Friday, 20 October 2017

Bugs still around!

I looked at an Ivy bush near the station this morning and there were still a couple of Ivy Bees around. I lined up a shot of one basking on a leaf and a wasp grabbed it! Also a couple of hoverflies - a Syrphus ribesii female and a Myathropa florea.
Myathropa florea

Ivy Bee


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Jackdaw invasion!

A group of 10 Jackdaws flew SE over Richmond Road this morning and another single bird flew over the station. These could be birds moving from northern upland areas to the south for the winter.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

More Ivy Bees!

I had a look at the Ivy patch at the Cromwell Road end of the station footbridge this afternoon and it produced 3-4 Ivy Bees plus several Honey Bees, Common Wasps, a Syrphus hoverfly and an Eristalis pertinax hoverfly. Also a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds on the bridge and a Hawthorn Shieldbug on the wall together with several Zygiella spiders. There was a Dung Fly (Scathophaga) species near the tunnel and a Chiffchaff was calling.

Harlequin Ladybird

Hawthorn Shieldbug

Ivy Bee

Eristalis pertinax



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Ivy Bee!

An Ivy Bee Colletes hederae this morning on an Ivy patch near the station. This is the first time I've seen one in Montpelier but they have spread pretty widely since they were first discovered in Dorset in 2001 so I may have overlooked them. The next few weeks is their peak flight period so if you have any Ivy in your garden (and you know every garden should have Ivy) keep your eyes peeled for this lovely bee. Also on the same patch was an Eristalis hoverfly (flew away before I could ID it), a couple of Honey Bees, a Common Wasp and several Green Shieldbugs.
Ivy Bee

Honey Bee

Green Shieldbug

Common Wasp

Friday, 29 September 2017


A couple of  hours on the reserve today produced some good sightings. Highlights were a couple of Common Lizards, one with a stumpy tail.

Also a Hawthorn Shieldbug, a Green Shieldbug, the hoverfly Eristalis tenax, a Harlequin Ladybird, a Cranefly sp., a Common Darter dragonfly, a Speckled Wood butterfly, a Red-tailed Bumblebee and several Garden Spiders. Also a Metellina sp. spider. It was also nice to see a Twin-spot Centurion soldierfly.

Hawthorn Shieldbug

Twin-spot Centurion

Eristalis tenax
Common Darter

Mouse-eared Hawkweed flowers were still out.

Birds included a fly-over Swallow, a Raven, a couple of calling Chiffchaffs, 2 Jays, a fly-over Jackdaw and a few Great Tits, Robins and Blackbirds.

At Hurlingham Road at least 15 Long-tailed Tits were flying from tree to tree - very impressive numbers - and a Jay was calling. a Ladybird larvae, probably a Harlequin, was on the prowl.
Ladybird larva

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Another brick in the wall.....

The wall along the platform at Montpelier Station produced some more good stuff today. Flushed with success at my correct ID of the Strawberry Snail yesterday (it was confirmed by an expert on Facebook) I approached the wall with renewed enthusiasm this morning. There were the usual House Spiders and Missing Sector Orb Web Spiders Zygiella but there was also a large Harvestman Leiobunum rotundum (a new one for me). Another common snail, the White-lipped Snail and some young Garden Snails were also clinging to the wall as was a Harlequin Ladybird pupa. A Gnat and a Crane-fly (both stretching my ID skills beyond their limits) were also on the wall.
Leiobunum rotundum

Garden Snail


White-lipped Snail


Harlequin Ladybird pupa

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Chiffchaffs and Sparrowhawks!

There were 2, possibly 3 Chiffchaffs on the patch this morning - 1 heard in Richmond Road then it flew over my head, another or the same in Montpelier Park a minute later, and another at the station. Also in the park were 6 Woodpigeons, a Blackbird and a singing Robin. A Sparrowhawk drifted over too.

At the station there were a couple of Common Wasps on the Ivy plus a Syrphus hoverfly. A 'white' butterfly was patrolling the disused platform - probably a Large White. On the wall was what I'm pretty sure is a Strawberry Snail although it didn't taste much like strawberries haha!

Strawberry Snail

Common Wasp

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Birds on the move!

A Chiffchaff was singing at the station this morning - this is the time when these summer visitors are moving south as the autumn advances so it's always nice to have them visit the patch en route. Two Stock Doves flying high to the south-west was also a hint of bird migration.

Back on solid ground, a House Spider and a Zygiella were still on the wall along the platform. I have provisionally identified a slug on the wall as Dusky Slug. I may be wrong but I'm not going to spend any more time this evening trying to ID it - I should get out more.......
House Spider


Possible Dusky Slug

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Bugs in the flat!

I was delighted to find another Flea Beetle in the bathroom this morning. This suggests these tiny beetles originate in Montpelier and I can add them to the list of bugs for the patch - I'm satisfied I didn't bring them in from a country walk! Also, this evening there was a White-shouldered House Moth in the kitchen.
White-shouldered House Moth

This morning at the station the Ivy at the far end of the station footbridge was absolutely swarming with Honey Bees! There was also a wasp (probably Common Wasp), a Syrphus hoverfly and an Eristalis hoverfly. Nearby was a Marmalade Hoverfly.
Honey Bee

Marmalade Hoverfly


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Beetles and Spiders!

I was surprised to see a tiny beetle in the bath this morning and even more surprised when it jumped when I touched it. On closer inspection I could see it had thickened hind femora so I think it is one of the Flea Beetles. Now that's all very exciting but sadly it might not have originated in Monty - I suspect it hitched a lift on my clothing as I had been out all day yesterday on the saltmarshes near Avonmouth!
Flea Beetle

At the station along the wall were several spiders - I can't get an ID on them but I think they might be Zygiella x-notata. I have my own Zygiella of course - in my bathroom window - and she is getting fat on fruit flies that originate in my kitchen waste bin.
Possible Zygiella at the station

My own Zygiella!

Michaelmas Daisies were still in flower at the station.
Michaelmas Daisies
Yesterday at the station there was a Syrphus hoverfly and a Common Carder Bee.
Common Carder Bee

Friday, 15 September 2017


A couple of hours on the reserve this morning produced the expected Raven and Grey Wagtail plus a singing Chiffchaff. Insects included 3 Common Darters, a Weevil sp., a Froghopper sp., a Mirid Grass Bug sp., a 24-Spot Ladybird, 2 Harlequin Ladybirds and an Ichneumon sp. There was a Crab Spider Misumena vatia and a Nursery Web Spider. There were the leaf mines of the moths Mompha raschkiella and Stigmella aurata.
24-Spot Ladybird

Stigmella aurella

Common Darter



Crab Spider

Mompha raschkiella

Mirid Grass Bug