Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fairlawn Road

There were a few good insects around Fairlawn Road this morning, including lots of Green Shieldbugs, a Dock Leaf Bug, several Garden Cross Spiders, an Eristalis pertinax hoverfly, a Dark Bush Cricket and a Green-veined White. Black Medick was growing quite profusely in the wasteland near Ashley Hill. A Coal Tit was singing nearby.
Dock Leaf Bug

Garden Spider

Green-veined White

Eristalis pertinax

Black Medick

Dark Bush Cricket minus a leg!

The only bugs of note at the station were Large and Small White butterflies and 5 Harvestmen.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


A Chiffchaff was calling in St Pauls Park this morning - a sign of autumn as it was no doubt on its way south. Also a Great Tit, a few Blackbirds, a Woodpigeon, a couple of Goldfinches, a Wren and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Insects included lots of Harlequin Ladybirds and a couple of solitary bee species.

Harlequin Ladybird

Monday, 25 August 2014

Green Lacewing

Due to my being away this weekend and today's wet weather there's precious little to report other than this Green Lacewing which was sat on a house wall opposite my bathroom window this evening. The first I've seen locally for a couple of years.
Green Lacewing

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

St Pauls Park

An impressive 8 Blackbirds in the park this morning, including what looked like quite young birds. Also a couple of Collared Doves, a Wren, a Great Tit, a Goldfinch and 5 Starlings.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Montpelier Station

A couple of Speckled Woods seen this morning in early sunshine and a Green Shieldbug nymph too. Good numbers of House Sparrows in the bushes.
Green Shieldbug

Speckled Wood

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fairlawn Road

A nice selection of hoverflies this morning with a couple of Volucella zonaria, a Myathropa florea and several Eristalis. Butterflies were represented by Small White and Speckled Wood. A grasshopper with only one hind leg looked like a Common Field Grasshopper. Birds included a Wren, a Great Tit and a Jay.

Small White

Volucella zonaria

Friday, 15 August 2014

Gall blimey!

On my way to the station this morning I noticed some of the Sycamore leaves had reddish galls on the upper surface. These are caused by a tiny mite called Aceria macrorhynchus. The mites are mainly all female, producing eggs which need no fertilization. Nearby there were a couple of Flesh Flies. There was also an interesting-looking Muscid fly which might be a Hydrotaea species.

Flesh Fly

Muscid fly



Not much in Montpelier Park other than a Robin, a couple of Carrion Crows, 2 Woodpigeons and a singing Wren. Lots of Knotgrass growing in the park.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Montpelier Station

On what is fast becoming the 'wildlife wall' at the station this morning was an interesting slug which I am hoping might be identified in due course. Also some spider casts (left behind by a moulting individual) and a 'live' spider which might be a Tegenaria species. A Jay was also seen flying briefly among the trees on the disused platform, calling.
Slug and spider

Spider cast

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Foxes 'n' Sparrowhawks

At the station this morning, a Fox was sat in full view near the tunnel but I noticed it too late and was unable to get my camera out in time - it saw me and slid into the undergrowth and didn't reappear. Also a Sparrowhawk circling overhead, a Green Shieldbug on the disused platform (seen through binoculars!) no less than 8 Harvestmen on the wall and a Willow Beauty moth also hiding on the wall. A Grey Squirrel was making its usual alarm call at the top of Station Road.

Willow Beauty

Sunday, 10 August 2014

St Andrews Park

After the rain stopped at lunchtime I ventured out to St Andrews Park and was delighted to see a Southern Hawker dragonfly basking in the sunshine. Nearby there was lots of Hemp Agrimony growing near the children's play area attracting bees and flies, including what might be a White-tailed Bumblebee plus a few Eristalis hoverflies. A few Goldfinches and Greenfinches were heard.
Southern Hawker
Possible White-tailed Bumblebee
Eristalis hoverfly

Elsewhere, 2 Jays were calling at the top of St Andrews Road.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Montpelier Station

There was a Cluster Fly basking on a leaf at the station this morning - can't say I've ever seen one before. They parasitise earthworms, the larvae eating the worms alive. Lovely. Also at the station was a Grey Squirrel, about 15 Starlings and good numbers of House Sparrows.
Cluster Fly

Grey Squirrel

Monday, 4 August 2014

Fairlawn Road

It was great to see the hoverfly Volucella inanis this morning on the Hebe flowers along the railway path. It posed nicely for a photo. Also a couple of Xanthogramma hoverflies, an Eristalis hoverfly, a Myathropa florea hoverfly and lots of Tree Bumblebees and Common Carder Bees nearby. A Mirid Bug of some sort was on a bindweed flower and a Small Tortoiseshell was nectaring on the Buddleia. Another mystery hoverfly has been causing me a bit of a headache - still trying to ID it. UPDATE: the hover is a Eumerus species. Definitely a 'first' for Monty!
Mirid Bug

Eumerus hoverfly

Volucella inanis

Small Tortoiseshell


Two Ravens also flew over.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Montpelier Station

A new micro-moth for me today at the station - Pammene aurita. This little chap arrived in Britain in the 1940s, the first being seen in Kent. It then spread east and north, but there are surprisingly few records in the Avon area as it probably gets overlooked. Nearby was a Green Shieldbug nymph. On the wall along the platform was an interesting spider which might be a Tegenaria (House Spider) species.
Green Shieldbug

Pammene aurita

Tegenaria spider