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

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Montpelier Park!

On arrival at the park this morning I was greeted by the sight of 4 Starlings gathering food in the children's play area - so good to know they almost certainly have nests nearby. The lovely bit of sunshine brought out some insects including my first Myathropa florea hoverfly of the spring, a Syrphus hoverfly, a couple of Wolf Spiders, a Common Carder Bee and a German Wasp queen.
Myathropa florea

German Wasp queen


The approach to the station produced about 4 Green Shieldbugs while near the footbridge there was another Syrphus and an Orange-tip butterfly.

Green Shieldbug
On the way home through Portland Square this afternoon I was struck (not literally) by the huge Horse Chestnut in its spring finery.