Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Song Thrush well and truly nailed

This morning I sought out the Song Thrush that I have been hearing in recent days, and tracked it down to a spot  opposite Colston Girls' School. It was just visible through the branches.

At the stataion there was a single Redwing, 4 or 5 Starlings and the usual finches of note including 3 or 4 Greenfinches.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Blackcap boom

There was a male Blackcap in the garden today along with the usual female. This is the first male to visit the garden all winter.

In Montpelier Park there were 8 Redwings, a Blackbird, 4 Chaffinches and a singing Wren.

A Blackbird was carrying nesting material at the top of Station Road.

Late news from yesterday: a distant Song Thrush was heard singing from my flat at 6.30 am

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Like a Brimstone cowboy

A Brimstone was flying at the station this morning - my first butterfly for the patch this spring, hurrah! Not much else to report other than this Goldfinch.


At Fairlawn Road a Wolf Spider was sunning himself on a stone.

Male Wolf Spider

A patch of Common Field Speedwell was growing at the top of St Andrews Road.

Common Field Speedwell

In the garden there were 5 Blackbirds, a Dunnock, 2 Blue Tits, a Robin, 2 Woodpigeons and a Wren.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Brief encounters

I had time for only a cursory glance around the patch this morning - a pair of Jays in a tree at Ashley Hill, a calling Long-tailed Tit and a fly-over Greenfinch were the only birds of note at Fairlawn Road. The only invertebrates seen were a Bluebottle fly and another unidentified fly species. Celandines were in flower at the top of St Andrews Road and Montpelier Park.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Peregrine flew in Portland Square

A Peregrine flew over Portland Square this morning and headed towards the Castlemead tower. When I got there, a pair of Peregrines were sat on the tower. Nice.

I estimated  5 Pairs of Greenfinches in St Pauls Park this morning - a very good count. Also in the park were a pair of Dunnocks, with the presumed male  flicking his wings and chasing the presumed female in a charming courtship display. Also noted were a single Long-tailed Tit, a Great Tit, 2 Blue Tits, a Goldfinch, a Herring Gull, 2 Wrens and a couple of Collared Doves.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Montpelier Park

There were 2 Redwings in the park this morning, with one of them sub-singing. Nearby there were 5 Magpies together in the same tree, a Coal Tit and 2 Greenfinches.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

St Andrews Park and beyond

The monthly bird walk in St Andrews Park produced the following:

Long-tailed Tit - a couple seen near the toilets (a couple of birds that is).
Magpie - several birds around including at least one carrying nesting material.
Carrion Crow - 4 or 5
Jay - at least 2 birds seen
Woodpigeon - several seen
Collared Dove - several birds incluing one with nest material
Dunnock - 1 or 2, including an individual in the wildlife hedge collecting nesting material
Redwing - a group of birds seen by others
Mistle Thrush - at least 1 bird
Blue Tit a few around
Coal Tit - 1 heard briefly near the pond
Great Tit - several birds singing and giving good views
Blackbird - several birds seen including one sub-singing and mimmicking a Song Thrush
Goldfinch - several around
Greenfinch - just 1 bird flying over, calling
Chaffinch - several birds, including one or two in song
Goldcrest - one feeding in the pine near the pond
Wren - at least 1 heard and seen by others
Robin - 4 or 5 birds, song heard
Blackcap - 1 bird calling from the conifer hedge near the pond
House Sparrow - at least 1 (a male) in the bushes near the bowling club
Lesser Black-backed Gull - a few drifting over
Herring Gull - a few drifting over

At Montpelier station the highlight was a Sparrowhawk overhead and a party of Long-tailed Tits, with one lurking around the feeders.

The female Blackcap was in the garden and a male House Sparrow visited - unusual here.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wrens 'n' Ravens

A pair of distant Ravens flew over Ashley Vale and a Coal Tit was calling at the top of St Andrews Road. A pair of Jays flew into a garden in Old Ashley Hill.

In the garden today: 2 Robins, the female Blackcap (showing most of the afternoon) 3 Blackbirds, a Wren, a singing Dunnock, 2 Great Tits and 2 Woodpigeons.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Nothing to write home about....

The only birds of note at the station this morning were the Starlings, now numbering about 12. Exciting, huh?

Last night there was much Fox activity heard outside the flat at 6.30.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Montpelier Park

A single Redwing was the pick of the birds in Montpelier Park this morning, along with half a dozen Chaffinches, a Great Tit, a Robin and a Wren.

A Pied Wagtail was near Richmond Road this morning.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Magpies and a Jackdaw

There were 4 Magpies in the garden this morning, at least 1 pair involved by the look of it, with much affectionate allopreening between them. The only bird of note at the station was a Jackdaw flying over. A few Starlings were among the usual birds.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Blackcaps galore

News from Karle today that he had a pair of Blackaps in his Montpelier garden, and I had a female in mine, presumably the long-staying individual. It's been a good winter for this epecies on the patch.

In Montpelier Park a Coal Tit was singing from the top branch of a tree and another (could it have been his mate?) called nearby. Also in the park were 3 Blackbirds, 6 Chaffinches, and a singing Goldfinch.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Thrush thrash polka

Leaning out of my flat window first thing this morning I heard a distant Song Thrush singing from the direction of Montpelier Park/Station Road. 'Tis a long time since I've heard one from my flat but very welcome. Also from my flat I saw a group of 7 Redwings settle briefly in a tree before flying off. I later saw what was presumably the same flock at the top of St Andrews Road/Cromwell Road an hour or so later. In the garden, the female Blackcap was showing well.


In St Andrews Park there was a pair of Jays, 2 Coal Tits, a Mistle Thrush (seen and heard singing), 6 Blackbirds, 15 Goldfinches, 2 Greenfinches, 10 Chaffinches, 8 Long-tailed Tits, a Robin, 4 Great Tits, 3 Blue Tits, 2 Pied Wagtails, a calling Blackcap, 2 Dunnocks and a Goldcrest.

Coal Tit

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Variety is the spice of life

A nice selection of birds around the patch today in cold but sunny conditions. At Fairlawn Road there was a singing male Bullfinch which showed well in the trees alongside the railway. A Sparrowhawk flew over and a Grey Heron drifted overhead mobbed by a Herring Gull. There were 5 Magpies together in the trees near Hurlingham Road. Nearby, a Jay was at the top of St Andrews Road.

Grey Heron

At the station there was a female Blackcap feeding in the bushes and a Coal Tit and 3 Greenfinches on the feeders.

In the garden today: a female Blackcap, a Dunnock, a Robin and 3 Blackbirds along with a couple of Great and Blue Tits.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Montpelier Station

The female Bullfinch showed well this morning, enough for me to grab this appalling photo for which I apologise profusely.

About half a dozen Starlings, several Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Chaffinches plus a Grey Squirrel were on the feeders.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Gung-ho Goldcrest

In St Pauls Park this morning a Goldcrest was feeding in the low branches of a conifer hedge in full view, although I was unable to get a photo - very frustrating. Also in and around the park was a fly-over Grey Wagtail, a Blackbird, 2 Collared Doves, a Carrion Crow, 4 Greenfinches, 2 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits, a Woodpigeon, 2 Robins (possibly a pair as they were together) and a Herring Gull.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bullfinch beauty

A cracking male Bullfinch showed well at the station this morning, constantly calling and flying to the top of a tree - sadly by the time I got my camera ready he'd flown. Also 25 Redwings flew in and a party of 4 or 5 Long-tailed Tits fed busily in the trees with a few Blue Tits and Chaffinches.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Another Song Thrush

I found my second Montpelier Song Thrush in a week today, this time at St Barnabas school. It flew into a tree briefly giving good views before flying off towards Sussex Place. Also nearby were 10 House Sparrows and a similar number of Chaffinches feeding under the trees near the playing field.  A Blackcap was calling at Cobourg Road.

A female Blackcap showed well in the garden today and a Herring Gull raided the food I put out for the smaller birds.

At Fairlawn Road a Greenfinch was singing and there looked to be some courtship behaviour between 2 Magpies, with much bill-touching between the pair.

At the station there were 2 female Blackcaps, 5 Blue Tits, 7 Great Tits, 4 Long-tailed Tits and a Coal Tit.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cold, cold, cold

Jim has emailed me to say he had 17 Redwings  in the next door garden along with the now usual, Greenfinch, up to 4, Goldfinch, 3, although he had 9 during the week, Chaffinch, the first for a while, Blackcap, Robin, Dunnock, Collared dove, Magpie, Blackbird, Great and Blue tit and overhead Black-headed gull (a bit of a rarity over Monty). Thanks for the great photo, Jim.

My own garden visitors today included 3 Blackbirds, 2 Robins, a Dunnock, a Wren, a Magpie, 2 Woodpigeons and a Feral Pigeon.

There were 15 Redwings (maybe the same birds Jim saw) feeding on berries in the front garden of a house in Belvoir Road, but Montpelier station was quiet apart from about 10 Starlings, a Pied Wagtail, 8 or 9 House Sparrows and the finch flock numbering about 15, mainly Chaffinches.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Montpelier Park

A bitterly cold morning, A flock of about 20 Redwings were flying around the park and sitting in the trees. Also a few Long-tailed Tits, a couple of Blackbirds, a Robin and a Wren together with 7 or 8 Chaffinches.

This evening at 8 o'clock there was much noise from Foxes outside the flat.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

'allo allopreening

I always like to see birds allopreening, and these Carrion Crows at the station spent several minutes doing just that. Nothing else of note though.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Montpelier/Narroways/St Andrews Park

An extended tour of duty started with 6 Redwings hanging around the top of St Andrews Road.

Narroways was quiet apart from a Fox, a few Blue and Great Tits, the usual Grey Wagtail at the brook and a group of Chaffinches.

St Andrews Park produced a couple of Coal Tits, several Goldfinches and a single Redwing.