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.