Friday, 31 March 2017


On the reserve today: 1 Grey Wagtail on brook carrying food - nest with young nearby presumably , 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Common Buzzards being mobbed by 2 Ravens over cutting, 1 Starling over Boiling Wells, 1 singing Blackcap ash wood, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 singing Coal Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 2 copulating Magpies.
Common Buzzard


Lots of insects mainly various Andrena species most of which I can't ID apart from Tawny Mining Bee and Orange-tailed Mining Bee. An expert on Facebook says another bee I saw is Andrena scotica. Hoverflies included Eristalis pertinax, Syrphus, Eupeodes and Platycheirus
Orange-tailed Mining Bee



Eristalis pertinax

Tawny Mining Bee
Andrena scotica

Red Deadnettle, Common Vetch, Cow Parsley and Spanish Bluebell all coming into flower.
Cow Parsley

Red Deadnettle

Away from Narroways, a good swathe of Spanish Bluebell at Hurlingham Road and a singing Chiffchaff nearby.
Spanish Bluebells

Sunday, 26 March 2017


A couple of Brimstone butterflies patrolling the disused platform at the station this afternoon - always a special moment when I see these harbingers of spring out and about. Also a Harlequin Ladybird nearby.
Harlequin Ladybird

In St Andrews Park this morning there were a couple of Goldcrests, a Mistle Thrush, lots of Goldfinches and a Greenfinch among the usual stuff. Insect-wise there were a few hoverflies near the pond including one of my favourites (and one I don't see that often) - Epistrophe eligans. This is very much a spring species so great to catch up with one. Also a Meliscaeva auricollis and a couple of Marmalade Hoverflies. I was also thrilled to see a glimpse of what was almost certainly a Tawny Mining Bee but it flew off before I could take a shot. Also a Green Shieldbug basking nearby.
Epistrophe eligans

Green Shieldbug

Meliscaeva auricollis

Friday, 24 March 2017


There was a Chiffchaff singing and showing well on Narroways Nature Reserve this morning - my first of the year on the patch. Spring has sprung! Also a pair of Grey Wagtails at the brook, Raven on the nest, pair Long-tailed Tits, 2 Jays and a Greenfinch. A Viola sp. in Simons Grove - doesn't look quite right for either Common Dog Violet or Sweet Violet.

Long-tailed Tit


A Coal Tit was singing at Fairlawn Road and a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee was prospecting for a nest at the station.

Thursday, 23 March 2017


I arrived at the station this morning and almost had to duck as a Sparrowhawk flew swiftly towards me at head height and veered off at the last minute! I normally see them soaring harmlessly overhead but this one was definitely in killing mode!

In Picton Lane this afternoon I saw lots of Forgetmenots (escaped garden variety no doubt) and nearby some flowering Ivy-leaved Toadflax.

Ivy-leaved Toadflax

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Narroways again!

Highlights today included a Blackcap singing loudly and persistently near the Ashley Hill entrance, Grey Wagtail on the brook, 1 Long-tailed Tit at Simons Grove and a fly-over Jackdaw.
Yellow Fieldcap

Grey Wagtail

Solitary Bee

A Crab Spider Xysticus cristatus was loitering on a metal post and a solitary bee (probably an Andrena sp.) was on a daisy on the cutting where also several Yellow Fieldcap fungus Bolbitius titubans.

At Fairlawn Road a Melanostoma hoverfly was on a dandelion and a Jay was calling.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Narroways and St Andrews Park!

Bumped into Harry on my way to Narroways this morning and he showed me an active Long-tailed Tit nest with both parents in attendance. He also showed me the Raven's nest which was later visited by both parents and I saw some tumbling display flight over the church field - lovely stuff. Also a pair of Grey Wagtails and a pair of Goldcrests plus a singing Blackcap and twittering Greenfinches - an increasingly uncommon sound these days! Blackthorn was coming into flower in several places.

Raven nest


Goldfinch and Coal Tit showed well at Fairlawn Road.

Not much to report at St Andrews Park other than a couple of Herring Gulls, a few Goldfinches and a singing Coal Tit. A Melanostoma hoverfly was near the pond.
Herring Gull

Monday, 13 March 2017

Wolves on the prowl!

It was a beautiful sunny morning and there were a few invertebrates around including a Green Shieldbug near the station and a couple of Wolf Spiders - one near the station and the other in the park. Also a small solitary bee (difficult to ID but likely to be a Lasioglossum species) and a Pollenia fly. A Jay and a singing Coal Tit were notable in the park.


Wolf Spider

Thursday, 9 March 2017


A pair of Goldcrests were feeding in the trees in Montpelier Park this morning - hopefully they might breed as there is plenty of suitable habitat. Also a Jay and a Blackbird or two in the park.

At Station Road a pair of Dunnocks were cavorting and nearby a Green Shieldbug was basking in the morning sunshine.

Green Shieldbug

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sparrowhawk and singing Blackcap!

A Blackcap was singing off and on this morning at the station in brief but loud bursts. Also a female Sparrowhawk flew over as my train arrived. There was a spring-like atmosphere with Wren, Woodpigeon, Dunnock and Robin singing and a Blackbird in sub-song.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spot the Fox!

A Fox was walking around on the railway bank near the tunnel this morning - tried to take some decent shots but a train came just as I was lining up a shot. The results are hardly Wildlife Photographer of the Year standard! Nearby, a Blackcap was singing at the station.
Spot the Fox

Friday, 3 March 2017

St Andrews Park

Highlights in the park this afternoon included 30 Redwings, a few House Sparrows, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Jays, 20 Goldfinches, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Herring Gulls, 50 Starlings and a fly-over Cormorant.
Female House Sparrow


Mistle Thrush


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Montpelier Park

This morning there were a couple of Blackbirds, a Chaffinch, and singing Dunnock and Wren, plus lots more Lesser Celandine in flower. This afternoon a Great Tit was singing in the park.