Friday, 27 June 2014

Montpelier Station

Lots of common bird action at the station this morning with about a dozen Starlings, 2 Jays, lots of House Sparrows and a few distant Swifts high in the direction of Cheltenham Road.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Montpelier Station

Among the usual stuff at the station this morning was a Harvestman and a probable Sawfly larva.
Probable Sawfly larva


Monday, 23 June 2014


I went back to Fairlawn Road to try and photograph the Ringlets today but couldn't find any. I saw a Leaf-cutter Bee and tried to shoot it but it wouldn't keep still. Then I tried to photograph what looked like a Chrysotoxum bicinctum hoverfly (which would be a 'first' for the patch) but it just wouldn't play ball. I did see a Small Tortoiseshell, a Small White and a Speckled Wood though. Also a Sphaerophoria hoverfly. Some Hedge Woundwort was in flower nearby.

Last night had 6 Scarlet Tigers, a Large Yellow Underwing and lots of Rush Veneer moths in the flat.

There were several Azure Damselflies and a single Large Red Damselfly at St Andrews Park pond this afternoon. Needless to say, they all flew off when I got my camera out.
Sphaerophoria hoverfly

Scarlet Tiger moth

Small Tortoiseshell

Hedge Woundwort

Sunday, 22 June 2014


About 4 Ringlets along Fairlawn Road this morning but very flighty and they allowed no photos I'm afraid. These are the first I've seen this summer. Nearby a Merodon equestris hoverfly and a Cheilosia illustrata hoverfly - both are bee mimics and the latter is the first I've seen anywhere on the patch. Other stuff included several Thick-thighed Flower-beetles and a Dark Bush-cricket. A Coal Tit was singing in Montpelier Park this morning.
Cheilosia illustrata

Merodon equestris

Friday, 20 June 2014

Montpelier Station

There was a Large Yellow Underwing moth wandering around on the wall at the station this morning, also a Harlequin Ladybird. A Blackcap sang briefly.

Large Yellow Underwing


Enchanters Nightshade is in flower in the garden and at the station.
Enchanter's Nightshade

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Robins have fledged!

Jim's Robins fledged this morning and he caught the last two in the act of leaving the nest! Thanks to Jim for sharing these photos over the last couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


A couple of Riband Wave and a Marbled Minor aggregate in the flat last night.
Marbled Minor

Riband Wave

Monday, 16 June 2014

Robins update!

Jim has sent me today's photos which show that the young Robins are getting really big and it's a bit of a tight squeeze in the nest - they are constantly moving around. They could fledge any day now.....thanks Jim.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Robins latest and other stuff

Jim has sent me this pic at of his Robins 10 days since hatching. Tremendous growth, and with the fledging period averaging 14 days for this species, it won't be long now. Thanks to Jim once again.

Other bird news: a Jackdaw flew over Richmond Road this morning and a couple of distant Swifts were seen from the station where a Blackcap was singing. Nearby, St Andrews Park produced a singing Mistle Thrush and Coal Tit.

Fairlawn Road had a few good insects including a couple of Marmalade Hoverflies, a Sawfly (possibly an Arge species), a couple of Tree Bumblebees and a Honey Bee. In St Andrews park there was a swarm of micro-moths in the shady area including 1 Pseudargyrotoza conwagana. A Speckled Bush-cricket was in the meadow area and nearby were a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds. Several Azure Damselflies were basking in and around the pond. A couple of plants of Yellow-rattle were flowering in the meadow.
Pseudargyrotoza conwagana


Speckled Bush-cricket

A drowned Myathropa florea hoverfly turned up in my kitchen sink today.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Robins latest!

Jim has filed another bulletin - the Robin chicks are all fine and growing fast. There is another super video here.

Many thanks Jim.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Robin Update!

Jim reports that the three Robin chicks are being regularly fed by the parent(s) and appear to be doing well. Hurrah! Some great pics once again from Jim.

In Montpelier Park this morning I saw a fly which is presumably a Dolichopus species with rather fetching green eyes.
Probable Dolichopus species

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Today on Narroways 11am to 2.30 pm: Chiffchaff (4),  House Sparrow 6, Blackcap 3 and a Jay.

Insects included Marbled White 2, Common Blue 1, Large White 1, Speckled Wood 1, Burnet Companion moth 4+. Bees were represented by Common Carder Bee, Tree Bumblebee, Buff-tailed BumblebeeLarge Red-tailed Bumblebee and Honey Bee.Hovers included Marmalade Hoverfly, Merodon equestris (bumble bee mimic), Myathropa florea (everywhere in huge numbers) and a few Eristalis spp. Thick-thighed Flower Beetles were everywhere, but there was only 1 Rose Chafer.

Odds and ends on the reserve: a Dark Bush Cricket, Yellow Dung-fly, Common Wasp, Mining Bee species and the Long-horn Moth Nemophora degeerella. A fungus (unidentified at present - pale puffball-type), lots of Sawflies and Ichneumons - impossible to ID! Loads of Grass Vetchling in flower - gorgeous.
Burnet Companion


Grass Vetchling

Longhorn moth

Merodon equestris

Mabled White

Back in Montpelier, the Fairlawn/Hurlingham Road area produced a female Blackcap, a flyover Greenfinch, a single Swift and a Red Admiral.
Red Admiral

In St Andrews Park there was a family of juvenile Coal Tits being fed by a parent near the pond, also a Speckled Wood butterfly and a few Azure Damselflies. A lot of croaking at the pond, presumably frogs rather than toads.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

St Pauls Park

A wander round the park this moning produced a Wren, a couple of Robins, some recently-fledged Blue Tits being fed by the parents, a couple of Blackbirds including a juvenile and a few Goldfinches.

Insects included a Speckled Wood butterfly, an Early Bumblebee, a couple of Tree Bumblebees, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee, an Anthomyia fly and a Crab Spider eating a fly.

Crab Spider and fly

Early Bumblebee

Speckled Wood

Tree Bumblebee

Three Robins have hatched!

Three of Jim's Robins have hatched! Great video here:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nesting Blackcaps

At the station this morning I saw a rather agitated male Blackcap carrying a beakful of food, suggesting a nest very near. It was at the Cromwell Road end of the footbridge - I didn't hang about as my presence was obviously disturbing him. I haven't heard many Blackcaps locally on the patch so it's good to know they are quietly getting on with nesting.

Yesterday on the station there were a couple of Tree Bumble Bees and a Common Wasp. There had also been a singing Blackbird at the station which I recognised as the one that sings in the garden. I know this because of the 6-note sequence it uses. Individual Blackbirds have recognisable songs, often employing unique phrases, and I'm sure this was 'my' bird. Geographically the station and the garden are not far apart but it gives an idea of the territory size.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Robin news

Jim tells me the nesting Robins in his garden are still sitting on eggs. Keep watching this space for updates.....
One of Jim's Robins

The only other news is that a Coal Tit was singing in Montpelier Park this morning.