Tuesday, 31 March 2015

At last! a Chiffchaff!

A Chiffchaff was singing outside my window this morning, my first one for Montpelier this spring. Later, another or the same bird was singing at Montpelier Station along with a Great Tit and a singing Blackcap. Also at the station, up to a dozen Harlequin Ladybirds were on the  prowl.
Harlequin Ladybirds

Friday, 27 March 2015

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Coal Tit and Blackcap

Not much to write home about this morning - in Montpelier Park there was a Coal Tit giving good views, while at the station there were up to 2 Blackcaps in song, a pair of Great Tits plus an unusually conspicuous Wren.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Montpelier Station

A male Blackcap was feeding in brambles on the disused platform this afternoon. Also a Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinches and a couple of Starlings. A Harlequin Ladybird was basking on an ivy leaf near the footbridge.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Farewell to Fairlawn

Sadly, the brambles and grass have been stripped from the verge in Fairlawn Road where most of my invertebrate sightings were made, so that's another wildlife area in Montpelier trashed. Nearby, at the top of St Andrews Road, lots of Euphorbia was growing which I'm sure must be Wood Spurge var robbiae, a garden escape. This has always grown here but I've never before attempted to ID it. Also alongside it was a nice patch of Alexanders and some Lesser Celandine. An Eristalis hoverfly was on the Alexanders. A couple of Long-tailed Tits were feeding in the trees above this floral display.

Eristalis hoverfly


Lesser Celandine


Friday, 20 March 2015

St Andrews Park eclipse!

I decided to view the eclipse at St Andrews Park this morning, and there were lots of people with the same idea. One very nice chap offered me the chance to look through his eclipse glasses - it was an amazing sight. Light levels dropped, the park was bathed in a metallic twilight but the birds didn't stop singing and the flock of Redwings carried on feeding unconcerned.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

St Andrews Park

Although the chilly, overcast weather suggested winter was unwilling to relinquish its grip, there were thankfully a few signs of spring. The full list is as follows:

Redwing - about 40 counted. A remarkable count for a small urban park.
Starling - at least 20 seen, often associating with the thrushes
Mistle Thrush - we wondered if there might be 2 pairs in the park and that one individual might have been prospecting for a nest site
Goldcrest - 1 individual seen well as it fed in a pine tree near the war memorial
Goldfinch - several birds seen and heard, some possibly pairing up
Chaffinch - 1 or 2 seen
Greenfinch - a bit thin on the ground today - just 2 or 3 seen
Robin - plenty seen and/or heard
Blackbird - a few seen but no song heard
Magpie -  several, including nest-building individuals
Blue Tit - 1 or 2
Great Tit - a few seen and heard
Coal Tit - a couple of birds seen
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 or 2
Herring Gull - 1 feeding near the children's play area
Chiffchaff - one heard calling and seen briefly in trees at the pond. Could have been a new arrival or an overwintering bird
Blackcap - 2 individuals heard singing. Almost certainly overwintering birds 'tuning up'
Feral Pigeon - the usual gang, mainly near the café
Woodpigeon - several around
Collared Dove - one heard singing near the toilets
House Sparrow - several seen. This species seems to be having a bit of a revival I'm glad to say
Long-tailed Tit - brief views of 1 or 2 birds near the bowling green
Carrion Crow - several birds, including evidence of nest-building
Dunnock - a couple seen by Lois
Pied Wagtail - flight call heard and 1 had been seen earlier by Lois

Mistle Thrush
Other signs of spring included Willow catkins, Kingcups and toadspawn.


Willow catkins

Sunday, 8 March 2015


A Blackbird was nest-building in a neighbour's garden this morning and a Blackcap was singing nearby. Also in and around the garden was a Wren and a Dunnock.

Male Blackbird


Female Blackbird with nesting material

 A few Long-tailed Tits were feeding in trees alongside Hurlingham Road and a Pied Wagtail flew over Fairlawn Road.

St Andrews Park produced a male Blackcap, half a dozen Redwings, a Mistle Thrush and several Starlings. There was frogspawn on the pond and Crocuses in flower nearby.
Mistle Thrush

Male Blackcap



Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Montpelier Park

A Pied Wagtail, a Blackbird, 2 Carrion Crows, a Great Tit and a Chaffinch were in the park this morning. A few Lesser Celandines were in flower but the flowers were closed as it was early morning - I will photograph them tomorrow when they are open.
Pied Wagtail

At the station there was a Long-tailed Tit and 7 Starlings of note.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

More Blackcaps

Both a male and a female Blackcap were on or near the feeders at the station this morning.