Friday, 28 August 2015


Today on the reserve: a Sparrowhawk over Lynmouth Road allotments and a Buzzard low over Church field mobbed by crows, Chiffchaff calling Simon's Grove and Coal Tit singing. Jays at Simon's Grove/stony path.

Common Blue butterfly 5, Speckled Wood 4.

My first ever Nettle Groundbug at Lynmouth Road, also several Green Shieldbugs and a nice Ichneumon there.
Nettle Groundbug


At least 1 Coelioxys bee on Canadian Goldenrod on the hill, also a Sawfly sp. and Eristalis tenax and a Myathropa florea hoverfly there. Other hoverflies included a Cheilosia sp (cutting) and a Syrphus sp. (Simon's Grove). Lots of Hoary Plantain growing on the cutting.
Cheilosia hoverfly

Coelioxys bee
Hoary Plantain

A Green Shieldbug was walking around outside the front door at lunchtime and in when I got into the flat there was a Tachystola acroxantha moth sat on the wall of the communal hallway. This attractive little micro-moth originally came from Australia in the early years of the twentieth century, arriving in Devon probably among imported plants.
Tachystola acroxantha

Yesterday in the kitchen I saw a tiny spider. It looks like it might possibly be a young Pseudeuophrys lanigera spiderling - one of the jumping spiders, although it didn't jump when I caught it! It is usually associated with walls and roofs of buildings.
Possible Pseudeuophrys lanigera


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Ziggy Returns!

A couple of Missing Sector Spiders Zygiella x-notata on the kitchen window today - that's the first I've seen in the flat for a couple of years. They are rather cute.

Zygiella x-notata

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Butterflies again....

A circuit of Montpelier today produced at least 2 Holly Blue butterflies in the garden, a Common Blue at the station, and both Large and Small White at Fairlawn Road. Other insects included a Green Shieldbug, a small mining bee species, a Drone Fly Eristalis pertinax a Harlequin Ladybird and a Garden Spider. Plants in flower included an Evening Primrose species at the station and Scarlet Pimpernel at Fairlawn Road.
Mining bee

Common Blue

Evening Primrose

Large White

Drone Fly

Scarlet Pimpernel

Green Shieldbug

Small White

Garden Spider

Friday, 21 August 2015


After a month of not seeing any Swifts over Montpelier, a single bird was flying over the station this morning. Quite late by Montpelier standards.

Some moths were caught last night, including two new for the patch. The list is as follows:
Brimstone 1
Flame 2
Lesser Yellow Underwing 1
Plume sp. 1
Uncertain/Rustic 1
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing 4
Willow Beauty 1
Lychnis 1 (new)
Mother of Pearl 1 (new)
Lesser Yellow Underwing

Plume moth

Mother of Pearl

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Montpelier Station

This morning I was gratified to see a flock of at least 50 House Sparrows flying around and feeding in the bushes - they must have had a good year. Also a couple of Jays and a fly-over Sparrowhawk of note.

This evening in the flat there is a Pug moth which I have yet to ID. This group of small, often rather nondescript moths are a devil to identify! UPDATE: the moth is a Small Dusty Wave.

Small Dusty Wave

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


Just a Speckled Wood and a Small White at the station this morning.
Small White

Sunday, 16 August 2015

St Andrews Park

A few good insects near the pond and meadow area today despite overcast conditions. At the pond was a Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata and a Sphaerophoria hoverfly. There was a Green Lacewing larva in the meadow - the first one I've ever seen - and a Syritta pipiens hoverfly. The only butterfly was a Small White.

Green Lacewing larva

Mint Moth

Small White

Sphaerophoria hoverfly

Syritta pipiens

Back home, a couple of Holly Blue butterflies were flying around near the ivy in the garden. There was also a Scalloped Oak moth nearby.
Scalloped Oak

At the station there was an interesting-looking Cranefly species sat on the wall but not much else of note.
Cranefly sp.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Two Sparrowhawks soared over Shaftesbury Avenue this morning.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Montpelier Station

This morning the only bird of note was a Jay which flew into the trees on the disused platform.

The wall near the tunnel produced yet another new True Bug for the patch, and one I've never seen before - it looks very much like Deraeocoris flavilinea. The wall also played host to a lovely Marbled Green moth and the usual motley collection of woodlice, harvestmen and snails. They were joined by a rather lovely Greenbottle fly.
Deraeocoris flavilinea


Marbled Green

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


Today on the reserve: Meadow Brown 5, Common Blue 10+, Gatekeeper 2, Speckled Wood 2, Large White 1, a very worn Shaded Broad-bar moth 1 - all on cutting or church field. Holly Blue along stony path.

1 or 2 Chiffchaffs calling (cutting and stony path), mixed flock of Great, Blue, Long-tailed and 1 Coal Tit (stony path). Bullfinch calling (stony path), Jay called near brook.
Hovers: Myathropa florea, Marmalade Fly, Drone Fly Eristalis tenax. At least 3 species of Ichneumon, several Sawfly species. Still lots of Soldier Beetles.

Several Red-tailed Bumblebees and a small mining bee (prob. Lasioglossum species)
Interesting Tachinid fly I've never come across before - identified as Cistogaster globosa - Not common. According to BRERC map only recorded in one grid square and that is Hengrove Park. Nice. Also an Anthomyia fly.

At Fairlawn Road there was a Green-veined White to add to the day's butterfly list.
Common Blue

Meadow Brown

Shaded Broad-bar

Cistogaster globosa


another Ichneumon

Marmalade Fly

Myathropa florea


Speckled Wood

Eristalis tenax

Thursday, 6 August 2015


In the last couple of days I've had a probable Common Rustic moth in the flat and today I released the Small Tortoiseshell butterfly  which has been sitting on the wall for the last week or so as it was flying around.
Common Rustic

In the last few days the station has produced very little apart from a few Harvestmen and what might be a Strawberry Snail.

Finally on my way home this afternoon I saw a large-ish black and white hoverfly hovering around some pavement weeds in Richmond Road which, although it didn't settle for a photo, looked almost certainly to be Scaeva pyrastri - a migrant species I don't see very often.
Possible Strawberry Snail