Sunday, 26 March 2017

Brimstones!

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

Chiffchaff!

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.
Greenfinch

Long-tailed Tit

Violet

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

Sparrowhawk!

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.
Forgetmenots

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.
Melanostoma


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

Blackthorn

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.
Melanostoma
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.
Lasioglossum

Pollenia

Wolf Spider

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Goldcrests!

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.
Dunnock

Green Shieldbug