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.

Eupeodes

Epistrophe eligans

Melanostoma scalare

Cheilosia pagana

Syrphus

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

Orange-tip!

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

Narroways!

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.
Eupeodes
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