Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Fox that got away!

I wandered down to the tunnel while waiting for my train and noticed a Fox lying down near the track. I fumbled for my camera and was just about to take a shot when the train to Avonmouth came through the tunnel and scared him off! Despite waiting 5 minutes I didn't see the Fox again.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Montpelier Station!

This morning I ventured west of the main platform, behind the houses on Station Road and along the railway track towards the residents' car park. I rarely go there as I suspect I might be trespassing and worry someone will call the police - 'strange man with binoculars outside the house' etc. But as it happened nobody batted an eyelid and I was able to look at the vegetation the other side of the fence alongside the track. I was amazed to see about 8 spikes of Ivy Broomrape - fantastic! The single lonely spike I saw a week or so ago was just the tip of the iceberg. I was also pleased to see Perforate St John's-wort in flower here - a plant that is common enough towards Stapleton Road and Lawrence Hill but scarce at Montpelier. Also an Evening-primrose in flower. A Red-tailed Bumblebee was on the St John's-wort but I couldn't get a decent shot. A Blackcap was singing very loudly nearby. A Tree Bumblebee and a Buff-tailed Bumblebee were also seen along Station Road.
Ivy Broomrape

Ivy Broomrape


Perforate St John's-wort 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018


I seem to be seeing more native ladybirds on the patch than in recent years - a 7-Spot Ladybird was on brambles near St Andrews Road. Good news! Nearby at the station there were one or two Meadow Brown and a Small White flying around on the disused platform and 6 Swifts flying high and distant beyond the TV mast.
7-Spot Ladybird

Monday, 25 June 2018


A poor showing in the moth trap today but a new species for the patch!
Heart and Dart 4
Haworth's Pug 1 - new!
Uncertain/Rustic 1
The Flame 1
Large Yellow Underwing 1
Scarlet Tiger 1
Riband Wave 1
The Flame

Heart and Dart

Large Yellow Underwing

Haworth's Pug

Riband Wave


Scarlet Tiger

Sunday, 24 June 2018


Butterflies were in great numbers on the reserve this morning - c30 Meadow Brown, c25 Marbled White, c20 Ringlet, 2 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood.Also seen were Broad Centurion, a Sawfly larva, Large Red Damselfly, an Azure Damselfly, a couple of Leafcutter Bees, the bugs Stenotus binotatus and Corizus hyoscyami, a Speckled Bush-cricket, 2 7-spot Ladybirds,and lots of Oedemera beetles.
Broad Centurion


Leaf-cutter Bee

Sawfly larva

Corizus hyoscyami

Stenotus binotatus
Large Red Damselfly

A Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit were singing and 2 Ravens were very much in evidence.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Flowers and Swifts!

While waiting for my train which never materialised because it was cancelled, I saw the first Broad-leaved Willowherb plants in flower near the tunnel. Along St Andrews Road next to the park there was lots of Creeping Cinquefoil in flower - I've never seen so much of it in previous years.
Broad-leaved Willowherb

Creeping Cinquefoil

A pair of Swifts were feeding over the station and a Blackcap was singing nearby.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Montpelier Station!

The Moth Mullein which grows at the station every year was in flower and looking good today. Nearby a couple of Syrphus hoverflies and a Marmalade Fly (which evaded the camera). Through binoculars I could see a Green Shieldbug basking on a leaf on the disused platform.
Moth Mullein

Green Shieldbug

Syrphus hoverfly

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Tube Web Spider!

I've seen a couple of new spiders for the patch in recent weeks and I was chuffed to find out that a spider in my bath this morning is another new one - a Tube Web Spider (Segestria sp.) I've always wanted one to appear as Bristol seems to be a hot-spot for them. Some species have fearsome green fangs but I didn't look at this individual very closely as I thought at the time it was just a house spider! They sit in holes in the wall and wait to pounce on their unsuspecting prey.
Tube Web Spider

Thursday, 14 June 2018


A Broomrape, almost certainly Ivy Broomrape, is growing on the disused platform at the station. Broomrapes are strange parasitic plants which have no chlorophyll - there are several species depending on their hosts. This one was knee-deep in ivy!

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Portland Square!

An area of uncut grass near the church produced a couple of Thick-thighed Flower Beetles and a Merodon equestris hoverfly - a convincing bee-mimic. Cat's-ear was growing among the grasses.

Merodon equestris

Thick-thighed Flower Beetle

I missed a moth last night - it appeared this morning - a Bright-line Brown-eye.
Bright-line Brown-eye

Monday, 11 June 2018


I set up my trap in the window last night and was underwhelmed with the catch but the following turned up including a couple which are 'firsts' for me;
Treble-lines 1 (a first!)
Willow Beauty 2
Small Dusty Wave 2
Small Fan-foot 1 (another first!)
Riband Wave 1
Heart and Dart 4
Small Dusty Wave

Heart and Dart

Riband Wave

Small Fan-foot


Willow Beauty

There was also an Orange Ladybird and a Harlequin Ladybird.
Orange Ladybird
This morning the Scarlet Tiger was flying around Richmond Road!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

St Andrews Park!

I did a walk around the park at the request of a local church group and we saw a couple of juvenile Mistle Thrushes feeding on the ground - another successful breeding season for this scarce species. Other birds heard and seen included a couple of confiding Goldcrests, Goldfinches, Blackbirds, a Jay, Robin and Dunnock. In the meadow area a Corncockle was growing. Nearby was a Tree Bumblebee and a Syrphus hoverfly.
Tree Bumbleee



A Scarlet Tiger moth flew around the front garden this afternoon.