Friday, 31 July 2015

Bugs in the flat

Yesterday there was a Myathropa florea hoverfly in the kitchen and an as yet unidentified micro-moth in the bedroom.
Myathropa florea


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Montpelier Station

There were a whopping 18 Harvestmen along the wall at the station this morning - possibly more I might have missed! They included smaller (presumably immature) individuals as well as normal-sized ones. Also a Jay flew into the tress near the tunnel.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Common Plume

A Common Plume moth was in the flat last night. Although there are about 45 species of plume moths in the UK, this one is the most likely to be seen in gardens, I think.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Montpelier Station

This morning there was a squadron of half a dozen Swifts flying over and a Jay called from the trees on the disused platform. The only insects around were a Marmalade Hoverfly and the bug Issus coleoptratus. The bug is my first record for the patch but it's frankly an ugly little thing and I can't really get excited about it.
Issus coleoptratus

Monday, 20 July 2015


Moths caught last night included Marbled Beauty, a Codling Moth, a couple of Heart and Dart, an Uncertain/Rustic, a Garden Carpet, a Bright-line Brown-eye, a Buff Ermine, a Silver Y and a micro which might be some kind of Crambid. An unexpected guest in the trap was a tiny fly which looked like some kind of stiletto-fly.
Buff Ermine

Silver Y


Lots of hungry birds in the garden, no doubt some still feeding young, including Dunnock, Blackbird and House Sparrow.
Blackbird and mealworms

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Now before I visited Narroways this morning I nearly posted on the FB page that I wanted to find the hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum on the reserve. I'd seen my first ever only on Friday in North Somerset, but the BRERC map shows this species to only be recorded away from urban sites - the nearest sightings are in Kingswood and Filton. Imagine my delight when I found one of these handsome animals on the hill!
Chrysotoxum festivum

Also on the hoverfly front several Myathropa florea - lots near the brook, perched on the wooden bridge. As they have aquatic larvae I'm assuming they breed in the brook. Xylota segnis in scrub near the Ashley Hill end of the stony path.

Butterflies: 1 Common Blue, c30 Meadow Brown, 1 Marbled White, 10 Gatekeeper, 1 Red Admiral (stony path), 1 Speckled Wood (same place), 5 Small/Essex Skipper. Couldn't find any definite Ringlets, oddly enough.

Speckled Wood

The only birds of note were Goldcrest at the brook (found by Guy Watson who I bumped into) a couple of Swifts, Goldfinches and Greenfinches over the cutting.

Lots of Thick-thighed Flower-beetles and Soldier Beetles.

Bees were mainly Red-tailed Bumblebees with several Buff-tailed/White-tailed Bumblebees. 2 Leaf-cutter Bees and an Andrena sp. mining bee I couldn't get a photo of.

A Common Darter dragonfly buzzing round the scrubby area at stony path/cutting. A couple of Long-horned Moths on cutting.

Two Tachinid flies - Eriothrix rufomaculata and another, Phania funesta.

Eriothrix rufomaculata

Phania funesta.

A tiny Mirid bug on a bindweed flower might well be Plagiognathus arbustorum - very common apparently.

Mirid bug
Back in Montpelier, a Harlequin Ladybird and some Vervain in flower at Fairlawn Road. An Opium Poppy growing out of the pavement in Richmond Road.


Opium Poppy
St Andrews Park was not particularly productive, just another Eriothrix rufomaculata of note.

In the flat this morning was a Lesser Yellow Underwing moth.

Lesser Yellow Underwing
Yesterday I found some just-hatched moth larvae on the bedroom wall!
Moth larvae in the bedroom

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dark Sword-grass

I was thrilled to see my first ever Dark Sword-grass moth in the flat last night after I put my trap up by the window - this is a migrant species and although not particularly rare, was a real treat. Also an Uncertain/Rustic, 2 Marbled Greens, a Flame, a couple of Bright-line Brown-eyes, a Garden Carpet and a Swallow-tailed Moth. A Green Lacewing also paid a visit.
Dark Sword-grass

Garden Carpet

Green Lacewing

Marbled Green

Swallow-tailed Moth

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Narroways Moth night!

Harry kindly allowed me to trap on his allotment last night, and this morning's haul included the following species:
Brown-line Bright-eye
Scalloped Oak

Small Magpie
White Plume
Plume sp.
Heart and Dart
Riband Wave
Lime-speck Pug
Common Wainscot
Large Yellow Underwing
Dark Arches
Mottled Beauty
Garden Carpet
A Crambidae
species (micro moth)

Lime-speck Pug

Mottled Beauty

Not bad at all! Nearby was a Speckled Bush-cricket, a Jay, a Skipper species and a family of Robins.

There were several Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on Ragwort plants along Fairlawn Road. In the flat this evening there was a Common Footman moth which must have been  attracted to my trap a couple of days ago but which escaped my notice. This is a new record for the patch/my flat!
Cinnabar Moth larva

Common Footman

Friday, 10 July 2015


Today on the reserve: 1 female Great Spotted Woodpecker sat briefly on a tree trunk. 1 female Sparrowhawk (low over cutting), a Chiffchaff singing over iron bridge, several parties of Long-tailed tits around, mainly Simons Grove.

Butterflies: 2 Gatekeepers, 30+ Meadow Browns, 10 Marbled Whites, 20 Ringlet, 1 Common Blue, 15 Small/Essex Skipper, 2 Speckled Wood.

1 Xylota segnis hoverfly. Lots of Red-tailed Bumblebees, lots of Buff-tailed/White-tailed Bumblebees, lots of Honey Bees, 3 Leaf-cutter Bees.
Xylota segnis

Tons of Soldier Beetles, 1 Lots of Thick-thighed Flower-beetles.
1 or 2 Narrow-bordered 5-Spot Burnet moths and a couple of Long-horned Moths.
1 Crab Spider Misumena vatia.
Long-horned moth

Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet moth

I saw a beetle run across a path and an expert on Facebook thinks it might be Silpha laevigata. This would be the first record for Avon if accepted! Very exciting!
Silpha laevigata

On my way to Narroways, a Raven flew over Fairlawn Road.

Last night I set up my moth trap near the window and had loads of stuff in there this morning including several Bright-line Brown-eyes, a few Riband Wave, 5 Uncertain/Rustic, lots of Dark Arches, a Flame, 3 Heart and Dart, a Double-striped Pug, a Willow Beauty, a mystery Pug species and a Small Magpie. A couple of micros also, one of which was rather attractive and might be an Acrobasis species.
Bright-line Brown-eye

Small Magpie

Thursday, 9 July 2015

St Pauls Cemetery

A quick wander this afternoon produced lots of Honey Bees and a Leaf-cutter Bee. Birds included a singing Wren, nesting gulls and some House Sparrows.
Leaf-cutter Bee

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


A Blackbird in the garden has been seen carrying food and disappearing into a hedge. I estimate this could be a third brood.

Friday, 3 July 2015


At least one Pipistrelle bat near Lynmouth Road last night along with 2 Foxes on the allotment.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

St Andrews Park

Last night I took my moth trap to the pond area to see what I could catch. There were several micro-moths but the only macro was a Heart and Dart in the hour I was trapping. A Caddisfly, possibly Mystacides longicornis  was also caught. Given longer, the park could produce some interesting stuff so I will experiment further. Several Common Frogs and Common Toads were seen and also 3 or 4 bats, but as I didn't have my bat detector on me I couldn't hazard an identification although they looked like Pipistrelles at one stage it looked like two of them were having a bit of a dog-fight! Meanwhile, the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter was impressive.
Heart and Dart

Mystacides longicornis 

Common Toad

Moth trap in action

Venus and Jupiter

At the station this morning was a Meadow Brown and a Large Skipper. Evening-primroses were in flower.