Wednesday, 26 April 2017


I watched the Robin collecting food again at the station this morning. He or she had something I couldn't recognise this time! Also a singing Dunnock nearby.

A Wren briefly sat on the garden fence this morning.

Very little in the park this morning - just Blackbirds, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves and a noisy Grey Squirrel.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Montpelier Station

A Robin was carrying food this morning so it must have young in the nest. One of the prey items was a hoverfly - looked like it was a Syrphus sp. It must have been a pretty nifty Robin to catch a hoverfly unawares, but the low temperature at that time in the morning would no doubt have made the hoverfly a bit slow to react. Also a Blackcap in fine voice nearby.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Montpelier Station!

Another new butterfly for the year at the station this morning - a Small White! Also 4+ Orange-tips and a Holly Blue on the disused platform. A Blue Tit seems to be nesting in a crack in the brickwork just below the 'Montpelier Station' sign at the foot of the steps going up to the footbridge.

Totals for yesterday's Breeding Bird Survey are:

Sparrowhawk 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 4
Feral Pigeon 33
Woodpigeon 11
Collared Dove 5
Magpie 3
Carrion Crow 8
Blue Tit 4
Great Tit 6
Coal Tit 2
Willow Warbler 1
Blackcap 3
Wren 6
Starling 8
Blackbird 8
Robin 8
Dunnock 6
House Sparrow 22
Chaffinch 1
Goldfinch 6

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Breeding Bird Survey!

I was up at the crack of dawn (well, almost) to do my Breeding Bird Survey this morning but as I haven't entered the data yet I'll put a full count on the blog tomorrow. Highlights were Willow Warbler and Sparrowhawk!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Bee Fly!

Dark-edged Bee Fly was nectaring on Green Alkanet in Montpelier Park this afternoon along with a Mining Bee species which evaded a photograph. Bee Flies are cute little furry animals!
Dark-edged Bee Fly

A Willow Warbler was singing at the station this morning.

Friday, 14 April 2017


This morning on the reserve: Grey Wagtail pair (female carrying nesting material), Raven on nest, Greenfinch (boiling wells), dead Magpie (Lynmouth Road), 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 2 Long-tailed Tit
Grey Wagtail

Hoverflies - Leucozona lucorum (my first ever hurrah!), Marmalade Fly, Rhingia rostrata, Syrphus sp. Also Common Carder Bee.
Leucozona lucorum

Marmalade Fly


Rhingia rostrata

Ramsons coming into flower.

A Jackdaw flew calling over Richmond Road.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tawny Owl!

A Tawny Owl was calling at 4.05 this morning! Not often I hear them on the patch, so great to listen for several minutes. Captured it on my phone but visuals leave rather a lot to be desired! A Robin was also trying to get in on the act.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Montpelier Park

The park produced a singing Willow Warbler and Blackcap and a Blackbird carrying food so he must have young.

Monday, 10 April 2017

St Pauls Riverside Park

I quick visit this morning produced some Mallards, a Moorhen, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a singing Blackcap. A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly basked briefly in the sunshine and plants in flower included some Ramsons.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Butterfly extravaganza!

No less than 4 species of butterfly at Montpelier Station this afternoon - my first Orange-tip of the year was the first sighting, followed by a Brimstone, a Holly Blue and a Speckled Wood!

Friday, 7 April 2017


On the nature reserve today - 1 Sparrowhawk, a few Long-tailed Tits, a Blue Tit with nesting material, lots of Robins and Wrens, 2 Common Buzzards over the cutting, 4 Jays, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Coal Tits and lots of hot Raven action.



Butterflies were represented by 1 Holly Blue, 1 Peacock and 3 Speckled Woods. My highlight was my first ever Hairy-footed Flower Bee (brief view, distant shot) also plenty of Common Carder Bees and Syrphus hoverfles.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee

Common Carder Bee

Holly Blue

Speckled Wood


First Hedge Garlic plants in flower near Ashley Hill entrance.

Another Holly Blue in the garden this afternoon and a Chiffchaff in Fairlawn Road.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Green-veined White!

A Green-veined White butterfly, my first of the spring, was flying around Montpelier Park this afternoon.
Green-veined White

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Willow Warbler!

Montpelier Park hosted a singing Willow Warbler this morning. The park is the place to see and hear these little warblers freshly arrived from Africa before they move on to their nesting areas. I have been going through previous blog posts to see what dates they have been first seen on the patch and came up with this:

2012 - 7 April
2013 - 12 April
2014 - 30 April
2015 - 13 April
2016 - 4 April

Also in the park was a rather in-yer-face Wren and a Robin. Nearby at the station there was a singing Blackcap.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Montpelier Park

Not much to set the pulses racing this morning - a Jay, a singing Blackcap, a Common Carder Bee and a Marmalade Hoverfly were the only notable species.
Marmalade Hoverfly