Sunday, 30 July 2017

St Andrews Park!

An early afternoon stroll round the park between rain showers produced a Meadow Brown butterfly and a Garden Snail in the meadow area, and lots of Tadpoles and a Common Pond-skaters on the pond. Three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Goldfinch were the pick of the birds.
Meadow Brown


Garden Snail

Incredibly, the Red Underwing was still at the station - I'm sure it's alive but I didn't want to disturb it. Also a Large White on the disused platform.
Red Underwing

Large White

Glad to see that Stone Parsley is still thriving in its traditional site near the Royal Mail office in Station Road.
Stone Parsley

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Red Underwing moth!

I arrived at the station this morning in the pouring rain to catch my train and wasn't expecting to see anything so didn't bring my camera. I sauntered along the platform looking half-heartedly at the wall when I suddenly spotted a large moth! It was a Red Underwing and my first ever! I took a photo with my camera. Lovely jubbly!
Red Underwing

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Another Butterfly Bonanza!

Lovely warm sunny conditions this morning meant there were a few good butterflies on the wing at the station - a Red Admiral, a Peacock, a Common Blue and several Large Whites were patrolling the disused platform and feeding on Buddleia. Lovely stuff.
Distant Common Blue

...and an equally distant Peacock

An impressive show of Maidenhair Spleenwort ferns at the bottom of St Andrews Road this afternoon.

Maidenhair Spleenwort

Monday, 24 July 2017

Upper Montpelier!

....that's what I tend to call the area around Fairlawn Road and the top of St Andrews Road. Anyway I had a quick look around this morning and heard a Coal Tit singing near Hurlingham Road. A Speckled Wood butterfly was nearby. At the junction of St Andrews Road and Cromwell Road the verge had lots of what I have identified as Beaked Hawksbeard (but hawkweeds are not my speciality) and some Michaelmas Daisies. Halfway down St Andrews Road some Lady's Bedstraw persists on a front lawn - this has been growing at this location for many years but it is otherwise a scarce plant in urban areas, preferring calcareous grassland. One or two Large White were also seen nearby.
Beaked Hawksbeard and hoverfly which I only noticed after looking at the photo! Sadly there's not enough detail to ID the hoverfly!

Lady's Bedstraw

Large White

Michaelmas Daisies

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Montpelier Station!

This morning while waiting for a train I saw a Meadow Brown and a few Large White butterflies patrolling the disused platform while a Jay called raucously and a Dunnock was heard calling.

The moth trap produced the following this morning:
Silver Y 3+
Riband Wave 1
Poplar Grey 1
Marbled Beauty 3+
Willow Beauty 1
Lesser Yellow Underwing 2
Bright-line Brown-eye 1
Small Dusty Wave 1
A very worn and barely recognisable Bright-line Brown-eye

Small Dusty Wave over Montpelier

Lesser Yellow Underwing

Marbled Beauty

Poplar Grey

Willow Beauty

Non-moth stowaways in the trap included a Birch Shieldbug and a Harlequin Ladybird.
Birch Shieldbug

Monday, 17 July 2017

Another baby Robin!

A recently-fledged Robin was in the park this morning - so evidence of a second or third brood for one lucky pair! A Blackcap was singing too and there were a couple of Woodpigeons and Collared Doves.
Juvenile Robin

The moth trap produced 3 Silver Y, a Harlequin Ladybird, an Anania coronata micro-moth, an Uncertain/Rustic, a Common Footman, a Copper Underwing sp. and a Lesser Yellow Underwing. A small Crambid moth (I assume) also caught.
Anania coronata

Copper Underwing sp.

Common Footman

Crambid moth?

Silver Y

Lesser Yellow Underwing



This evening a Blackbird sang very briefly - mid July is usually the cut-off time for Blackbird song in my experience.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Gruesome discovery at Fairlawn Road!

Along the verge at Fairlawn Road I noted a small fly and took a photo out of interest. It was not until I got home and looked at the photo I noticed that the fly was being eaten by a Crab Spider Misumena vatia! These camouflaged carnivores lie in wait for pollinators to visit the flower and then strike! Also along the verge was a Small White and a Speckled Wood and there were several Vervain plants in flower.
Small White


Crab Spider

I returned to St Andrews Park and was delighted to see a Volucella pellucens hoverfly near the park-keeper's depot along with another Speckled Wood. A stunning beast. There was an interesting-looking bracket fungus nearby and a Yellow Dung Fly was hiding among the leaves in the meadow area where there was also a Thick-thighed Flower Beetle.
Yellow Dung Fly

Volucella pellucens

Thick-thighed Flower Beetle

Bracket fungus

Speckled Wood

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

St Andrews Park!

An hour spent in the meadow area produced Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees, a Leaf-cutter Bee, several Honey Bees, a Marmalade Hoverfly and both Speckled Wood and Red Admiral butterflies. A pair of Azure Damselflies were ovipositing in the pond and there were zillions of Tadpoles. A Wren was seen and a Coal Tit was singing nearby.
Red Admiral

Azure Damselflies

Speckled Wood


At the station this morning a Blackcap was singing and a single Issus coleoptratus bug was sitting on a ragwort stem.
Issus coleoptratus

Thursday, 6 July 2017

More Butterflies!

Two additional species at the station this morning were a couple of Ringlets and a Small/Essex Skipper. The latter was just too far away (i.e. the other side of the track) to clearly show the characters of Essex Skipper although it looks likely to be this species.
Small/Essex Skipper

I found a tiny beetle on my arm last night which looks like a Varied Carpet Beetle.
Varied Carpet Beetle

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Butterfly bonanza!

Well....maybe not a bonanza, but.there were a couple of Large Whites, a Green-veined White and 2 Commas at the station and 3-4 Gatekeepers (my first of the year on the patch) at Narroways seen from the train. The latter were on Hemp Agrimony flowers. There was also a good show of Rosebay Willowherb.
Rosebay Willowherb and Hemp Agrimony

Blurred Gatekeeper

In Montpelier Park there was a Sphaerophoria hoverfly and clouds of Horse-chestnut Miner moths - they are getting to plague proportions and badly affecting the leaves.
Horse-chestnut Miner


Birds of interest today included singing Blackcaps in the garden and the station, a singing Coal Tit in the park and a Jay at the station.

Moths in the flat included a Double-striped Pug, 3 Riband Wave, a Rustic/Uncertain and a Heart and Dart.
Double-striped Pug