Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Montpelier Park

A bit of a Chiffchaff fest today with at least 3 birds present in the park, favouring the trees bordering the basketball court. If these are different individuals to those at the station yesterday, it means at least 5 birds are passing through the patch. Excellent! Also a flyover Jay, 2 Coal Tits, several Great and Blue Tits, 3 Blackbirds and a Dunnock.
Spot the Chiffchaff!


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Montpelier Station

Signs of migration this morning with 2 Chiffchaffs showing well (and one breaking briefly into song), also a Grey Wagtail doing several circuits overhead, a Jay, a Coal Tit, a Chaffinch and an obliging Wren.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Garden wildlife

Birds seen from my window this morning included Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Robin and Dunnock. While doing some work in the front garden I noted 2 Garden Spiders, an Eristalis hoverfly and 4 Green Shieldbugs.

Sunday, 27 September 2015


There was a Red Admiral in the garden and a Comma along the winding path to the station. A few Large White butterflies were flying around the disused platform at the station. A Hornet Hoverfly Volucella zonaria was near the Comma. This is the first one I've seen on the patch this year so better late than never! Also at the station was a flyover Grey Wagtail, 2 Coal Tits and a Jay.

Red Admiral

Volucella zonaria

A Jay gave good views in St Andrews Park and there was a calling Coal Tit nearby.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Montpelier Station

A frustrating 10 minutes while I was waiting for my train as I was unable to get a photograph of anything apart from a Green Shieldbug! A Jumping Spider was running around on the wall near the allotment gardens as was an Eristalis hoverfly. A Jay was heard nearby.
Green Shieldbug

Thursday, 24 September 2015

St Pauls Park

This morning there were a couple of juvenile Woodpigeons, 2 Blackbirds, a Blue Tit and a singing Wren. There was a Twin-spot Centurion soldierfly in the church grounds. This species is typical of the autumn months. It's the first soldierfly I've seen on the patch this year I think.
Twin-spot Centurion

Sunday, 20 September 2015

St Andrews Park

A good turn-out for the first bird walk of the autumn and a warm welcome to those who attended for the first time. There were no surprises bird-wise, but it was a pleasure to be out in such nice weather. The list is as follows:
Wren - a couple in rather subdued song
Robin - at least 1 seen and 4 or 5 singing around the park
Dunnock - a couple seen and heard
Blackbird - a few seen
Mistle Thrush - 1 seen in a Rowan tree near the toilets
Goldcrest - 1 seen well and a couple of other 'possibles'
Goldfinch - 2 or 3 seen
Chaffinch - at least 1 seen well
Woodpigeon - 1 or 2, but surprisingly elusive this morning
Collared Dove - a couple
Feral Pigeon - several near the café
Carrion Crow - 1 or 2 seen and heard
Magpie - a 'flock' of 4 were near the pond
Blue Tit - 1 or 2 heard or seen
Great Tit - 1 or 2
Coal Tit - 1 heard briefly
Siskin - heard calling overhead
Male Chaffinch

On leaving the flat this morning, there was a Lesser Yellow Underwing on the doorstep!
Lesser Yellow Underwing moth

Saturday, 19 September 2015


A (mainly botanical) walk around the reserve this morning led by Rupert Higgins produced the following invertebrates and birds:

Nut Leaf Blister Moth Phyllonorycter coryli (mine on Hazel), Red-legged Shieldbug, Bishop's Mitre (bug), Stigmella aurella moth (mine on Bramble), Banded Snail, Common Blue butterfly, Long-winged Conehead, Common Carder Bee, Lyonetia clerkella (mine on fruit tree leaf), Cranefly (Tipula sp.), Nettle Ground Bug, Dock Leaf Bug, Green Shieldbug, Old Lady moth (dead).
Stigmella aurella mine

Birds heard and seen: Mistle Thrush, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Robin, Great Tit.

In St Andrews Park, the roof of one of the huts in the park-keeper's depot had a shallow puddle on it, and in 15 minutes it was visited by a Chiffchaff, a couple of Blackbirds, a Great Tit, a Blue Tit and a juvenile Goldfinch! Also seen was a Rose Chafer, a Green Shieldbug, a Cranefly and a Speckled Wood butterfly.

Speckled Wood
Chiffchaff and Blackbird

Fairlawn Road produced a calling Chiffchaff. Insects included an Epistrophe grossulariae hoverfly plus another hover that is presumably a Cheilosia sp. and a small mining bee. A Nursery Web Spider was also nearby.
Presumed Cheilosia species

Epistrophe grossulariae

Mining bee

Nursery-web Spider

Friday, 18 September 2015

Garden birds

This morning there was a Great Tit, a Blue Tit, a Jay and a Dunnock in the garden. At the station there was a confiding Coal Tit in the Buddleia at the top of the steps to the footbridge, a Large White butterfly, a Common Carder Bee (the hairy thorax seems white rather than ginger but I think this is what it is) and a small hoverfly which I think must be a Platycheirus species but it was too far away for a decent photo.
Common Carder Bee

Probable Platycheirus species

Sunday, 13 September 2015

False Widow!

My first ever False Widow spider was in the bath this morning. It has been identified on Facebook as a young Steatoda grossa. Excellent stuff, although I re-homed it in the garden!
False Widow
In St Andrews Park there were a few hoverflies -  a Sphaerophoria sp., an Eristalis tenax and a Syrphus sp. A caterpillar on one of the paths has been identified on Facebook as possibly that of a Bright-line Brown-eye moth. I have had several adults in the trap over the  summer so it would make sense. Also in the park was a calling Chiffchaff near the pond, Great Tit, singing Wren, several Goldfinches and a family of Blackbirds.

Eristalis tenax


In Belvoir Road today there was a Small White butterfly and a party of Long-tailed Tits.

Friday, 11 September 2015


Today on the reserve: Mixed party of Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits (Lynmouth Rd), Chiffchaff (cutting), 2+ Jays (stony path).

A Chrysolina sp. beetle in Church Field - possibly C. banksi but that would be a first for Avon!

Hovers - abundant Syrphus sp., 1 Myathropa florea, 2 or 3 Eristalis pertinax, a couple of Melanostoma sp.

Dark Bush Cricket (stony path), Field Grasshopper (hill), Green Shieldbug (stony path).
Garden Spider, an Anthomyia sp. fly, possible Nyctia halterata fly, Flesh Fly.  Lots of Honey Bees. Mystery caterpillar will have to get ID for.
Dark Bush Cricket


Garden Spider and lunch


possible Nyctia halterata

At Fairlawn Road it was great to see one of my fave hoverflies, Ferdinandea cuprea. Don't think I've had them on the patch before.
Ferdinandea cuprea

Thursday, 10 September 2015

St Pauls Cemetery and Montpelier Station

A few insects enjoying the sunshine in the cemetery this afternoon, including a Dock Leaf Bug, a Green Shieldbug nymph, a Flesh Fly, lots of Honey Bees and small mining bees (possibly Lassioglossum spp.) and a Field Grasshopper. A Grey Squirrel was also seen but surprisingly no birds!

Dock Leaf Bug

Field Grasshopper

Green Shieldbug

Montpelier Station produced 2 Jays and a Red-legged Shieldbug - my first this year I think. Michaelmas Daisies were still in flower nearby.
Michaelmas Daisies

Red-legged Shieldbug

A Coal Tit has been seen on the neighbour's seed-feeder in the last few days.