Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Breeding Bird Survey results!

My Breeding Bird Survey yesterday produced the following totals:

Lesser Black-backed Gull 9
Herring Gull 4
Feral Pigeon 13
Woodpigeon 13
Collared Dove 3
Swift 2
Magpie 4
Carrion Crow 5
Goldcrest 1
Great Tit 1
Wren 9
Starling 10
Blackbird 14
Robin 13
Dunnock 5
House Sparrow 17
Grey Wagtail 1
Goldfinch 14

Some notable absentees like Chiffchaff, Blue Tit and Blackcap, but some encouraging Starling numbers. Worried about Great Tits, though.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Breeding Bird Survey

Did another BBS visit today on the patch - haven't had time to enter the data, so will post the results tomorrow. Watch this space!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Peregrine kill?

A dead pigeon on the junction of Picton Street and Ashley Road this morning had all the signs of being a Peregrine's breakfast - they usually leave the wings!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

See no weevil

What may well be a Hairy Spider Weevil was on the wall at the station this morning. Only a few records for Bristol, this beetle seems to be more common in the midlands!
Hairy Spider Weevil

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Yesterday at the station there was a Large White butterfly and lots of House Sparrows but not much else to report.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Starling invasion!

Montpelier Park was a flurry of activity this morning with about 30 Starlings - including lots of young ones - feeding on the grass. I haven't seen so many in the park for absolutely ages! Also a Blackbird, some Goldfinches, 2 Collared Doves and a Robin. Lots of Charlock growing on the slope and a few Honey Bees visiting various flowers.


Collared Dove

Honey Bee

Sunday, 22 May 2016


An hour or so on the reserve at lunchtime produced a singing Song Thrush near the Boiling Wells entrance, a Chiffchaff along the stony path and a Blackcap on the cutting. Long-tailed Tits were calling near the Ashley Hill entrance.

Insects included an Azure Damselfly, a couple of Andrena sp. mining bees, lots of Thick-thighed Flower Beetles, hoverflies including a Cheilosia sp. and an Eupeodes sp. plus Buff-tailed and Common Carder Bumblebees. A micro-moth Celypha lacunana was sat on a leaf. Also a Wolf Spider and a Nursery-web Spider.
Celypha lacunana

Azure Damselfly


Sweet Woodruff

A patch of Sweet Woodruff near Boiling Wells was presumably a garden escape.

Back in Montpelier, an Ashy Mining Bee was visiting flowers in Fairlawn Road and a Blue Tit was visiting my nest box hurrah!
Ashy Mining Bee

Friday, 20 May 2016

St Andrews Park

Had a quick stroll through the park today. Saw a weird creature next to the pond which looked like something out of a sci-fi film. Turned out to be the larva of a Stratiomys Soldierfly! Never seen anything like it before. Also saw a 14-spot Ladybird, several Marmalade Flies, and a Picture-winged Fly (probably Tephritis neesii).
14-spot Ladybird

Soldierfly larva

Marmalade Fly

Picture-winged Fly

At Montpelier Station I saw an interesting spider on the wall and there was a colourful display of Ox-eye Daisies and Red Valerian on the disused platform.
Unidentified Spider

Station flowers

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Young Starlings!

A group of young Starlings - very flighty - at the station this morning. I think I have also heard them in the park nearby in recent days. A tiny bug on the wall at the station may be a Scolopostethus species.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Montpelier Park

A Holly Blue butterfly was basking on a leaf at the back of the park this morning - seems a good year for this species. Also a Eupeodes hoverfly and an Anthomyia fly. A Couple of Swifts overhead and a Blackcap singing.

Holly Blue


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Crows 1, Slow-worm 0

This morning at the station I watched a couple of Carrion Crows attack and kill a Slow-worm! The crows repeatedly pecked at the reptile which was eventually dismembered and carried off, possibly to feed young. Nearby a couple of Green-veined White butterflies were flying around the disused platform and a Blackcap was singing.

Swifts have been flying low near the tops of houses in Richmond Road - maybe a nest again this year? Hope so!

Friday, 13 May 2016


Today on the reserve: 3 Blackcaps, 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Coal Tit.
1 Orange-tip butterfly, 2 Large Red Damselflies, a Crab Spider (Xysticus), a Nursery-web Spider, a Tortoise Shieldbug (my first ever! Used to be rare apparently but now spreading), a Soldier Beetle (Cantharis) a Thick-thighed Flower Beetle, Common Carder Bee, a Nomad Bee, a Yellow Dung Fly, Hoverflies: Syrphus, Sphaerophoria, Helophilus pendulus, Xylota segnis. There were swathes of Corky-fruited Water-dropwort on the Church Field.
Large Red Damselfly

Nomad Bee

Corky-fruited Water-dropwort

Nursery-web Spider

Tortoise Shieldbug

Crab Spider

At Fairlawn Road there was a singing Chiffchaff and Coal Tit and 2 high-flying Swifts. At the station there was at least 1 Holly Blue - my first of the year.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Montpelier station

This morning there were up to 3 Blackcaps singing their hearts out at the station and also 3 Starlings were hanging around. Lots of Cleavers in flower near the footbridge.
This afternoon a Jackdaw flew over Picton Lane.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Sedge Warbler!

Having just returned from 10 days in Suffolk I heard a very familiar sound at the station this morning - it was a Sedge Warbler! This bird would be more at home in the Minsmere reedbeds than inner city Bristol, but was no doubt just passing through on its way to more suitable habitat. Also at least one Blackcap singing loudly from the scrub.