Saturday, 31 March 2012

The flowers that bloom in the spring tra-la

A duller and cooler day. Not much bird activity other than a pair of Magpies tending a nest near Hurlingham Road and a pair of Blue Tits near a hole in the roof of a house in Fairlawn Road. Also a Jay nearby. Plants including Honesty, White Deadnettle and Herb Robert in flower near Hurlingham Road.

White Deadnettle


Herb Robert

Magpie nest

A Coal Tit sat atop a tree singing in St Andrews Park and a Mistle Thrush was also present. There were just 3 Starlings at the station today.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Birds behaving not too badly

A Coal Tit was carrying nesting material at the top of Station Road this morning and a couple of House Sparrows were dust-bathing in the allotmant gardens. Also at the latter location were 2 Goldfinches and a couple of Blackbirds. A Blackcap was singing  at the station.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Montpelier Station

Another couple of Jackdaws flew over the station this morning - they seem to definitely be on the move at the moment. Also the Song Thrush still singing and a Coal Tit calling from the direction of the park. One or two Starlings around.

Talking of Starlings, there were a couple flying around near the Ivy Church this evening.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The great thrush chase

The only bird of note this morning was the Song Thrush still singing between the station and the Cheltenham Road arches.  I was able to get brief glimpses of this surprisingly flighty individual, but couldn't photograph it. This is the longest-staying Song Thrush I can remember in recent years, so it might have a mate. Still a couple of Starlings at the station but little else of note.

A butterfly species flew high over a wall in Ashley Road this afternoon - might have been a Peacock.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Three Chiffchaffs were in full song at Narroways this morning together with a flyover Jackdaw and a Jay. Two 7-spot Ladybirds were basking in the warm sunshine and Cow Parsley was just coming into flower.

Cow Parsley

I saw what I assume to be a Solitary Bee species both at Narroways and also in Ashley Hill but I've not been able to get it identified as yet. A Coal Tit was also singing in Ashley Hill. UPDATE: the bee is Yellow Legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes).

 Yellow Legged Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes).

At the top of St Andrews Road there was a Eupeodes luniger hoverfly plus another very small hoverfly which I've yet to ID. UPDATE: thje small hoverfly is Melanostoma scalare.

Eupeodes luniger
Melanostoma scalare

A Double-striped Pug was in the flat last night and a Jackdaw flew over the flat this morning.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Ducks deluxe

Three Mallards flew over Portland Square at about 6 pm. At the station this morning another 2 Jackdaws flew over and the Song Thrush was still singing strongly. Also at the station was this attractive display of Bracket Fungi - I'm not sure of the species yet as I'm not that good at identifying them without help!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The quiet theme continues....

...with just a couple of Jackdaws over the station and the female Blackcap in the garden being of note today.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Garden birds

In the garden this morning: the female Blackcap, a couple of Long-tailed Tits, a Great Tit, a Robin and 3 Blackbirds.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

St Pauls Park

Nothing to frighten the horses this morning in the park - just the usual Blue and Great Tits, Goldfiches, a Dunnock, Collared Doves and Woodpigeons.

Yesterday at dusk, a couple of Long-tailed Tits were still busily feeding in Montpelier Park.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

St Andrews Park and beyond

At last, some Chiffchaffs on the patch. One was calling in the garden and another 2 were in the Fairlawn Road area, the latter location also producing 3 fly-over Siskins. A Grey Heron flew over the garden and there was a total of 4 singing Blackcaps around, including 1 at the station and another in St Andrews Park.

Talking of which, this morning's monthly bird walk in the park produced the following:

Blackbird - several seen, including rival males squabbling
Mistle Thrush - 2 or 3 seen
Blue Tit - several birds
Great Tit - a few
Long-tailed Tit - sightings included one apparently collecting nesting material
Coal Tit - 1 or 2
Goldcrest - 1 seen by some members of the party near the park-keeper's area
Goldfinch - several birds singing and showing well
Greenfinch - lots of song heard
Chaffinch - several birds singing and giving good views
Carrion Crow - several
Magpie - several
Jay - 2 birds heard
Robin - 1 or 2 but surprisingly quiet today
Herring Gull - 1 or 2 drifting over
Blackcap - 1 in full song near the park-keeper's area
Dunnock - 1 heard singing at the end of the walk
House Sparrow - a couple of birds seen
Wren - 1 gave good views and song heard
Woodpigeon - lots
Collared Dove - several birds seen and heard

Late news from yesterday - a Jackdaw over RIchmond Road in the morning and a Fox (sounded like a vixen) heard at around 8pm outside the flat.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A thrash around St Pauls

Hard Shield-fern (Polystichum aculeatum)
All very quiet in St Pauls Park apart from an immature Herring Gull and some Greenfinches. Nowt at Portland Square. In the cemetery a gaggle of House Sparrows, a Blue Tit, some Goldfinches, a Magpie,  Blackbird. a Woodpigeon and about 15 Herring Gulls. What looked like a Male Fern was growing in the cemetery.

Yesterday at Montpelier station the highlights were a singing Blackcap and 8 Starlings.

It can only get better....

Update: the fern is Hard Shield-fern (Polystichum aculeatum)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Window Midge!

This afternoon I saw this little midge on the window - it looks to me like Sylvicola fenestralis which is a species of Window Midge. These are found in houses all year round but are also apparently fond of sewage!

The only birds of note today were the female Blackcap in the garden, a Wren and Dunnock on the station and a Coal Tit singing in Montpelier Park.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Garden birds

In the garden today: the female Blackcap, a Dunnock plus 3 Robins having a real fight - presumably a pair plus an interloper. Fly-over Greenfinch, Jackdaw and Grey Wagtail plus 1 Starling on a roof opposite completed the line-up.

Late news from yesterday: Jim had a fly-over Raven and a Brimstone in his garden.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Brimstones, Buzzards and Blackcaps

A Brimstone flew across St Andrews Park this morning in the warm sunshine. A Buzzard drifted over the bowls club - it had a missing tail-feather so looked quite distinctive. Nearby a Redwing fed on the grass, and a Harlequin Ladybird was sat on top of a wooden post. At least 1 Long-tailed Tit was feeding in the trees near the pond and a Jackdaw called overhead.


Harlequin Ladybird

At Montpelier station the highlight was a Raven overhead, plus a female Blackcap and calling Coal Tit.

The male and female Blackcaps were in the garden again along with a juvenile Woodpigeon. Another male Blackcap was singing and showing well in Chesterfield Road. There were 2 Jays in trees near Fairlawn Road.

Female Blackcap

Juvenile Woodpigeon

Friday, 9 March 2012

Montpelier Park

In the park this morning: 2 Blackbirds, 8 Chaffinches, 5 Blue Tits and a single Long-tailed Tit.

There was a single Redwing at the station and the Song Thrush was still singing.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

All quiet

No migrants on the patch yet and the station was reasonably quiet with the usual birds showing, plus 2 singing Wrens and a Dunnock of note.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Thrushes 'n' foxes

The Song Thrush was still giving it some welly this morning, heard well from the station. The feeders attracted about 6 Greenfinches, 10 Chaffinches, a Robin and 4 Starlings. Nearby a Fox posed briefly on the embankment opposite the platform, but I was denied a photo-opportunity because the train arrived and scared it off before I could get the camera out.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Greedy Greenfinches

The feeders on the station this morning were dominated by Greenfinches, which is good news given the recent decline of this lovely bird. Not much else at the station of note.

Male Greenfinch

In the garden there was the female Blackcap again plus a party of Great and Blue Tits and about 3 Blackbirds.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Garden birds

In the garden today: male and female Blackcaps, 2 Great Tits, a Blue Tit, a Long-tailed Tit, 4 Blackbirds, a Feral Pigeon and 2 Woodpigeons.

Female Blackcap

Saturday, 3 March 2012

St Andrews Park

Highlights in the park today included a Mistle Thrush, 2 or 3 Redwings and a party of Long-tailed Tits.

Mistle Thrush

A Blackcap sang briefly in Chesterfield Road. Nearby there was a patch of Ivy-leaved Speedwell growing at the Hurlingham Road side of the rainbow bridge and an Eristalis Hoverfly at the top of St Andrews Road. Two Jays were seen in the trees near the railway path.

Eristalis sp. Hoverfly
Ivy-leaved Speedwell

Friday, 2 March 2012

Thrushes 'n' finches

The station produced the Song Thrush singing strongly from the direction of the arches again plus about 10 Chaffinches, a Robin, a Dunnock and half a dozen Starlings.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A thrash around St Pauls

The first bird of note was in Bishop Street - a Carrion Crow at the nest. In St Pauls Park there were just a few Greenfinches, Chaffinches and a Herring Gull.

At Portland Square there were plenty of Daffodils in flower and 3 Blackbirds were feeding on the grass.

In the cemetery the highlight was a Mistle Thrush flying towards Brunswick Square. Other birds included Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow and Magpie.

A stone's throw from the patch, a Peregrine was again on Castlemead Tower before flying off in the direction of Castle Park.