Sunday, 30 June 2013

St Andrews Park

Hoverflies in the park this afternoon included 2 of the bee-mimic Merodon equestris, 1 Eupeodes corollae, a couple of Marmalade Hoverflies, a Sphaerophoria hoverfly and a Syritta pipiens. The Soldier Fly Chloromyia formosa was nice to see and an Azure Damselfly was resting on a leaf at the pond. Bees included several Honey Bees, the nest of Tree Bumblebees, a few Early Bumblebees and 1 or 2 Buff-tailed Bumblebees.
Azure Damselfly
Chloromyia formosa
Eupeodes corollae
Merodon equestris

Syritta pipiens
Sphaerophoria hoverfly

At home, a juvenile Woodpigeon was feeding outside the window and a Jackdaw flew past the flat.
Juvenile Woodpigeon

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Robin 'ood you believe it?

Bumped into fellow wildlifer Jim this morning and he has sent some fab photos of Robins nesting in his Montpelier garden earlier this month:

15 June, One of the parents keeping the then hatch chicks warm
15th June, Going for food
21st June, The chicks
26th June, One of the first chicks to fledge. There were 4 chicks who successfully fledged.
 Jim also 'shot' this hoverfly which looks like an Eristalis species to me:

Along Fairlawn verge there was a Marmalade Hoverfly, an Xanthogramma hoverfly, a Helophilus hoverfly, a Dark Bush Cricket and a few Harlequin Ladybirds, including a copulating pair - the male 'vibrated' in a, like, totally weird way. Also a Jay and a singing Coal Tit nearby.
Harlequin Ladybirds
Marmalade Hoverfly
St Andrews Road produced a Syrphus hoverfly and some Lady's Bedstraw growing on a lawn - this usually appears every year in one of the gardens and is an unusual plant to see in the middle of urban Bristol rather than a Mendip hillside!
Lady's Bedstraw

Friday, 28 June 2013

Tree Bumble

I was in a rush to catch the train this morning but en route I did catch this rather dopey Tree Bumble Bee sat on a leaf and a Coal Tit was singing at the top of Station Road.
Tree Bumble Bee

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Swifts have been a bit more conspicuous of late, there were 3 screaming around the rooftops of Richmond Road yesterday and 5 or 6 hunting over the station today.A Chiffchaff was singing at Narroways heard from the train this morning. A Crane Fly was in the flat again this evening.

Just outside the patch, there were 3 Peregrines around Castlemead Tower yesterday evening. One looked like an adult male but at least 1 was a juvenile. They flew around, play-fighting on the wing, calling and occasionally perching on ledges - magic stuff.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Station approach

On my way to catch the train I stopped to watch a magnificent show of bees and hoverflies. Star of the show was a Leaf-cutter Bee (Megachile sp.) but also in evidence were many Tree Bumble Bees, a Buff-tailed Bumble Bee, a couple of Early Bumble Bees and 3 Honey Bees.There were a couple of Syrphus hoverflies and both Myathropa florea and Syritta pipiens hoverflies.
Myathropa florea

Leaf-cutter Bee

Syritta pipiens
At the station itself a Blackcap was singing and 1 or 2 Starlings were around. A Coal Tit was singing again in Montpelier Park.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Montpelier Park

A couple of juvenile Blackbirds calling in the park this morning, plus a singing Coal Tit and Chaffinch, and a couple of Robins. Lots of Shepherd's Purse in flower. Frustratingly, I was unable to get a decent photo of an interesting-looking hoverfly so cannot ID it.
Juvenile Blackbird
Shepherd's Purse

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Dunnocks and Crane Flies

Proof of Dunnocks nesting in the garden area this morning - an adult seen carrying a faecal sac. I had suspected as much in recent weeks but this seems to be a clincher.
Dunnock and faecal sac
 A dead Crane Fly in the flat may be the species Tipula oleracea. You have to count the divisions on the antennae to be sure, but life may be too short....
Crane Fly

Saturday, 22 June 2013

To Bee or not to Bee

Tree Bumble Bees are absolutely everywhere in Monty right now, with about 20 on brambles along the station approach this morning. They certainly seem to be outnumbering Buff-tails.

There were more Tree Bumble Bees at Fairlawn Road together with 3 or 4 Early Bumble Bees, a couple of Honey Bees, an Eristalis pertinax hoverfly, a Dark Bush Cricket or two, a Nettle Tap Moth (took a great photo of it and accidentally deleted it!), a Harlequin Ladybird and a Helophilus hoverfly. An attractive Sawfly looks being Arge cyanocrocea.
The Sawfly Arge cyanocrocea
Dark Bush-cricket
Eristalis pertinax

Not much at the station apart from a Starling and a Marmalade Hoverfly.
Marmalade Hoverfly

Friday, 21 June 2013

Fairlawn and beyond

The usual collection of insects along Fairlawn Road this morning including a Harlequin Ladybird, a few Marmalade Hoverflies, a Speckled Wood butterfly and a Green Shieldbug. Quiet bird-wise apart from 3 Blackbirds and a Jay mobbing a rather cute tabby cat. At the top of St Andrews Road there was some Creeping Cinquefoil in flower and a Jackdaw flew over. Some Poppies in Fairfield Road.
Creeping Cinquefoil


In the flat there was a Pug moth species - very melanistic so hard to ID.
Pug moth

Thursday, 20 June 2013

St Andrews Park

Looks like the rotting wood habitat in the shaded area is playing host to a nest of Tree Bumble Bees Bombus hypnorum. I noticed lots of coming and going this morning, with bees seemingly entering through a hole on the underside of one of the logs. I was unable to take any good photos as they move so fast.
Tree Bumble Bees

Also a Small China-mark moth in the meadow and some White Campion in flower..
Small China-mark

White Campion

Birds in the park included a couple of singing Chaffinches, 3 Greenfinches and lots of Blackbirds.

Yesterday I had a Myathropa florea hoverfly in the bathroom and a Jumping Spider (probably a Salticus spexies) on the windowsill.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


This morning on Narroways:: A Common Whitethroat singing near the gasometer site, 3 Chiffchaffs singing and a Blackcap. A family group of Long-tailed Tits at the cutting. A Robin carrying nesting material by the climbing centre and a Coal Tit also there.

Insects included: 4 7-Spot Ladybirds, 4 Burnet Companion (cutting and Church Field), 1 Myathropa florea hoverfly, 1 Honey Bee (stony path) lots of Buff-tailed Bumblebees and a a couple of Common Carder Bees. 3 Leptura Long Horn Beetles at Lynmouth Road. Lots of Thick-kneed flower Beetles Oedemera nobilis on the cutting.
7-Spot Ladybird
Burnet Companion
Long-horn Beetle
Nearby at Fairlawn Road there was a Harlequin Ladybird, several Marmalade Hoverflies and an Early Bumblebee.
Moths in the flat last night included a Flame Shoulder, 2 Heart and Dart, a couple of Rush Veneer, a Silver Y and a Common Marbled Carpet
Common Marbled Carpet
Rush Veneer

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Fairlawn Road produced some good bugs today. There was my first 7-Spot Ladybird along with a couple of Harlequins, a Dark Bush Cricket, a Nursery-web Spider, a Green Shieldbug and a Sawfly sp. Some good hoverflies too, with a smart-looking Xanthogramma, a Xylota segnis, a Helophilus pendulus and a couple of Myathropa florea. An attractive Crane-fly in the Nephrotoma family was a good find and, best of all, a Wasp Beetle basking on a leaf. A Speckled Wood butterfly was also present.
Wasp Beetle
Xylota segnis

At the station there was a teneral Azure Damselfly and a Rose Chafer. A Jackdaw flew over and a Blackcap sang.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Harlequins and Holly Blues

My first Harlequin Ladybird of the summer was basking on a leaf at Fairlawn Road this morning and a Holly Blue Butterfly was flying around nearby. Also a Large Red Damselfly and a Dark Bush-cricket nymph.
Harlequin Ladybird
Large Red Damselfly

The green roof at the bottom of St Andrews Road is looking good with some luxuriant growth of Cut-leaved Cranesbill particularly impressive.
Cut-leaved Cranesbill

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Out and about

This morning the Fairlawn Road verge produced my first ever Syritta pipiens hoverfly. I've probably overlooked them before as they are a common species but I'm still pleased I finally nailed one. Also along the verge was a Speckled Wood butterfly, a Dock Leaf Bug and a Tree Bee Bombus hypnorum. Wood Avens was in flower in several places and a Blackcap was singing.
Syritta pipiens
Tree Bee
Wood Avens
 At the station there was a Thick-thighed Flower Beetle Oedemera nobilis, a Small White and a few Large White butterflies. Ox-eye Daisies were just coming into flower. A few House Sparrows feeding in the allotment gardens nearby.
Ox-eye Daisies
Oedemera nobilis

House Sparrow
I was very pleased to see 3 juvenile Starlings in St Andrews Road, so there was at least some breeding success. My Blue Tit family are still doing well with parents still visiting the nest and the young calling from inside. Regular visits from a pair of Blackbirds in the garden in the last few days.