Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Mellow Yellow

In Montpelier Park this morning a Syrphus hoverfly was resting on a leaf. There were several Yellow Archangel plants in flower nearby - presumably a garden escape which seems to persist in the park - very attractive all the same.

Yellow Archangel


The Gorse bush in Station Road was flowering well. At the station one of several Collared Doves posed for the camera.

Collared Dove

Tuesday, 24 April 2018


I was amazed to see my first Swift of the year over the station this morning, about 10 days earlier than usual and possibly my earliest ever! Fabulous!

There was a very mangy Fox with a gammy back leg hobbling on the tracks and platform - a pitiable sight. I didn't have my camera with me so had to use my phone.

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