Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Thrush rush, Heron scare 'em

Winter has definitely arrived - 9 Redwings flew low over Old Ashley Hill this morning but I didn't see them settle. Nearby, a Grey Heron was being mobbed by a Herring Gull over St Andrews Road. A single Jackdaw flew over Fairlawn Road and there were a few Great and Blue Tits around the patch.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

St Pauls Park fails to deliver, shock!

The only birds of note in St Pauls Park this morning were a couple of Great Tits, a fly-over Goldfinch, a Blackbird, a few Woodpigeons, 2 Magpies, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Herring Gull. Nearby Portland Square could only manage a Carrion Crow and a fly-over Pied Wagtail.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Slightly Foxed

It took a while for me to notice this basking Fox near the railway path this morning. It certainly wasn't unduly perturbed by my presence.

Nearby were a couple of Blue and Great Tits.

And the sunshine enticed a rather moribund Common Wasp and a couple of Green Shieldbugs to appear.

It was rather quiet on nearby Narroways apart from a party of Long-tailed Tits and a brief burst of song from a Song Thrush. Lots of Woodpigeons flying south overhead.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Station airy

The usual birds at the station this morning but there were subtle differences in numbers, with Greenfinches seeming to outnumber Chaffinches and Goldfinches were also in evidence. More brief Blackbird song was heard today and the Starling flock numbered just 6. When they get to double figures I'll buy a round down the pub.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Do the Chaffinch cha-cha!

The allotment gardens near the station are often disappointingly quiet but this morning there was a nice little group of half a dozen Chaffinches of both sexes feeding on the ground, while another party of Goldfinches were flitting around the shrubs and trees at the back. A Robin also put in an appearance and a Wren was singing nearby. Blue and Great Tits were seen at the station proper.

Monday, 21 November 2011


Yesterday's strange little bug has been identified by a colleague at BRERC - it's a Springtail Orchesella cincta. This is the first I've ever seen in the flesh so I'm well pleased at a new Monty invertebrate record!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

St Andrews Park monthly bird walk

It was a quiet start to our monthly stroll round the park this morning and I did wonder if we'd see anything at all. However, we were later rewarded with superb views of sizeable Starling and finch flocks making it a spectacular end to this year's bird walks. The full list is as follows:

Starling - a notable and noisy influx of these birds, many no doubt arrivals from the continent.

Greenfinch - a good showing of 10+ birds

Goldfinch - I reckon up to 30 birds in the park

Chaffinch - 7 or 8 birds of both sexes feeding in the canopy

Blackbird - a veritable flock of up to 10 birds, some of which showed the dark bills associated with migrants of central European origin. Brief bursts of song also heard - unusual at this time of year.

Mistle Thrush - 2 rather antagonistic birds gave good views

Blue Tit - several seen feeding high in the canopy

Great Tit - odd birds heard calling

Coal Tit - 1 heard calling near the toilets

Wren - 1 gave good views as it sat on a fence near the bowling green

Robin - 2 or 3 birds singing and showing well

House Sparrow - a small group keeping well hidden in the shrubbery between the bowling green and the pond

Carrion Crow
- several seen and heard

Magpie - 3 or 4 birds

Jay - 1 flew over near the toilets

Woodpigeon - 5 or 6 birds

Collared Dove - seemed particularly common today, with 6+ birds seen and heard

Pied Wagtail - 2 or 3 birds flying over or running along the paths

Herring Gull - 1 drifted over the park

Lesser Black-backed Gull - a couple flew over near the pond

Back home in Monty, I saw this tiny bug outside the window - is it some sort of Thrip I wonder?

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Still summer....

A Buff-tailed Bumblebee was nectaring on Bramble flowers at the station at lunchtime. Also nearby were the 7 Starlings, several House Sparrows, 3 Goldfinches, a few Chaffinches and Greenfinches, a Grey Squirrel and groups of Woodpigeons flying south.

At St Andrews Park there was a Jay, a 'flock' of 5 Blackbirds together, a party of Long-tailed Tits, a Coal Tit plus several Blue and Great Tits


Friday, 18 November 2011


The last two days have been quiet at the station, with the Starlings now numbering 7 while at least 8 Greenfinches were among the finch flock. The mild weather and southerly winds mean that there is unlikely to be any major influx any time soon.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

St Pauls Park

Extremely quiet here today - a couple of Great Tits, a Goldfinch, a Wren, a Woodpigeon, a Blackbird and a few Herring Gulls were the only birds of note.

A Pied Wagtail flew over Richmond Road this morning.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Flocks away!

The finch flock at the station looked mighty impressive this morning - at least 30 birds involved, mainly Chaffinch and Greenfinch but at least 1 Goldfinch too. The 3 Starlings also flying around in the sunshine and the House Sparrows nearby - rather nice.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Narroways to St Andrews Park

On an extended tour of duty today, I noted the usual Grey Wagtail at the brook in Ashley Vale and a Jay near the Lynmouth Road allotments. There were occasional Chaffinches and Greenfinches flying over and Great Tits called from the trees. A couple of Black-headed Gulls drifted over at the Eastville end of the site. Invertebrates included a Harlequin Ladybird and the Muscid fly Phaonia rufiventris.

At St Andrews Park there were both Coal and Long-tailed Tits, a Jay and several Goldfinches and Chaffinches.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Red Admiral Day

Whilst I was away (sauntering along the Strawberry Line near Congresbury) today, Jim was watching 2 Red Admiral butterflies - one in the garden and the other on Narroways - and he took this fab photo. Also in his garden were Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Dunnock, Blue Tit and Great Tit.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Raven bonkers

A Raven soaring over the station this morning was the only bird of note.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Grey day brings Grey Wagtail

A Grey Wagtail landed on the roof of a house in St Andrews Road this morning and searched for invertebrates among the tiles.

At St Pauls Park it was very quiet apart from 2 fly-over Pied Wagtails, 2 Great Tits, a fly-over Chaffinch and Goldfinch, a Blackbird, a couple of Magpies and Herring Gulls and the odd Carrion Crow.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Darling Starlings

No less than 3 Starlings at the station this morning - new arrivals - eat your heart out, Somerset Levels! Also more Greenfinches than yestrday (at least 5) along with about 10 Chaffinches and the usual House Sparrows. Wren and Dunnock heard.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Finch numbers climb....

The change in the wind direction may have brought more Chaffinches to the station this morning, with over 10 birds evident among the trees and a fly-over Greenfinch also seen. Coal, Blue and Great Tits were feeding busily nearby.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

St Andrews Park and beyond

A nice collection of birds in St Andrews Park this morning, including a Goldcrest, a Coal Tit, Blue and Great Tits, a few Chaffinches, 2 or 3 Goldfinches, 5 Blackbirds and a Jay.

At the station there was a Robin, half a dozen Long-tailed Tits and several House Sparrows. Invertebrates were still in evidence in the warm sunshine including a few Harlequin Ladybirds, Eristalis hoverflies, Honey Bees and Wasps.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Jays R Us

Two Jays around Sevier Street/Sussex Place this morning and a Coal Tit calling at the top of York Road were the only birds of note.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Destination St Pauls Park

...on the way a few Long-tailed Tits at the bottom of Richmond Road. The park was quiet though - a Dunnock, some Great Tits and a Pied Wagtail the only notable birds.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's quiet....too quiet.

Montpelier Park tried its best but only produced a few Chaffinches and Great Tits, while the station played host to a couple of Greenfinches, some Blackbirds and the usual gang of House Sparrows. A group of 5 Magpies chasing a Carrion Crow over the station was just about the most exciting thing - it can only get better!