Thursday, 31 March 2016

Jay invasion!

This morning Montpelier was descended upon by up to 10 Jays, flying over the rooftops in Richmond Road and perched in trees in the park and station. They were very noisy and I noted 3 vocalisations: 1) the normal raucous screech 2) a peevish growling noise reminiscent of a rather annoyed tom cat and 3) an almost peacock-like cry. I'm used to seeing very conspicuous urban Jay behaviour in the autumn as they go about caching food etc, but I've never seen a spring equivalent. Perhaps they were partial migrants?

A pair of Long-tailed Tits were at the station for the second morning running - they might be nesting!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Monday, 28 March 2016

Montpelier Station

This morning a male Blackcap was on the feeders along with a few House Sparrows. I also had a glimpse of a possible Bullfinch, but can't be sure. Will keep watching and report back...

Sunday, 27 March 2016


Two Chiffchaffs singing in around Narroways LNR this morning - my first of the year and no doubt freshly arrived.  A Jay at Simon's Grove and at least 1 Bullfinch calling along the stony path. Chaffinch and Goldfinch also along stony path with Great and Blue Tits. Lots of nest-building by Magpies and Carrion Crows. Blackthorn was just coming into flower.

Elsewhere, a Jay at Fairlawn Road, a singing Coal Tit at the top of St Andrews Road and a Sparrowhawk zoomed through the station, causing mayhem among the small birds.

Nice collection of Spanish Bluebells and Daffodils near Hurlingham Road.
Daffodil and Bluebells

Friday, 25 March 2016


A Brimstone butterfly, my first of the year, was flitting around the disused platform at the station this morning and a Buff-tailed Bumblebee Queen was buzzing around the top of St Andrews Road. Spring has definitely sprung!

Yesterday 2 Jackdaws flew over the station and Long-tailed Tits were heard calling.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nesting birds

A Wren popping in and out of a hole in the wall at Montpelier Station this morning strongly suggests nesting - will try to get a photo in next couple of days. Also a Magpie carrying sticks nearby.

Nothing much at Montpelier Park other than Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Woodpigeon and 2 Collared Doves.

A report of last Sunday's bird walk in St Andrews Park here.

Monday, 21 March 2016


I never thought the day would come but while I was away in Norfolk, Montpelier resident Tatyana spotted and photographed a Muntjac on the railway slopes on 19 March! A fantastic record for this elusive deer.
Muntjac - photo by Tatyana via Facebook

On the same day Harry found a dead Common Shrew in St Werburghs Park, possibly killed by a cat - another unusual record.
Shrew photo by Harry via Facebook

Saturday, 12 March 2016

St Andrews Park

Wandered through the park at around lunchtime and saw half a dozen Redwings, a Black-headed Gull, a Herring Gull and lots of Starlings and Goldfinches making a real racket. Frogspawn still evident on the pond. A couple of Green Shieldbugs were out and about near Walsingham Road.
Black-headed Gull

Green Shieldbug


Another Green Shieldbug

At the station there were 2 Blackcaps singing plus Dunnock, Robin, Chaffinch and Great Tit.


A Coal Tit was singing in Richmond Road,

Friday, 11 March 2016


Today on the reserve: a singing Blackcap near the brook, Jackdaw over Church Field, 2 Magpies nest-building near the cutting, a Goldcrest and 2 Collared Doves near Boiling Wells gate and 2 more Goldcrests along stony path, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Dunnock along stony path and 2 Black-headed Gulls over Simons Grove. House Sparrows in scrub over railway bridge.

Along Fairlawn Road Great and Blue Tits were in evidence, and my first hoverfly of the year was sat on a dandelion - a Melanostoma sp. (probably M. scalare). Spanish Bluebells were coming into flower at the top of St Andrews Road.
Spanish Bluebell


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Narroways, St Andrews Park and the station

A brief visit to Narroways this morning failed to produce many birds - a Magpie was carrying nesting material at Lynmouth Road and a Jay was calling nearby. Two fly-over Chaffinches and a singing Great Tit at the cutting, a couple of singing Goldfinches along the stony path. This Woodpigeon and a Robin near Church Field. Some crustose lichen which might be Lecidella elaeochroma seen growing on several trees.

Probable Lecidella elaeochroma

St Andrews Park produced several Starlings, a Pied Wagtail, a Herring Gull, a singing Greenfinch and several Goldfinches.
Herring Gull

A male Blackcap showed well at the station along with 5 or so House Sparrows and a Great Tit.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Badgers and Blackcaps

A Badger emerged briefly as I waited for my train this morning at around 9 o'clock. Too quick for a photo though. Nearby a Blackcap was singing, 3 Chaffinches flew over and 2 Starlings were hanging around near the feeders.