Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Montpelier Park!

Not much to report in the park this morning other than a Myathropa florea hoverfly and swarms of Horse Chestnut Miner moths, with the leaves looking very brown and badly affected.
Horse-chestnut Leaf Mines

Myathropa florea

Blue Tits were calling as were young Carrion Crows.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


The continuing saga of my useless moth trap has now resulted in me ordering a new one so hopefully I might catch some decent moths when it arrives. Anyway, today there was a Shuttle-shaped Dart, a Flame Shoulder and a Common Carpet plus a very faded moth which I assume was a Bright-line Brown-eye but mercifully it escaped before I could ID it. A Harlequin Ladybird joined the party too.
Shuttle-shaped Dart

Flame Shoulder

Common Carpet

Harlequin Ladybird

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The A to Z of Spiders!

I was a little worried that the wall along the platform at Montpelier Station would cease to attract spiders after it had been painted earlier in the year by Silent Hobo, but I needn't have worried. Today there was an Araneus diadematus (better known as the Garden Spider) and several Zygiella x-notata (better known as the Missing Sector Orb-web Spider). So we have the A to Z of spiders!
Garden Spider

Missing Sector Orb-web Spider

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Fox News!

Once again I was foiled by the Fox at the station this morning - it is a skittish animal and disappears at the slightest movement or approach. One day I will capture a nice portrait....


Nearby a juvenile Blackbird was calling for food and the parent was heard nearby.


On the wall was a Harlequin Ladybird larva and the web of a Laceweb Spider Amaurobius.


Friday, 27 July 2018


Woeful results with the trap again last night -
Silver Y 1
Mint Moth 1
Marbled Beauty 2
Light Brown Apple Moth 1
Brimstone Moth 1
Double-striped Pug 1

Harlequin Ladybird 2


Light Brown Apple Moth

Marbled Beauty

Mint Moth

Double-striped Pug

Silver Y

Tuesday, 24 July 2018


There was a Wren sunning itself at Montpelier Station this morning. Sunning is a recognised behaviour in birds and there are many theories as to why they do it. Is it thermo-regulation? Is it absorption of solar energy? Is it ectoparasite control? The Wren is exposing its preen gland at the base of its tail which supports the theory that it might be converting compounds in its preen oil into Vitamin D. Anyway, I have only witnessed this behaviour in larger birds like Blackbirds and crows.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Spitting Spider!

My first ever Spitting Spider was wandering around the bathroom this morning! Always wanted to see one. They 'spit' glue and poison at their prey - luckily I wasn't in the firing line!
A 'Blue' butterfly was flying along the railway track at the station this morning but it didn't settle so I couldn't ID it as either Holly or Common Blue.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Swifts, Sparrowhawks, Foxes and er.....Carrots!

A Sparrowhawk was drifting high over the station this morning along with one or two Swifts. The little Fox who favours the tunnel area was present again this morning but surprisingly camera-shy. Enchanter's Nightshade flowers are appearing under the trees. As my train stopped at Narroways I admired a large patch of Wild Carrot - another plant we don't get much of at Montpelier.
Enchanter's Nightshade

Wild Carrot

Butterflies have been thin on the ground at the station in recent days - a Small White was there today and a Large White yesterday.
Large White

Thursday, 12 July 2018


I saw this very poorly-looking juvenile Blackbird today near the station. It didn't move when people passed within half a metre of it and it won't survive long I'm sure. Insect and earthworm food is very hard to come by in such hot, dry conditions.
At the station there was the empty pupal case of a ladybird - probably a Harlequin.

Monday, 9 July 2018


Another rather disappointing haul this morning:
Mint Moth 1
Dark Arches 1
Silver Y 2
Rustic/Uncertain 2
Coronet 1
and a couple of micros - one of the Ermines and a Bee Moth which feeds on the comb in wasp and bee nests.

Also a Harlequin Ladybird in the trap.

Silver Y

Bee Moth


Dark Arches

Mint Moth
Ermine sp.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

St Andrews Park!

A tour around the meadow area and pond produced lots of Azure Damselflies, a Ringlet and several Small White butterflies, a Cluster Fly, a Leaf-cutter Bee, lots of Honey Bees and a Tree Bumblebee. A couple of Coal Tits were singing nearby.
Cluster Fly


Small White

Azure Damselfly

Leaf-cutter Bee

Friday, 6 July 2018


The trap produced the following:
Swallow-tail 1
Garden Carpet 1
Bright-line Brown-eye 1
Purple Thorn 1 - new species!
Silver Y 1
Coronet 1
Riband Wave 1
Double-striped Pug 1

Garden Carpet

Silver Y
Deraeocoris flavilinea

Bright-line Brown-eye

Purple Thorn

Double-striped Pug

Riband Wave

There was also a bug in the trap - turns out it is a plant bug called Deraeocoris flavilinia which only arrived in the UK in 1996 but is now common.

Later I saw a huge queen Tree Bumblebee in the flat.
Tree Bumblebee