Saturday, 28 October 2017

Red Admirals everywhere!

Two Red Admirals in the garden nectaring on Ivy this morning and another at the Cromwell end of the railway footbridge, again on Ivy. I've seen loads of these beautiful butterflies in the last few days when I've been out and about - they've had an excellent year I think. Also an Eristalis tenax hoverfly, a Harlequin Ladybird and a Wolf Spider nearby.
 Red Admiral in garden

Wolf Spider

Eristalis tenax

Harlequin Ladybird

Another Red Admiral

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Montpelier Park

A nice selection of common birds in the park this morning including Great and Blue Tits, a Wren, 6 Collared Doves, 2 or 3 Woodpigeons, several Magpies, a calling Jay and a Blackbird.

Blue Tit

Great Tit


At the station just one Ivy Bee seen and lots of Common Wasps on the Ivy.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017


This morning on the station I saw a Fox wander out of the undergrowth and sit on the railway track near the tunnel. It spent awhile grooming itself and only moved when the train came out of the tunnel. It's just typical that this was the one time I didn't bother to bring my camera and so had to use my phone. It was a youngster by the look of it - maybe a sub-adult born in the spring. Tomorrow I'll bring my camera but the Fox probably won't appear.....

Monday, 23 October 2017

Spiders and Chaffinches!

In Montpelier Park this morning there was a female Chaffinch feeding in the treetops. Chaffinches are sadly a rarity in Montpelier in the summer nowadays but in autumn and winter they tend to gather in good numbers so we'll see more of them in the coming months, hopefully. Checked the wall for spider webs and saw a few, probably made by an Amaurobius species.
Amaurobius web

At the station another spider, this time a tiny Philodromus or Running Crab-spider was on the handrail of the footbridge. Nearby Harlequin Ladybirds were in evidence and plenty of Common Wasps and a Honey Bee on the Ivy. On the wall at the station was a juvenile snail - very pretty and likely to be a young Cepaea species - surrounded by what look like Springtails! Also a tiny Ichneumon nearby.



Cepaea snail and Springtails

Sunday, 22 October 2017

St Andrews Park

Not much to get excited about in a blustery park this morning: a couple of fly-over Ravens harassed by Carrion Crows, the odd Robin, a Jay, a couple of Blackbirds, calling Coal Tit and Great Tit plus Magpies, Starlings, House Sparrows, Woodpigeons and Feral Pigeons was about it.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Bugs still around!

I looked at an Ivy bush near the station this morning and there were still a couple of Ivy Bees around. I lined up a shot of one basking on a leaf and a wasp grabbed it! Also a couple of hoverflies - a Syrphus ribesii female and a Myathropa florea.
Myathropa florea

Ivy Bee


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Jackdaw invasion!

A group of 10 Jackdaws flew SE over Richmond Road this morning and another single bird flew over the station. These could be birds moving from northern upland areas to the south for the winter.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

More Ivy Bees!

I had a look at the Ivy patch at the Cromwell Road end of the station footbridge this afternoon and it produced 3-4 Ivy Bees plus several Honey Bees, Common Wasps, a Syrphus hoverfly and an Eristalis pertinax hoverfly. Also a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds on the bridge and a Hawthorn Shieldbug on the wall together with several Zygiella spiders. There was a Dung Fly (Scathophaga) species near the tunnel and a Chiffchaff was calling.

Harlequin Ladybird

Hawthorn Shieldbug

Ivy Bee

Eristalis pertinax



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Ivy Bee!

An Ivy Bee Colletes hederae this morning on an Ivy patch near the station. This is the first time I've seen one in Montpelier but they have spread pretty widely since they were first discovered in Dorset in 2001 so I may have overlooked them. The next few weeks is their peak flight period so if you have any Ivy in your garden (and you know every garden should have Ivy) keep your eyes peeled for this lovely bee. Also on the same patch was an Eristalis hoverfly (flew away before I could ID it), a couple of Honey Bees, a Common Wasp and several Green Shieldbugs.
Ivy Bee

Honey Bee

Green Shieldbug

Common Wasp