Sunday, 22 April 2018

Narroways and Breeding Bird Survey!

This morning I spent a few hours on Narroways Nature Reserve and was delighted to see a young Raven in the nest being fed by a parent. There 2 or 3 Blackcaps singing but not much to report bird-wise.

There was a Common Lizard basking on the sleepers.

Butterflies included Orange-tip, Speckled Wood and Comma.

A nice selection of hoverflies too - Cheilosia pagana, Eupeodes, Melanostoma scalare, Helophilus pendulus, Syrphus, Epistrophe eligans and Eristalis pertinax.


Epistrophe eligans

Melanostoma scalare

Cheilosia pagana


Eristalis pertinax

A Dark-edged Bee-fly, a Green Shieldbug, a Harlequin Ladybird and a Dock-leaf Bug were also seen. Both Red-tailed Bumblebees and Common Carder Bees were on the wing.
Green Shieldbug

Dock-leaf Bug

Garlic Mustard and Cow Parsley were coming into flower.
Cow Parsley

Garlic Mustard

Another Dark-edged Bee-fly was nectaring on Green Alkanet at Fairlawn Road.

Earlier I had done my Breeding Bird Survey in the local area - there were no great surprises and bird song seemed subdued. The list is as follows:

Lesser Black-backed Gull 6
Herring Gull 1
Feral Pigeon 19
Woodpigeon 21
Collared Dove 3
Magpie 8
Jay 2
Carrion Crow 3
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 5
Coal Tit 2
Blackcap 1
Blackbird 11
Robin 5
Dunnock 3
House Sparrow 31
Goldfinch 5

Thursday, 19 April 2018


I was thrilled to see my first Orange-tip butterfly of the spring at Montpelier Station this morning. I managed to get a very distant shot of it. Spring has definitely sprung!
Distant Orange-tip

In the park a Chiffchaff was singing but it just wouldn't stay still. Nearby an equally skittish Hairy-footed Flower Bee was bombing around but didn't settle for more than a nanosecond. A Song Thrush sang from somewhere beyond the park itself.
Spot the Chiffchaff

This evening I was watching the telly and felt something crawling up my arm - I think it's a Pea-leaf Weevil Sitona lineatus. I'd been sitting in the front garden so might have brought it into the flat.
Sitona lineatus

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Walking in a Warbler Wonderland!

Fairlawn Road produced no less than 3 warblers this morning - my first Willow Warbler of the spring was singing and showing well in one tree, a Chiffchaff was singing in the adjacent tree and a Blackcap was also heard nearby! Three visitors from Africa in 10 square metres!

Willow Warbler

The spring theme continued at the station with a Brimstone and a Small White butterfly enjoying the sunshine!
A distant Small White

Monday, 9 April 2018

Blackcaps and Cormorants!

A Blackcap was singing loudly near Hurlingham Road this morning - possibly a migrant rather than a lingering over-wintering bird. Meanwhile, 4 Cormorants in tight formation flew over Montpelier Park towards town.

Monday, 2 April 2018


Still quiet bird-wise this afternoon on the reserve apart from a male Sparrowhawk doing a spectacular display flight above my head at Boiling Wells, a Coal Tit singing near the brook, a Jay at Simons Grove, a Jackdaw over Boiling Wells and 2 Ravens giving regular fly-overs in various places, a Wren carrying nesting material at climbing centre and several Goldfinches at Boiling Wells.
Best sighting was my first Dark-edged Bee-fly of the year at Simons Grove (very flighty so rubbish photograph) a couple of Bombus terrestris queens nearby. A Nomada fabriciana bee was on a daisy at the church field - my first ever! 
Nomada fabriciana

Common Field Speedwell

Bombus terrestris
Dark-edged Bee Fly

Common Field Speedwell near Boiling Wells brook and plenty of Red Deadnettle on the cutting.
Meanwhile in Montpelier a Eupeodes hoverfly was on a Dandelion along Fairlawn Road and Hybrid Bluebells were growing nicely near Hurlingham Road.
Bluebell hybrid

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Ring-necked Parakeet!

Me and my friend Lois had a leisurely stroll around St Andrews Park this morning and were amazed to see a Ring-necked Parakeet in the treetops! I remember one other sighting in the park several years ago but they are still not common in the Bristol area (although one day they no doubt will be!). Also 3 Ravens flew over, one doing a tumbling display flight. We also saw and/or heard Coal Tits, Great Tits, Goldfinches, Robins and Blackbirds and Lois also saw Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.
Ring-necked Parakeet

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Narroways and St Andrews Park!

A rather unproductive slog round Narroways Nature Reserve this morning with a fly-over Jackdaw the only bird of note. Raven sat on nest, Song Thrush singing again at Boiling Wells, 4 different Jays along ash wood and a singing Coal Tit near the brook.

I didn't fare much better at St Andrews Park with just a few Starlings, Blackbirds, Goldfinches and Blue Tits of note. Some Frogspawn in the pond (not sure if it was pre-last week's freeze or 'new') and a couple of Grey Squirrels frolicking in the children's play area. 
Blue Tit


Grey Squirrel

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Jackdaws and Blackcaps!

Didn't have too much time to watch any wildlife this morning but a Jackdaw flew over the station and a male Blackcap appeared briefly in the Buddleia near the footbridge.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker!

In Montpelier Park this morning a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling then drumming. Although these attractive birds are regularly seen in and around Montpelier this is the first time I've heard one drumming. As drumming is the equivalent of singing in other birds and therefore an advertisement for a mate, there's a good chance they might nest in the park if a suitable female turns up! Also a Jay and a Great Tit in the park. Nearby in Station Road there was a Goldfinch and another Great Tit feeding in the birches and a couple of Chaffinches were near the feeders on the station.

Friday, 16 March 2018


A couple of hours on Narroways this morning produced 2 Ravens at the nest - one looks like it's sitting on eggs! Also a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew calling over the cutting from the ash wood towards the orchard. At Boiling Wells a singing Song Thrush and Greenfinch plus a courting pair of Dunnocks. Near the Ashley Hill end of the stony path there was a party of 2 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits and 5 Long-tailed Tits. Plenty of Robins around. A pair of Jays in the Ash Wood. On Steve's reptile mats there were a couple of displaying Sepsid flies (also called Ensign flies - they are fond of human and animal waste!) but sadly no lizards today.


Raven on nest

Sepsid flies

In Montpelier I was very pleased to see my first hoverflies of the year - 2 Eristalis tenax on Dandelion. In Ashley Court Road a Jay was sat in a tree calling, mimicking a Buzzard!
Eristalis tenax

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sparrowhawks and Springtails!

Highlights at the station this morning included a fly-over Sparrowhawk, a female Blackcap, a couple of Blackbirds, lots of House Sparrows, a pair of frisky Robins and a Goldfinch.


This afternoon I saw lots of Springtails on the sill outside my window - possibly Entomobrya albocincta.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


A pair of Jays showed well this morning at the station. Nearby the park produced a Herring Gull and several Woodpigeons and Collared Doves.
Collared Dove

Herring Gull


Monday, 5 March 2018

Montpelier Park and Station!

The park produced 7 Woodpigeons feeding together and a Blackbird. At the station there were a few male and female Chaffinches near the feeders plus a couple of Starlings and 4 or 5 Grey Squirrels chasing each other. There was song from a Dunnock and a Wren.
Female Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch


Male Blackbird in the park

Friday, 2 March 2018

Fieldfare and Sparrowhawk!

The snowy weather brought a brief visit from a Fieldfare in the garden today plus a handsome male Sparrowhawk. Other garden birds included a Blue Tit, 2 Great Tits, a pair of Blackbirds feeding on Ivy berries, 4 Woodpigeons, 1 Feral Pigeon, 4 fly-over Starlings and a Magpie.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Montpelier Station!

The sub-zero temperatures seem to have encouraged some bird activity this morning, with singing Dunnock and Goldfinch plus half a dozen Chaffinches and a couple of Starlings near the feeders and a splendid male Blackcap who perched on a branch for several seconds but unfortunately my camera was in my bag and I couldn't photograph him.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

St Andrews Park!

A stroll round the park this morning produced about 15 Redwings, 4 Blackbirds, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Robins, a singing Dunnock and a few Goldfinches.

Long-tailed Tit