrion Crows around the Stokes Croft/Ninetree Hill area was an impressive sight and sound this morning. Presumably an aggregate of dispersing family groups? On the corvid theme, a Jay was attempting to bury a nut in the allotment gardens near the station this morning - also a calling Chiffchaff and Coal Tit and and a sizable mixed flock of Great and Blue Tits. A Pied Wagtail and a Greenfinch flew over Fairlawn Road and a Garden Spider nearby.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Three Swallows flew south over the station this morning. I read that there have been large movements of this species locally over the last few days so it's good that Monty has seen some of the action.

Last night in the flat, a moth I can only conclude is a Feathered Ranunculus (although I'm probably wrong) and tonight a Lesser Yellow Underwing.
Lesser Yellow Underwing

Possible Feathered Ranunculus

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Montpelier Station

A Grey Wagtail flew a circuit around the station this morning. Other birds included Blue and Great Tits feeding in the trees and a calling Coal Tit. A fly-over Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch nearby. Garden Spiders are now everywhere it seems.
Garden Spider

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

All quiet....

The only notable birds today were a fly-over Pied Wagtail at the station and a singing Coal Tit in Montpelier Park.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

St Andrews Park

Well, the rain held off and it wasn't too windy but where were the birds? This might be the shortest bird list ever, but next month will no doubt make up for it! The list in full:
Feral Pigeon - several near the cafe
Woodpigeon - 1 or 2 around the park
Jackdaw - 1 heard
Blue Tit - 1 heard near the pond
Goldfinch - 1 heard
Carrion Crow - a couple
Magpie - 1 or 2
Gull species - 1 over the park
Before the walk I saw a Blackbird and Robin and heard a Wren and passing the park later I heard a Dunnock.

Elsewhere, a Sparrowhawk perched briefly on the roof opposite the flat this morning.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Montpelier Station

A calling Chiffchaff was new at the station this morning - also a couple of Greenfinches near the feeders and a fly-over Chaffinch. Butterflies included lots of Large and Small Whites - it really has been a remarkable summer for these species - and at least 1 Speckled Wood.

Friday, 13 September 2013

St Pauls Park

Lots of common birds around the park today including 6 Blackbirds (some looked like possible juveniles, others moulting), a couple of Robins, 3 Dunnocks, 6 Goldfinches, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, a Woodpigeon, a Magpie, 2 Collared Doves and 3 Carrion Crows, 1 showing some white in the wing.

A Grey Squirrel was also in the park.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Creepy crawlies

On the station this morning several probable Common Garden Snails were on the wall - not sure yet of the species. Also a couple of Harvestmen and a Woodlouse.
Common Garden Snail

Sunday, 8 September 2013


A stroll round the nature reserve this morning produced: 4 Chiffchaffs (presumably migrants), 1 Bullfinch calling, 1 Linnet to NE over hill, 1 Jay (cutting).

Invertebrates included 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Syritta pipiens hoverfly, 2 or 3 Syrphus hoverflies, 1 Eristalis tenax hoverfly, 1 Large Red-tailed Bumblebee,  several Common Carder Bees, 1 Dock Leaf Bug.
Dock Leaf Bug
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee
Syritta pipiens
Syrphus hoverfly