Friday, 30 November 2012


A male Blackcap at the station today in a Cotoneaster bush near the footbridge - the first of the winter. Chaffinches dominated the nearby feeders, at least 10 birds I reckon.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Montpelier murmuration and memorable Mistles

At the station this morning there was evidence of some new arrivals probably due to the colder weather. The Starling flock numbered at least 9 - double figures may yet be achieved before the winter's out! An impressive 20+ Chaffinches, mainly females, were feeding in the treetops and a brief visit from 3 Mistle Thrushes was a big surprise. Other birds of note were a Pied Wagtail, a Coal Tit and a Blue Tit plus 4 fly-over Greenfinches.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Close encounters of the Fox kind

For the second time in a couple of years, a Fox happened to pass the front door just as I was letting the cat out at some ungodly hour. The two mammals did their stare-out competition for about 20 seconds after which the Fox continued on its way, leaving a very bemused-looking cat.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


A Sparrowhawk soared over Fairlawn Road this mornng, also a mixed tit flock (including Long-tailed Tits), a Robin and 3 Chaffinches.

At St Andrews Park the Starling flock numbered 30, plus similar numbers of Goldfinches in the trees at the main Effingham Road entrance. Also in the park was a Mistle Thrush, 5 Blackbirds, a  fly-over Pied Wagtail, a few Chaffinches, Great and Blue Tits, 2 Coal Tits and a Robin. A Carrion Crow was seen with nesting material, probably just a refurbishment of an existing nest rather than serious building.

At Montpelier Station the feeders produced House Sparrows, a Starling, a Collared Dove, a few Greenfinches, 3 Chaffinches and Blue and Great Tits.

Greenfinches, House Sparrow, Starling and Chaffinch

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Livin' in a Fox

A Fox was mooching around a St Andrews Road garden this morning at 10 o'clock. Looeked in good condition.

An influx of Starlings in St Andrews Park at lunchtime plus good numbers of Goldfinches.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Even wetter

Despite the horrible wind and rain this morning, the Chiffchaff on the station was actually singing again!

The Zygiella spider first noted in the bathroom a few weeks ago made another appearance this morning.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


The Chiffchaff was still at the station this morning, calling rather than singing. Nothing else to report on a wet and miserable morning.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Singing Chiffchaff chuffed chuffed

A singing Chiffchaff at the station this morning, showing briefly. This is the latest I have ever heard one sing, as they should either have migrated by now or if staying, over-wintering birds do not normally sing. Also a fly-over Raven, 10 Long-tailed Tits and a few Blue and Great Tits. Nearby in the Colston Girl's School car park, 6 Magpies and a Jay were noisily mobbing a Grey Squirrel.


Grey Squirrel
At Fairlawn Road a female Dark Bush-cricket was basking in the sun and 3 Green Shield Bugs were nearby.

Dark Bush-cricket
In St Andrews Road, the ivy-covered wall attracted a couple of Honey Bees, a few Common Wasps, a Marmalade Hoverfly and several Eristalis hoverflies.

The monthly bird walk in St Andrews Park produced:

Chaffinch - a few flying over or seen in the trees
Greenfinch - 1 or 2 flying over
Goldfinch - a small group seen
Robin - several birds around, at least 1 seen well and vigorous song heard
Wren - 1 near the toilets. We don't always see or hear this species.
Coal Tit - 2 were seen well, feeding in the trees
Blue Tit - 4 or 5 seen
Great Tit - 2 or 3 seen or heard
Carrion Crow - a few
Magpie - plenty of birds throwing their weight around
Woodpigeon - several
Blackbird - 6 or 7 seen - back with a vengeance after a couple of months of scarcity in the park
Dunnock - at least 1 bird near the pond
Mistle Thrush - seen feeding on the grass

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

St Andrews Park

The park was buzzing with common birds this morning, the highlights being 3 Mistle Thrushes, 6 Long-tailed Tits, a few Great and Blue Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 6 Goldfinches, a Greenfinch, 2 Blackbirds, a Jay, at least 1 Goldcrest, a Dunnock, 6 Starlings, a fly-over Pied Wagtail and a Robin.

At Fairlawn Road there was a party of Long-tailed Tits, a Goldcrest, several Great and Blue Tits and a Jay.

Two more Jays were in a garden in North Road while more Long-tailed Tits were feeding along Station Road and also the station itself. Two Ravens were sat on the TV mast. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Odds and ends

Nothing much to report in the last couple of days - 6 Long-tailed Tits, a Great Tit, a Blackbird, a Dunnock and a Robin in the garden yesterday while today at the station a couple of female Chaffinches were on the feeders and there was a fly-over Pied Wagtail

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mistle Thrushes

The only birds of note today were 2 Mistle Thrushes over Leopold Road - these may have been the St Andrews's Park birds.

Well away from the patch, Jim sent me this lovely photo of 2 Tawny Owls he spotted at Prior Park.
Tawny Owls, Prior Park (photo courtesy Jim)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Gorgeous Goldfinches

While I've been indisposed today, Jim has told me about the birds he's seen in his garden and sent this fab photo.

Goldfinches (photo courtesy Jim)
There were 4 Goldfinch, 4 Greenfinch, numerous Blue and Great tits, a Robin, a pair of Dunnock, at least 2 Chaffinch (male and female), 2 Blackbird, 2 Woodpigeon and a Magpie around the feeders. A superb collection of garden birds!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Wild Monty first team hit by injury problems shock

Having broken my arm on Thursday evening, I'm not able to be as active on the patch as I'd like to be at the moment. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Today, a Redpoll flew quite low over Richmond Road, circling a couple of times before continuing its journey. Usually they fly high and fast overhead on migration - this one was much more leisurely.

Yesterday, there was a Goldcrest calling from the front garden of a house in Burghley Road and a Jackdaw flew over.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

'ello 'ello ''s a birding bobby!

Whilst watching a party of Long-tailed Tits in St Pauls Park this morning I heard a voive say 'ah, Long Tailed Tits' and when I turned to see who it was, I was surprised to see a police constable! He turned out to be a very knowledgeable birder and had not arrived to arrest me as I'd feared. We spent 10 minutes or so chatting about the urban birds he sees on his beat. Also in the park were a Goldcrest calling from the fir trees, a Pied Wagtail, a Chaffinch, a fly-over Goldfinch, 25 fly-over Starlings, a Blue Tit, a Blackbird, a Dunnock, a Wren, 3 Robins, 3 Woodpigeons, a Herring Gull and a Carrion Crow.

Just outside the patch, a Peregrine was sat on the Castlemead Tower.