Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Deceased Cinnabar

A very dead Cinnabar moth was on the station this morning - I hope it isn't the one that started life as the caterpillar I rescued a few weeks ago as it would mean it was very accident-prone. Nearby there was an Eristalis hoverfly.

Three Starlings over Richmond Road this evening.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Fairlawn Road

A few good insects around this morning but very little success in photographing them. A brief glimpse of a Volucella pellucens - an uncommon hoverfly for Montpelier - was a bit frustrating as were a couple of dragonflies which I will stick my neck out and guess as Migrant Hawkers - they didn't settle. A Ringlet did pose for the camera though. A Green Shieldbug was also seen. Birds included a calling Jay and singing Coal Tit and Greenfinch.

Yesterday there was a Volucella zonaria hoverfly basking on a wall in City Road at 8.30am!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Murder in Montpelier!

At the station this morning I watched a Spider-hunting Wasp (Pompilidae) killing a Crab Spider Misumena vatia then spending several minutes biting at the spider's spinneret. It has been suggested to me that the wasp is severing the silk that anchors the spider to the leaf and this sounds very plausible. Also at the station were several Harvestmen again.  Seven or eight Swifts were seen and a Coal Tit was singing nearby.

Spider-hunting Wasp and breakfast


Saturday, 19 July 2014

House Martins

I was delighted to see and hear about three House Martins hunting over St Andrews Park this afternoon. This is an ever-decreasing species especially in this part of urban Bristol so it was a real joy to see them. Also noted: a few Swifts, a singing Wren, several Goldfinches and a juvenile Blackbird (heard).

Bugs in the park included a Meadow Brown butterfly, a Plant Bug (probably a Stenodema species), a rather bedraggled Common Carder Bee and several Pyralid moths (possibly Grass Veneer). Great Willowherb was putting on a show around the pond. 
Bee-draggled bee

Great Willowherb

Pyralid moth

Plant Bug

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Blue before breakfast

At the station this morning around 8.40 there was a Small Copper and a Common Blue on the disused platform. Neither butterfly are particularly common in Montpelier and I'm not even sure I've ever recorded a Small Copper away from Narroways, so this was a great way to start the day.
Cinnabar Moth caterpillar

Small Copper

Drone Fly

A single Cinnabar Moth caterpillar was looking a little lost as it tried to climb the wall on the passenger side of the station - I rescued it and put it in the long grass. A Drone Fly Eristalis pertinax was basking on a leaf nearby.

On the way home from work I noted several flying ants around. There were scores of gulls flying high over Brigstocke Road taking advantage of this seasonal bounty. Finally, in Richmond Road, there was a Common Darter patrolling the street, flying well above head height. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

St Pauls Park

Insects in the park this morning included a Nephrotoma crane fly and a Tree Bumblebee. A small fly on a Catsear flower looked interesting but as yet remains unidentified. Dove's-foot Cranesbill was in flower in the church grounds.
Dove's-foot Cranesbill

Mystery fly


Saturday, 12 July 2014

A new bug for Montpelier!

It was all very quiet along Fairlawn Road apart from a Ringlet, a Tree Bumblebee and a few other odds and ends. Then I saw a tiny true bug on a leaf which I later identified as Liocoris tripustulatus, and a very attractive animal it was too. My first ever!
Liocoris tripustulatus

Friday, 11 July 2014


A couple of Ravens were on the TV mast this morning and several distant Swifts were also seen.

Yesterday it was quiet along Fairlawn Road apart from a Speckled Wood, a Garden Spider and an interesting Cerceris wasp which was very flighty and I could only get one very poor photo.
Cerceris wasp

Monday, 7 July 2014

Montpelier Park

A stroll round the children's play area this morning produced a Small Tortoiseshell, a Marmalade Hoverfly, some Creeping Cinquefoil, a couple of plants of Selfheal and a small wasp or Ichneumon species. A Woodpigeon was feeding nearby. The wall near one of the entrances had a couple of webs of probable Amaurobius spiders but I couldn't coax the occupant out. They say you can do this by touching the web to mimic a small invertebrate struggling in it.
Wasp or ichneumon

Creeping Cinquefoil

Marmalade Hoverfly

Probable Amaurobius web


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Fairlawn Road

A Leaf-cutter Bee, a Comma, 5 Ringlets, an Xanthogramma and a Helophilus hoverfly and a singing Blackcap were the highlights at Fairlawn Road this morning. At the station there were several Starlings and a few Harvestmen. At St Andrews Road lots of Lady's Bedstraw in flower on someone's lawn - always grows here and very unusual.
Lady's Bedstraw


Leaf-cutter Bee