Sunday, 26 October 2014


Today on the reserve between 9.45 and 11.00: 2 Jays (at the brook and cutting), 1 Skylark over cutting, 10 Goldfinch cutting, Goldcrest 2 at Simons Grove, Great and Blue Tits Simons Grove, Jackdaw 1 over Simons Grove, Chaffinch 3 over cutting, Herring Gull 1 over cutting, Long-tailed Tit 3 or 4 at cutting, singing Dunnock and Wren plus Blackbird and Robin along stony path. The only insect was a Yellow Dung Fly stony path.
Yellow Dung Fly
A Pied Wagtail flew over St Andrews Road.

Friday, 24 October 2014

In the garden.....

Birds in the garden this morning included a Robin, 2 Dunnocks, several House Sparrows and a Woodpigeon. A couple of fly-over Jays were also observed.

A brief walk through St Andrews Park produced 20 Goldfinches and a calling Coal Tit.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Montpelier Station

I'd hoped I might see my first winter thrushes this morning but the only birds of note were a couple of fly-over Jays and single Pied Wagtail.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Short-eared Owl in St Andrews Park

Very occasionally something unusual turns up in the park. In the past we've had Waxwings, a Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the odd fly-over Peregrine or Buzzard. Nothing quite prepared us for this morning's star bird, however. Short-eared Owls breed on moorland in the north and west of the UK and at this time of year move to coastal sites in the south for the winter. We also get an influx of birds from mainland Europe in most autumns. To see one flying only at tree height over the park this morning giving fantastic views was an extraordinary experience for us three lucky birders who turned up for the walk. The list in full:

Short-eared Owl - 1 flew over and was being mobbed by corvids near the bowling green
Raven - 2 flew over and were mobbed mercilessly by Carrion Crows
Carrion Crow - several. One appeared to be extracting seeds from a fir cone
House Sparrow - heard chirping
Magpie - a few
Jay - 2 or 3 mainly seen in flight
Woodpigeon - several
Feral Pigeon - a small flock
Robin - several birds seen and heard including one watching the pond-clearers
Great Tit - a few heard calling
Goldfinch - 1 small group observed feeding on the fruit of Plane trees
Wren - 1 heard behind the pond
Herring Gull - 1 strutting its stuff near the play area
Blackbird - 1 seen by one of the group
Raptor sp. - a brief view of a medium-sized raptor by one member of the group

At Montpelier Station the wildlife wall produced a Dock Leaf Bug and a new bug for me - a probable Scolopostethus species. There was a Buff-tailed Bumblebee and an adult and pupal stage Harlequin Ladybird. At least 2 Jays were seen.

Probable Scolopostethus

Dock Bug

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Montpelier Station

A Jackdaw flew over the station and there were 12 Collared Doves feeding on the platform.

Lots of mini-beasts on the wildlife wall - apart from the usual slugs, snails and woodlice there was a Tegenaria spider, a probable Springtail, a probable Pollenia fly, a Harlequin Ladybird larva and a couple of weird and wonderful beasts I couldn't ID. 
Harlequin ladybird larva

Unidentified - Psyllid?

Probable Pollinia sp.

Probable Springtail

Tegenaria, Garden Snail and Woodlouse

Sunday, 12 October 2014


Today on the reserve 10.15 - 12.00: some migration evident - highlight was a flock of 50+ Jackdaws flying SW seen from the cutting and a few ones and twos at other times during my visit. Also several Chaffinches, a Linnet, a couple of Pied Wagtails and several groups of Woodpigeons flying over.
Jays seen at Lynmouth Road, cutting and stony path - probably 4 or 5 birds involved.
Goldcrest showing well at Lynmouth Road and a Chiffchaff at the cutting. Several Blackbirds, Robins and a singing Dunnock mainly along stony path. Wren in scrub at the cutting.

A couple of Harvestmen on the Montpelier Station wall and at least 2 Jays there, one of which wandered along the platform near the tunnel to within a few meteres of me. A Great Spotted Woodpecker seen to fly into the trees near the TV mast opposite Colston Girls School.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


A Sparrowhawk flew across the garden and perched briefly on the roof of the house opposite my window, but frustratingly flew off just as I was about to take a photo! A Grey Wagtail flew over the flat too.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Out and about

A Jackdaw was seen and heard from my window this morning and there were 2 Dunnocks in the garden.

In Fairlawn Road there was a calling Jay and a Great Tit.

At the station a Jay showed well and butterflies were still on the wing including a Large White and a Speckled Wood. Just a couple of Harvestmen noted on the wildlife wall.

At St Andrews Park there was a party of Great and Blue Tits, a couple of Robins and a Herring Gull. An Eristalis hoverfly basked briefly on a leaf.

Herring Gull

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Montpelier Station

The wildlife wall produced a Cranefly which might be Tipula confusa plus a Harlequin Ladybird larva.
Harlequin Ladybird larva


A Chiffchaff called again and a Jay flew over.