Thursday, 31 December 2015

Mistle Thrush

A rare visitor to the station this morning was a Mistle Thrush. After briefly sitting in a tree it flew off towards the Cheltenham Road Arches. I wonder if it was one of the St Andrews Park birds? I heard one at Narroways last week too, which isn't far away. Also in the park were 2 Long-tailed Tits, the female Blackcap and lots of House Sparrows and Chaffinches on the feeders.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Foxes and Peregrines

This morning a Peregrine drifted over the station, and last night at about 10pm a Fox was barking outside the window and leapt up onto the wall just below before disppearing.

Monday, 28 December 2015

St Andrews Park

Fantastic views  of a Goldcrest in the park near the toilets this morning feeding on bare branches and another one singing near the pond. Also a Pied Wagtail, plenty of Blackbirds, lots of Robins, 4 Chaffinches, some Goldfinches, a Starling and a Long-tailed Tit and a Blue Tit.

There was lots of Trametes versicolor fungus on the logs and Strawberry flowers in bloom by the bowling green.
Trametes versicolor


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Blackcap and Celandine

A female Blackcap was on the feeders at the station this morning, along with loads of House Sparrows and a couple of Blue and Great Tits plus a few  Chaffinches. Several Long-tailed Tits nearby.
Spot the Blackcap
A single flowering Lesser Celandine in Montpelier Park this afternoon. Normally I would be amazed to see it out so early but lots of people have seen them in various places with such mild conditions prevailing.
Lesser Celandine

Saturday, 26 December 2015


This morning 10.30 to 12.30: 3 Jays (1 at Lynmouth Road, 2 Simons Grove), 1 Peregrine over cutting, 1 Mistle Thrush singing (stony path), 1 Starling over hill, 1 Goldcrest, a Chaffinch, 6 Long-tailed Tits (1 carrying feather - nesting?), 2 Coal Tits, plus Blue and Great Tits all along stony path. Small fungi growing on cutting.

Long-tailed Tit


A Jackdaw flew over Fairlawn Road and a Woodpigeon nearby. Yesterday a Bumble Bee species was buzzing around the front garden.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


A Fox calling from my neighbour's garden this evening. I looked out the window and it was stood among the shrubs then walked over a lawn then along a wall before disappearing into St Andrews Road.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


A Coal Tit in Montpelier Park and Blue, Long-tailed and Great Tits showing well at the station this morning. When a train pulled in, a mixed flock of about 30 Woodpigeons and Collared Doves exploded from the trees near the feeders. Impressive!
Coal Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Montpelier Station

This morning a Sparrowhawk flew over the station. Also some Long-tailed Tits at the station along with a few Chaffinches. A Syrphus hoverfly was basking in the sunshine and there was also a Common Shiny Woodlouse sitting on the wall - it looks a lot different than the 'normal' woodlice I see.

A Wren showed well along Station Road as it fed among the hawthorns near the Old Vicarage.

Common Shiny Woodlouse

Friday, 18 December 2015

Fairlawn Road

Some unseasonal flowers today: Green Alkanet and Herb Robert, both more to be expected in spring! White Deadnettle also showing well on the verges, although this plant tends to flower throughout the year, A mystery fungus was growing on wood waste - haven't been able to ID it.


Green Alkanet

Herb Robert

White Deadnettle

Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit were the birds of note.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

More Ravens

Presumably the same two Ravens as the ones seen the other day flew over the station this morning.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Pale Mottled Willow

This Pale Mottled Willow was flying around the kitchen this evening. It's one of several moths that can be seen at this time of year especially in these remarkably mild conditions.
Pale Mottled Willow

Monday, 14 December 2015

It's amazen what Ravens can do....

I was walking up Richmond Road on my way to the Gloucester Road shops this morning when a pair of Ravens flew over in the direction of the arches. I suspected they might be heading for the TV mast along Station Road so half an hour later when I returned from the shops I checked out the mast. Sure enough they were both there, but flew off before I could get my camera out.

Pied Wagtail, Starlings and Goldfinches in St Andrews Park.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

St Andrews Park

The mild and overcast conditions meant that our Christmas walk wasn't very Christmassy, but there were plenty of birds. The full list is as follows:

Robin - a few seen and heard
Blackbird - 4 or 5 seen
Wren - 1 or 2 in song and 2 seen in a front garden across the road
Redwing - 2 or 3 seen
Starling - a group of up to 10 seen in the 'starling tree'.
Feral Pigeon - a flock of 12 in the children's play area.
Woodpigeon - 5 or 6 around the park
Goldfinch - lots around, many feeding in the plane trees
Greenfinch - a couple seen
Chaffinch - a few around, both males and females
Blue Tit - several seen
Great Tit - 1 heard
Coal Tit - 1 seen by Jon
Long-tailed Tit - a couple of groups of feeding birds seen
Goldcrest - 2 seen
House Sparrow - 2 or 3 in the play area
Carrion Crow - a few around
Magpie - a couple seen
Herring Gull - 2 in the play area

Feral Pigeons

Herring Gull


Some Snowdrops were coming into flower in the park.

In Montpelier Station there were a few Starlings, Chaffinches and House Sparrows around, plus a tiny micro-moth and a leaf-mine, neither of which I've been able to ID as yet.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


A Raven heard cronking this morning from the station. Also at the station were half a dozen Chaffinches and similar numbers of House Sparrows on the feeders. A Wren, a Dunnock and a Great Tit also of note.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Singing Blackcap

I was amazed to hear a singing Blackcap in St Andrews Park this morning. Spring must be just around the corner! Just goes to show what a bit of mild weather can do to the avian brain. Also in the park was a Greenfinch, half a dozen Goldfinches, 4 or 5 Chaffinches, 15 Starlings, a Pied Wagtail, a party of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, 2 Carrion Crows, a couple of Herring Gulls  plus the usual Dunnocks and Robins.
Carrion Crow


Herring Gull

Friday, 4 December 2015

St Andrews Park

This morning in the park there was a Jay, a few Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits, a Blackbird, several Goldfinches, 10 Starlings and half a dozen Herring Gulls including this juvenile.
Juvenile Herring Gull

Elsewhere, there was a Coal Tit calling at the top of St Andrews Road this morning and a couple of Pied Wagtails and a Blackbird in Portland Square, St Pauls at lunchtime.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015


A large female type Sparrowhawk drifted over the station this morning. Also a couple of Chaffinches, a Great Tit and a Grey Squirrel at the station.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Station Road

At the top of Station Road this morning there was a flurry of activity from a mixed flock of tits feeding in the trees including about 10 Long-tailed, a few Great Tits, a Blue Tit and at least 1 Coal Tit. A ginger tom pretended he wasn't interested.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

St Andrews Park

A brief visit on the way to the shops, and the blustery conditions were not conducive to birdwatching!  Despite that, there was a single Redwing, a couple of Carrion Crows, a Blackbird, several Goldfinches and a couple of Woodpigeons.

Harry saw 4 Coal Tits together in garden in Windsor Rd St Andrews at 1300 yesterday.

Friday, 27 November 2015


This morning, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen again, this time in Simons Grove - flew into a tree briefly. Also several Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits in the same area. Greenfinches over the cutting and along stony path, lots of Goldfinches and a few Chaffinches in the latter location. Ridiculously tame Robin near Boiling Wells. Winter Heliotrope coming into flower along the Ashley Vale path.
Winter Heliotrope


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Montpelier Station

Birds of note this morning at the station were a Long-tailed Tit, a Coal Tit, a Goldcrest and a fly-over Jackdaw.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

St Andrews Park

The first Redwings of the winter were seen in the park this morning - I reckon about half a dozen. Also a female Blackcap, 15 Goldfinches, a few Chaffinches, a Greenfinch, an influx of Blackbirds, a Jay, 10 plus Starlings and a few Blue and Great Tits.


Non-bird inhabitants included a Grey Squirrel and a late Honey Bee. I was able to watch the release of a trapped House Mouse into the wild courtesy of Jo Corke!
Honey Bee

House Mouse

Grey Squirrel

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Another Great Spotted Woodpecker!

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was at the station this morning before flying towards Cromwell Road and away. It might just be the same bird I saw in Narroways yesterday and Montpelier a few days ago, but I don't know why they always seem to turn up at this time of year on the patch. Also a few Chaffinches around.

The sunshine was strong enough to bring out some more wasps and a Plume Moth, despite the chilly wind.
Plume Moth

Common Wasp

Friday, 20 November 2015


This morning on the reserve: Great Spotted Woodpecker - one calling near the brook and the same or another seen at the community garden, 3 Linnets flying south near brook, 1 Jay at church field, Along stony path there were a couple of trees with c15 Long-tailed Tits, a couple of Great and Blue Tits, a Coal Tit and a Goldcrest plus a party of Goldfinches feeding on Beech Mast. 5 Chaffinches nearby, Grey Wagtail over cutting. c30 Woodpigeons over Ashley Hill end of stony path. Magpies, Wrens and Blackbirds in good numbers with one of the latter sub-singing.

Several toadstools I am told might be Volvariella sp. on church field. A Scathophaga sp. fly (alive) on the church field plus a dead fly attacked by a fungus, probably Entomophthora muscae. Common Wasp along the stony path near some ivy flowers.
Volvariella sp.

Fly infested with fungus

Long-tailed Tit




In Fairlawn Road there were a few Great and Blue Tits and I noted Holly in flower.
Great Tit

Holly Flowers

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Grey Wagtail

A Grey Wagtail was flying around the rooftops in Picton Street this afternoon.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Montpelier Station

The sun actually came out while I waited for my train to work and there were several Common Wasps around the ivy flowers. The bird feeders attracted a couple of Chaffinches (including a very handsome male), a Robin, some House Sparrows and a Blue Tit. A Dunnock was heard nearby.
Common Wasps

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Another Sparrowhawk

A Sparrowhawk drifted over the allotment gardens near the station this morning. Nearby, a probable Redwing flew over the station and a few Chaffinches were flying around.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Montpelier Park

Almost birdless apart from a Great Tit, a Wren and a Chaffinch this morning. Sunshine enticed some flies to appear however.

A couple of flies

Sunday, 15 November 2015

St Andrews Park bird walk

Well, we turned up but the birds didn't! We finished with one of the lowest bird counts ever, but luckily we had both fungi and invertebrate experts among our number so there was something else to look at. The complete list, for what it's worth:
Woodpigeon - very hard to find until the end of the walk when a few were seen
Feral Pigeon - several seen
Magpie - one or two
Crow - a couple
Jay - one near the pond
Wren - one heard near the children's play area
Blue Tit - one near the pond
Great Tit - one near the toilets
Goldfinch - three or four fly-over birds
Herring Gull - a couple drifting overhead
Pied Wagtail - heard several times
Starling - just one!
Blackbird - not sure it counts as it was heard half an hour after the walk finished!

The fungi included Exidia nucleata, Bjerkandera adusta and Exidia glandulosa.
Bjerkandera adusta

There were also several tiny Millipedes.

Another Coal Tit and a Great Tit in the garden today.