This morning I watched a Blue Tit seemingly investigating a hole in the brickwork of one of the industrial units. I wondered if it had done any of the excavating itself but this is unlikely! It might also have been finding invertebrates in the hole. Also a Robin and 3 Blackbirds in the park and 4 Starlings nearby.
I did my RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this morning in Montpelier Park - the first time I've done it there. Results were Magpie (5), Blue Tit (1) Great Tit (2) Coal Tit (1), Chaffinch (8), Robin (2), Collared Dove (2) Woodpigeon (2) Carrion Crow (1), Blackbird (1) Goldfinch (2) Dunnock (1) Lesser Black-backed Gull (1) and Feral Pigeon (3) - the last two species I couldn't count as they were fly-overs.
At Fairlawn/Hurlingham Road there was a single Redwing, 4 Chaffinches, a couple of Long-tailed Tits and a fly-over Pied Wagtail. Not a lot in St Andrews Park other than 8 Starlings and a Jay plus 2 Grey Squirrels and several Snowdrops in flower.
The normally bird-free park today hosted lots of common stuff including a Redwing, a Jay, a few Long-tailed Tits, a Coal Tit, a party of Blue and Great Tits, a Blackbird, 2 Robins, a Woodpigeon, a Magpie, 3 Chaffinches and a fly-over Goldfinch.
Several sightings of Raven this morning - probably the same individual each time. Flew over the garden at 9am then later seen on the TV mast being mercilessly mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows, then seen flying over the top of St Andrews Road.
Raven being hassled
At the station the feeders were full of Greenfinches and Chaffinches. A few Goldfinches, 4 Starlings and about 15 House Sparrows also at the station together with Blue and Great Tits and a single Long-tailed Tit. Seven Starlings and a few Goldfinches at St Andrews Park.
A good selection of birds in the park this morning - a Mistle Thrush, a Redwing, a Jay, a pair of Blue Tits, a pair of Great Tits, a few Starlings, several House Sparrows, a few Blackbirds, a Collared Dove and a sprinkling of Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Greenfinches.
At Montpelier Station there was a female Blackcap, several Goldfinches and a few Chaffinches on the feeders and 2 Ravens on the TV mast.
Several Muscid flies around the patch today. Update: I've been corrected - the flies are Blow flies (Calliphora species).
A Song Thrush was singing in St Pauls this morning in the Bishop Street area and heard clearly from the park. I think this is the first Song Thrush I've recorded on the patch for well over a year - magic. Also in the park on a sunny and spring-like morning - a single Redwing, a Dunnock, a Wren, a couple of Robins, two Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Collared Doves, 3 Blackbirds and a few Woodpigeons. A few Muscid type flies were basking in the sunshine on leaves but I couldn't get any shots of them. Winter Heliotrope was in flower making a fine display.
photos of the Siberian Chiffchaff from Jim, taken today. I went
to have a look at it this afternoon and it performed very well. Also at
Boiling Wells : 6 Redwings, a Grey Wagtail, a Dunnock and a Robin. 100
gulls flew west - very impressive. Also 1 Coal Tit and a couple of
Long-tailed Tits at stony path and a Jay and a Long-tailed Tit at the
Siberian Chiffchaff (photo by Jim)
At the top of St Andrews Road there was a single Redwing and 3 Cormorants flew over. A Jay was seen in nearby Fairlawn Road along with half a dozen Greenfinches. I'm afraid St Andrews Park produced nothing of interest other than a Grey Squirrel!
Wild Monty correspondent Jim had a good day today - he saw 2 Jays, 2 Redwing, 6 Goldfinch, 6 Greenfinch, 1 Dunnock, 4
Blackbirds, 1 nesting Robin (nice and early breeding record - lets hope it stays fine for them!) 1 Chaffinch, numerous Blue and Great tits
and a Collared Dove in his garden in a frantic half hour this morning.
Jay (photo by Jim)
Also a couple of Chiffchaff in Boiling Wells Lane and a Sparrowhawk over Narroways. Looking at Jim's brilliant photo of the Chiffchaff, it looks very much like a 'tristis' ('Siberian' Chiffchaff) which occasionally turn up in the UK. They are characterised by a much greyer appearance with very little green or yuellow tones on the mantle, breast and flanks. This specimen looks good in that respect - the only yellow tones appear to be confined to the wings. Thanks to Jim for the photos.