Sunday, 30 March 2014

Buzzards n Brimstones

The station produced a Chiffchaff and flyover Sparrowhawk and Buzzard. At least 2 Brimstones were flitting along the disused platform and a pair of Magpies were building a nest.

At the top of St Andrews Road I was surprised to see a couple of plants of Alexanders in flower - I've never seen them at this location before! On one of them was a Yellow Dung Fly and a Green Shieldbug was nearby.

Green Shieldbug

Fair lawn Road produced a Peacock, a Small Tortoiseshell and my first Comma of the spring. Other insects included a Sawfly species, a 7 Spot Ladybird, a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds, a Dock Leaf Bug, a Common Carder Bee and a probable Common Wasp queen. The garden variety of Yellow Archangel was in flower as were several plants of Spanish Bluebell, and a Coal Tit was singing.
7 Spot Ladybird
Common Carder Bee


Dock Leaf Bug


Small Tortoiseshell

Common Wasp

Spanish Bluebell

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A stranger in my bed

One of the weirdest discoveries I've made in many a year the other night - a dead bug in my bed which turned out to be a probable Lesser Water-boatman! How did it find its way into my bed? Although these bugs are strong flyers and are attracted to light, I think it's more likely I carried it into the flat on my clothes after a day in the countryside. Very odd!
Probable Lesser Water-boatman

A Blackcap was singing from a garden in Cheltenham Road this morning.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Wildlife Photograph of the Year. Not.

In St Pauls Park this morning there were several small green larvae hanging by silk threads from the Leylandii hedge which I assume to be Sawfly larvae. I tried to take a photograph but failed miserably as you can see! Also in the park were Blue and Great Tits, 3 frisky Dunnocks, 4 Greenfinches and a couple of Goldfinches.
Probable Sawfly larva. Honest.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Buzzards n Blackcaps

A Common Buzzard drifted over the station this morning harried by a few noisy gulls. Also still a couple of Blackcaps in full song and a few Greenfinches on the feeders. A Buff-tailed Bumblebee was in Station Road.
Spot the Buzzard


Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Saturday, 22 March 2014


Today on the reserve: 1 singing Chiffchaff (stony path), 1 Bullfinch (Simon's Grove) 1 singing Blackcap and a Jay (Lynmouth Rd allotments) Grey Wagtail (heard) near the brook, 2-3 Long-tailed Tits (cutting). Lots of Robins everywhere. Small Tortoiseshell (cutting) Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Simon's Grove) and what looked like a small wasp sp. in the cutting.
Small Tortoiseshell

At Fairlawn Road there were 2 Jays and a Great Tit. Also some Herb Robert in flower - my first of the spring.

Great Tit
Herb Robert
St Andrews Park produced a Mistle Thrush, 8 Starlings and several Goldfinches.

Friday, 21 March 2014


Up to three singing Blackcaps this morning at the station. Also 4 Starlings and 3 Goldfinches among the usual stuff.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

St Paul's Park

The park managed to deliver the goods this morning with a singing Chiffchaff - the first of the spring on the patch. Also a Mistle Thrush in a tree beside the church was a nice surprise as this is by no means a common bird here. Other birds of note included 4 Long-tailed Tits, 3 singing Greenfinches, a few Goldfinches, a Woodpigeon, a Robin and a couple of Blackbirds.

A Raven drifted above Picton Street mobbed by 3 Carrion Crows.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

St Andrews Park

Another beautiful sunny day and spring was very much in the air. The following birds were noted:
House Sparrow - mainly seen near the pond
Robin - a few including one giving close views near the bowling green
Blackbird - several feeding on the grass and heard singing
Mistle Thrush - 3 including (presumably) 2 males contesting territory
Blue Tit - a couple heard
Great Tit - 1 or 2
Chaffinch - 1 or 2
Goldfinch - a few
Greenfinch - heard singing and a couple seen
Magpie - several including nest-building near the pond
Dunnock - 1 singing near pond/bowling green
Starling - about 10 seen
Redwing - still hanging on...about 8 birds
Woodpigeon - several
Collared Dove - a few
Feral Pigeon - a few seen
Carrion Crow - 1 or 2
Wren - 1 heard near the pond
Herring Gull - 1 drifted over
Black-headed Gull - 1 flew over the bowling green
Raven - a probable bird flying just beyond the bowling green

At Montpelier Station a Common Buzzard flew over, mobbed by Carrion Crows. Also at the station was a singing Blackcap and some butterflies - a Brimstone, a Small Tortoiseshell and a 'white' butterfly which was likely to be either Small White or Green-veined White.

At Fairlawn Road some Common Field Speedwell was in flower. Nearby a Melanostoma sp. hoverfly was feeding on a dandelion and a Crab Spider Misumena vatia was eating a fly!
Crab Spider and lunch

Melanostoma hoverfly

Common Field Speedwell

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Jays n Ravens

A Jay flew on to the roof opposite the flat this morning (sadly not long enough for me to take a photo) and Jim saw a couple of Ravens over Fairlawn Road also this morning. 

Friday, 14 March 2014

St Andrews Park

Highlights in the park this afternoon included 2 singing Coal Tits, a pair each of Great and Blue Tits, 10 House Sparrows, a few Blackbirds plus singing Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. A couple of Buff-tailed Bumblebees were out and about in nearby Leopold Road.

Blue Tit

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

House Sparrow

A Pied Wagtail flew over Fairlawn Road.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ravens and Buzzards

Fairlawn Road produced two flyover Ravens and a soaring Common Buzzard this afternoon. Nearby, a pair of Blue Tits and a couple of Chaffinches. At the top of St Andrews Road there was my first Honey Bee of the year and also an Eristalis tenax hoverfly. Some Lesser Celandine plants were in flower.
Eristalis tenax hoverfly

Honey Bee

Lesser Celandine

Not much at Narroways today apart from a few Greenfinches. Some Primroses were in flower.

At the station the Blackcap was singing on and off and there were good numbers of Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Greenfinches on the feeders. A Robin posed well for the camera on the station approach.