Sunday, 31 January 2016

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

I decided to stare out of the window for an hour with a cup of coffee while listening to Andy Murray lose the tennis. I managed 8 species: Woodpigeon (2) Blackbird (2) and 1 each of Dunnock, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackcap and House Sparrow.
Female Blackcap


In St Andrews Road there was a wall of sound from Starlings and Goldfinches while a Pied Wagtail was again on the bowling green and plenty of Redwings still about.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Montpelier Station

A nice selection of common birds at the station this morning including a singing Coal Tit, a Great Tit, calling Long-tailed Tits, a Dunnock, a Goldfinch and a Robin.

A fly was sat on an ivy leaf near the footbridge - looked like a Scathophaga species.

Friday, 29 January 2016

St Andrews Park

A walk through the park this afternoon produced a good number of 30+ Starlings feeding on the grass along with about 15 Redwings and a single Pied Wagtail. Nearby a couple of male Chaffinches fed under a tree and a Coal Tit was singing. Crocuses and Snowdrops were putting on a good show.




Thursday, 28 January 2016

Montpelier Park

A quick wander round the park this morning revealed a singing Coal Tit, some fly-over Goldfinches, a couple of Collared Doves and one or two Woodpigeons.

The station produced 4 or 5 Chaffinches, a Dunnock and lots of House Sparrows near the feeders and a Robin and a Great Tit near the tunnel.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

St Andrews Park again

Popped into the park on the way to the shops and spent lots of time watching one tree which held about 15 Redwings, a Goldcrest, lots of very noisy Goldfinches, a Chaffinch and Great and Blue Tits! Also in the park there was a Pied Wagtail (bowling green), 10 Starlings, a Mistle Thrush, several Blackbirds and Robins, a House Sparrow, 2 Wrens and a fly-over Jackdaw.



From the window this morning I recorded both Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying around. Coal Tits were heard singing at the top of St Andrews Road and Montpelier Park. At the station some Long-tailed Tits were calling. A small patch of the fern Wall-rue was growing near the footbridge.

Friday, 22 January 2016

St Andrews Park

A lunchtime stroll after the morning rain produced a Goldcrest, Goldfinches, a Greenfinch doing its song-flight, half a dozen Starlings, a Jay, a fly-over Pied Wagtail,  and several Blackbirds and Robins. For me the most exciting find was what looks to be a Globular Springtail which I had resolved to see in 2016 as I've never seen one before! Result!
Globular Springtail - honest!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


The female Blackcap was at the station feeders on a very frosty morning, and there were 3 Chaffinches, a Great Tit, a Robin and a singing Dunnock nearby.


Not much happening at Montpelier Park other than a Collared Dove, a Carrion Crow and a couple of Blackbirds.

Monday, 18 January 2016

For Fox Sake

Last night at 9pm the dog Fox was heard barking from the left hand side of my window. He then appeared, clambering onto the wall around the back yard, walked out into St Andrews Road and then walked up the road. Five minutes later, still barking at intervals of about 1 minute, he re-appeared on the neighbour's garden on my right, jumped onto the wall again and back into St Andrews Road. He must have been doing a circuit of the block, and I will try to draw a map of his wanderings to illustrate his route and presumably his territory (although Fox territories are bigger than this one I would have thought. The fact that it only took him 5 minutes to return suggests he just went round the block!)

Sunday, 17 January 2016

St Andrews Park

Well I thought today would be a wash-out, with overcast conditions and drizzle putting everyone, including me, off the idea of birding in the park. How wrong could I be? It turned out to be a classic walk! The list is as follows:

Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1 seen well near the children's play area. A rare visitor to the park.
Redwing - a flock of up to 20 seen in the trees and feeding on the ground - a good count
Starling - a mini-murmuration of up to 50 birds - a spectacular sight!
Goldcrest - one showed well in the bare branches
Blue Tit - 1 or 2
Great Tit - more heard than seen
Coal Tit - 1 singing as I entered the park
Long-tailed Tit - 5 or 6
Robin - 3 or 4 seen and heard
Carrion Crow - a few
Magpie - 2 or 3
House Sparrow - a little gaggle near the Starling tree
Blackbird - a few seen
Mistle Thrush - 2, presumable a pair, seen
Pied Wagtail - at least 1 seen on the paths
Herring Gull - at least 1 loafing around 'on the deck'
Woodpigeon - 2 or 3
Feral Pigeon - a few around
Goldfinch - quite good numbers mainly twittering away in the trees
Greenfinch - 2 finches evading identification turned out to be this species thanks to Jon photographing them

Friday, 15 January 2016


This morning on the reserve: A Sparrowhawk soaring over the cutting, a Jay at Simons Grove, 1 female Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Long-tailed Tits and a Great Tit all along stony path, a couple of Chaffinches and Goldfinches at Ashley Hill end of the stony path plus a fly-over Greenfinch. Mistle Thrush heard singing again, but more distant, coming from direction of Ashley Hill allotments. Lots of Blackbirds and 2 or 3 Robins.

A small unidentified fly was the only insect.

Harry saw 2 Goldcrests and a Grey Wagtail near the brook today.



Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Foxes, Bramblings and Sparrowhawks

A Sparrowhawk circled over the station this morning - it drifted off but reappeared a few minutes later. Also at the station there were 7 Magpies in trees near the footbridge. 


An email today from friend of Wild Monty, Guy, to say that he has had a Brambling in his garden! This is a lovely finch from northern Europe and looks like a posh version of a Chaffinch. Great sighting.

A few Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Great Tits were in Montpelier Park this morning.

Last night at 7pm the dog Fox was barking outside the window again.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

More Fox shenanigans

Last night two good glimpses of a dog Fox who had been barking outside the flat at around 6.30pm - jumping onto the wall below my window and also in my neighbour's garden.

Saturday, 9 January 2016


A brief visit to the nature reserve today (just the stony path/cutting/Simons Grove areas to avoid the muddy bits) produced a soaring Sparrowhawk over the cutting, a couple of fly-over Chaffinches and a mixed flock of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. Then it rained.

Two Ravens flew over Fairlawn Road on my way to Narroways and there were 6 Magpies in one tree. On my way back, 4 Jackdaws flew over Fairlawn and a Blackbird was in full song - my first of the 'spring'.

In St Andrews Park there were superb numbers of Goldfinches - a flock of at least 40 - and a few Robins, Blackbirds and a Greenfinch.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Fox racket

A Fox woke me up by screaming constantly outside the flat last night. I know this is the mating season but they could be a bit more discrete about it!

Good views of several Long-tailed Tits and a Coal Tit at the station this morning.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Montpelier Park

This morning there was a nice selection of common birds in the park, reminding me what a good idea it would be to do my RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch there again at the end of the month. The highlight was a Goldcrest which showed well among some bare branches. Also 3 Blue Tits, a Long-tailed Tit, 2 Carrion Crows, a Magpie, 4 or 5 Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Doves, a couple of Robins, 2 Wrens, a Dunnock, a couple of Blackbirds and a few Chaffinches and Goldfinches. A Grey Squirrel also showed well and several Daisies were in flower.
Grey Squirrel


Sunday, 3 January 2016

St Andrews Park

The sun actually came out this afternoon so I pottered off to the park to see what was about. Very little as it turned out - just a couple of Coal Tits, a few Chaffinches and some Goldfinches. Nice to see the Gorse near the bowling club in flower though.