Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Montpelier Station!

The Moth Mullein which grows at the station every year was in flower and looking good today. Nearby a couple of Syrphus hoverflies and a Marmalade Fly (which evaded the camera). Through binoculars I could see a Green Shieldbug basking on a leaf on the disused platform.
Moth Mullein

Green Shieldbug

Syrphus hoverfly

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Tube Web Spider!

I've seen a couple of new spiders for the patch in recent weeks and I was chuffed to find out that a spider in my bath this morning is another new one - a Tube Web Spider (Segestria sp.) I've always wanted one to appear as Bristol seems to be a hot-spot for them. Some species have fearsome green fangs but I didn't look at this individual very closely as I thought at the time it was just a house spider! They sit in holes in the wall and wait to pounce on their unsuspecting prey.
Tube Web Spider

Thursday, 14 June 2018


A Broomrape, almost certainly Ivy Broomrape, is growing on the disused platform at the station. Broomrapes are strange parasitic plants which have no chlorophyll - there are several species depending on their hosts. This one was knee-deep in ivy!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Portland Square!

An area of uncut grass near the church produced a couple of Thick-thighed Flower Beetles and a Merodon equestris hoverfly - a convincing bee-mimic. Cat's-ear was growing among the grasses.

Merodon equestris

Thick-thighed Flower Beetle

I missed a moth last night - it appeared this morning - a Bright-line Brown-eye.
Bright-line Brown-eye

Monday, 11 June 2018


I set up my trap in the window last night and was underwhelmed with the catch but the following turned up including a couple which are 'firsts' for me;
Treble-lines 1 (a first!)
Willow Beauty 2
Small Dusty Wave 2
Small Fan-foot 1 (another first!)
Riband Wave 1
Heart and Dart 4
Small Dusty Wave

Heart and Dart

Riband Wave

Small Fan-foot


Willow Beauty

There was also an Orange Ladybird and a Harlequin Ladybird.
Orange Ladybird
This morning the Scarlet Tiger was flying around Richmond Road!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

St Andrews Park!

I did a walk around the park at the request of a local church group and we saw a couple of juvenile Mistle Thrushes feeding on the ground - another successful breeding season for this scarce species. Other birds heard and seen included a couple of confiding Goldcrests, Goldfinches, Blackbirds, a Jay, Robin and Dunnock. In the meadow area a Corncockle was growing. Nearby was a Tree Bumblebee and a Syrphus hoverfly.
Tree Bumbleee



A Scarlet Tiger moth flew around the front garden this afternoon.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Breeding Bird Survey results!

I finally got round to entering my data for the survey I did on Monday in Montpelier, St Andrews and St Pauls. The results are:
Lesser Black-backed Gull 8
Herring Gull 4
Feral Pigeon 24
Woodpigeon 20
Collared Dove 9
Swift 3
Magpie 5
Carrion Crow 4
Blue Tit 2
Great Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit 1
Blackcap 1
Wren 8
Starling 2
Blackbird 11
Robin 6
Dunnock 4
House Sparrow 21
Goldfinch 2
No real surprises but at least the House Sparrows are holding up well.

I am pleased to announce that the Blue Tits are using my nestbox again this year - a parent bird left the box as arrived home this evening.

At the station this morning there was a Harlequin Ladybird larva and a Small White butterfly.
Harlequin larva

Monday, 28 May 2018

Spiders and Mistle Thrushes!

This morning a spider was trying to get in through the bathroom window so I had a look at it and it turns out it is one of the jumping spiders, possibly Pseudeuophrys sp. (maybe P. lanigera). Later at the station I saw a Clubonia sp. spider plus another spider I can't ID yet.

Jumping Spider

Mystery spider

A Small Dusty Wave moth was in the flat this morning.
Small Dusty Wave

I did my BTO Breeding Bird Survey this morning and will post full results when I have entered the data. The highlight was seeing 3 juvenile Mistle Thrushes on St Barnabas school playing field but because they are juveniles I can't count them!

Monday, 21 May 2018

Baby Starling invasion!

This evening at the station there were up to 10 young Starlings flying and perching in trees waiting to be fed by their parents - this is a vast improvement on previous years. Also 4 or 5 Swifts seen distantly beyond the TV mast.
'Feed me!'

A Blackcap was singing in the garden this morning.

A couple of moths in the flat last night - a Cabbage Moth and a pug species which I think might be a Mottled Pug. Also a couple of as yet unidentified micro-moths and a Crane-fly.
Cabbage Moth

Mottled Pug

Friday, 18 May 2018


A couple of hours on the reserve this morning produced 20 Goldfinches, 2 Greenfinches, a fly-over Jackdaw, a Grey Wagtail, singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff plus plenty of Robins, Blackbirds, Dunnocks and a Great Tit. The Ravens were much in evidence.


Butterflies were represented by 5 Green-veined Whites, a Speckled Wood, an Orange-tip and a Holly Blue. Other insects included a Red and Black Froghopper, a couple of Dock-leaf Bugs, an Andrena mining bee, the hoverflies Eupeodes, and Cheilosia variabilis, Honey Bees and Common Carder Bees and my first Thick-thighed Flower Beetles of the spring.

Green-veined White

Dock-leaf Bug

Cheilosia variabilis

Another Holly Blue was flying around the front garden this afternoon.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Montpelier Park!

There was at least one juvenile Blackbird in the park this morning - the first local ones I've seen - plus a Robin, a couple of Starlings and a singing Blackcap. Nearby at the station there was a Small White and a Holly Blue butterfly.
Juvenile Blackbird


Small White

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Fairlawn Road!

A few minutes looking at the verge produced a Nursery Web Spider, a couple of Common Carder Bees, a few Honey Bees, a Syrphus hoverfly and a Speckled Wood. A Byturus sp. beetle was in a buttercup.
Nursery Web Spider

Speckled Wood


St Andrews Park produced another Speckled Wood and a Harlequin Ladybird. I had a brief sighting of a Bee-fly, presumably a Dark-edged Bee-fly but it didn't hang around.
Harlequin Ladybird

At least one Holly Blue butterfly was flying around the disused platform at the station.

Friday, 4 May 2018


A visit this morning produced a Chiffchaff and a Jay in the ash wood and the two Raven chicks plus one parent on the tower.

I'd hoped for some decent insects but it was a little too cloudy for much activity. Hoverflies included a Cheilosia sp., several Syrphus,  a single Eupeodes sp. and a Melanostoma. A couple of Common Carder Bees were on the wing. Two beetles were noted - a Phyllobius sp. and a Byturus sp. (probably a Raspberry Beetle).




Thursday, 3 May 2018

Montpelier Station!

I was delighted to see my first ever Dasysyrphus tricinctus hoverfly on the wall on the station approach. Sadly it is a rubbish photo as the fly didn't hang around. It is a coniferous woodland and heathland species so I'm very surprised to see it on the patch. Also there was a Eupeodes corollae a few inches away. A Wolf Spider was basking nearby. An Orange-tip and a Small White were seen on the disused platform.
Dasysyrphus tricinctus

Eupeodes corollae

Small White

Wolf Spider