Thursday, 30 June 2016

Monty flowers

Friend of Wild Monty Lois spotted a couple of excellent flowers the other day so I went to have a look this afternoon. Along the rainbow bridge at Fairlawn Road there were a couple of Moth Mullein plants. I usually see this attractive and quite uncommon flower on the railway cutting near the tunnel but I haven't seen it this year. Nearby there were some splendid Musk Mallow plants in flower. My thanks to Lois for her sightings. You can follow her excellent blog here. Other nice flowers included some Vervain, Common Poppy and Purple Toadflax.

Moth Mullein

Musk Mallow

Purple Toadflax


Common Poppy

At the station there was some Enchanter's Nightshade in flower and on the wall was a Sawfly species.
Enchanter's Nightshade


Sunday, 26 June 2016

St Andrews Park

The meadow area was a-buzzing with insects just before it started raining this afternoon. Hoverflies included Merodon equestris, Eupeodes corollae and Marmalade Hoverfly. Beetles were represented by several Thick-kneed Flower Beetles and there were other delights including some green Capsid Bugs, an amazing Ichneumon Wasp (only managed a poor photo), a couple of unidentified solitary bees, a Broad Centurion soldierfly, a small 'signalling fly' called Poecilobothrus nobilitatus (the males wave their white-tipped wings around to attract mates) and a cracking Scarlet Tiger moth.
Spot the capsid bug!

Broad Centurion

Ichneumon Wasp

Merodon equestris

Thick-thighed Flower Beetles

Scarlet Tiger
Poecilobothrus nobilitatus

Eupeodes corollae

Friday, 17 June 2016

Montpelier Station - the sequel

This morning there were a few bugs around - a Meliscaeva auricollis hoverfly, a Nephrotoma Crane Fly, a tiny Ichneumon Wasp and a a Tree Bumblebee. A pale-coloured Woodlouse looked different from the usual species, but I'm hopeless on woodlice so couldn't ID it.
Spot the Ichneumon!

Meliscaeva auricollis


Still some Starlings around - 4 flew over Richmond Road this morning.

A Mining Bee species was on the patio at lunchtime.
Andrena Mining Bee

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Montpelier Station

Not massively exciting this morning. On the Hogweed flowers across the tracks there was a distant Tree Bumblebee and a Syrphus hoverfly. There was some Cuckoo-spit (produced by a tiny bug) on a Ragwort plant and near the tunnel some Charlock was still in flower.


Distant Syrphus

Distant Tree Bumblebee

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Narroways - the sequel!

Another wander at lunchtime today. There was a strange bird call coming from Simon's Grove which sounded like a possible young Sparrowhawk - worth keeping an eye out if you are in the area. Also 1 Common Blue butterfly, 2 Marbled White on cutting, an Azure Damselfly near Boiling Wells entrance, hoverflies including Marmalade Fly, Myathropa florea and Cheilosia illustrata and several Tree Bumblebees.
Tree Bumblebee

Cheilosia illustrata

Common Blue

Marbled White

Myathropa florea

In Fairlawn Road there were a couple of Hedge Woundwort plants in flower plus some Valerian which I've never seen on the patch before (unless Chris found it when he was surveying - will check his records.) A great hoverfly, Volucella pellucens, was nectaring on some Hogweed on the building plot, while a Helophilus pendulus hoverfly was nearby.

Helophilus pendulus

Volucella pellucens

Friday, 10 June 2016


The reserve is looking fantastic at the moment. Here are the highlights:

Painted Lady 1, Marbled White 6, Meadow Brown 1, Large Skipper 1.
Common Lizard - 6 on sleepers including 2 black ones.

Common Lizard

Painted Lady

Large Skipper
 Common Whitethroat - 1 singing, Blackcap 1 along stony path, Chiffchaff 2, Long-tailed Tit c6 (family party), Greenfinch, Goldfinch 3.

Speckled Bush Cricket, Cheilosia hoverfly, Red-tailed Bumblebee, Common Carder Bee and several Honey Bees around. The bug Leptopterna dolabrata and a Cleg Fly. Also Cryptocephalus sp. beetle.
Cryptocephalus sp. beetle

Speckled Bush-cricket

Leptopterna dolabrata

At Fairlawn Road there were a couple of Tree Bumblebees, an Early Bumblebee, the bug Rhopalus subrufus, a Nursery-web Spider and a couple of Ladybird larvae (probably Harlequin).
Nursery-web Spider

Harlequin larva

Highlights at St Andrews Road were Yellow Rattle flowers in the meadow, Large Red and Azure Damselflies and a Speckled Wood butterfly. 
Yellow Rattle
Speckled Wood

Tuesday, 7 June 2016


The disused platform at the station is a riot of colour, full of Ox-eye Daisies and Red Valerian. The only trouble is that if you see an interesting insect through your binoculars it's too far away to get a decent photo. is a fantastic photo of a Rose-chafer (my first of the year) - enjoy!
Spot the Rose-chafer

Thursday, 2 June 2016


At the station there was a tiny insect on the wall that looks like an Ichneumon Wasp. These animals are notoriously difficult to identify as there are hundreds of species in the UK, but hey, it's quite cute so here's two photos of it. Don't say I never do anything for you....