29 Sep Slight signs of autumn at the station this morning, with a build up of Greenfinch
numbers to no less than four - we might make double figures by Christmas at this rate! A Jackdaw
flew over and a Dunnock was in full song - not something I associate with this time of year when most birds
tend not to sing. A Jay called from the direction of the park and half a dozen House Sparrows loafed
around in the shrubbery.
About 20 Starlings were perched on and flying around the tower
of the church in Portland Square this evening - numbers will no doubt build during the autumn.
Lots of common bird activity in the park this morning, with a Chiffchaff, a party of Long-Tailed,
Great and Blue Tits, 3 rather scruffy Blackbirds undergoing a moult, a
Dunnock, 2 Carrion Crows, 2 Wrens and a Robin. Two Grey
Squirrels were chasing each other up and down the trees.
Two Jays were calling at Ninetree
Earlier I had a calling Chiffchaff in the garden plus the usual adult and juvenile
Woodpigeons, Great and Blue Tits and this evening a Wren was
giving its scolding alarm call.
A cloudy morning and sunny afternoon. All very quiet. A couple of Greenfinches, a Goldfinch
and a Dunnock were at the station, Long-tailed Tits were calling near the Royal Mail office
and a Chiffchaff called briefly from a St Andrews Road garden.
A Speckled Wood
butterfly was at the railway path along with a noisy Grey Squirrel.
What looks like a young House
Spider (Tegenaria sp.) has taken up residence on the wall of my neighbour's house, there are plenty of Garden
Spiders everywhere and in the kitchen is an unidentified spider. possibly a Zygiella sp. which hangs halfway
out of a ventilation hole in my window frame hoping for something to come along!
25 Sep This morning
a Jackdaw flew high over Picton Street, calling, and a Grey Wagtail flew over Brigstocke
Road, where there were also some Long-tailed Tits feeding in the street trees. At St Pauls Park, the Chiffchaff
was still singing, 2 Chaffinches flew over, a Great Tit and 5 Blackbirds
were in the shrubbery and a Wren perched right out in the open on some railings.
All very quiet - a Coal Tit singing in the park together with a very confiding Robin,
while at the station there were a couple of Collared Doves and a Dunnock. The allotment
gardens held half a dozen House Sparrows.
I noticed a small Jumping Spider species in the
kitchen this morning rather dangerously close to the cooker - hope it moves further away or else it is going to get fried!
23 Sep In St Pauls Park this morning was a singing Chiffchaff, a Wren
and a couple of male Blackbirds attracted to the Cotoneaster berries.
A nice visitation from a party of Long-tailed Tits and Great Tits in the garden this
morning, also a Robin showing well. There was almost constant activity from the juvenile and parent Woodpigeons,
the young one begging for food all the time with a high-pitched wheezing sound.
20 Sep Today's
bird walk around St Andrews Park was very enjoyable, although lots of foliage made actually seeing the birds a challenge!
The full list was as follows:
Robin (many - including
lots singing and calling)
Great Tit (seemed everywhere!)
Tit (heard briefly)
Blue Tit (heard briefly)
Grey Wagtail (feeding on
the bowling green!)
Carrion Crow (several showing signs of moult)
Blackbird (4 or 5 altogether, some showing signs of moult)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
(2 or more overhead)
Dunnock (heard briefly behind the pond)
Mistle Thrush (2
flew over calling near the toilets)
Simon saw a possible warbler species, and there were also Speckled
Wood butterflies and probable Common Darter dragonflies along with ubiquitous Grey Squirrels!
A Chiffchaff was calling at the top of the railway path this morning, also 3 Speckled Woods
Last night I put my moth trap on the windowsill and had a Brimstone, a Marbled
Beauty (late for this species), a Garden Carpet, a Large Yellow Underwing and the
first Large Ranunculus of the year.
Sep Last night an Angle Shades moth was attracted to the kitchen light - although this is a very
common species I get surprisingly few in the flat - this might even be the first of the year! Also in the kitchen was a Large
This morning along Cheltenham Road there were Long-tailed and Coal
Tits calling from the trees, and a Grey Wagtail flew over Gloucester Road.
Sep This morning in the small but beautifully-formed St Pauls Park:
Grey Wagtail - 1
feeding on the grass
and Great Tits
Woodpigeon - several
Robin 1 or 2
Not bad, huh?
17 Sep It doesn't sound very exciting, but it was lovely to watch a Blackbird,
a Robin and a Dunnock feeding in the morning sunshine at the station, all within a few inches
of each other. It was warm enough even before 9 o'clock for a Large White butterfly to fly past! Not
much in the park this morning apart from a Jay and a Carrion Crow.
|Dunnock in the park|
15 Sep Some
lively bird activity this morning - in the park a Chiffchaff was singing near the lower entrance and a Jay
called raucously. Coal Tits were calling nearby and a Collared Dove sat in a tree. A Dunnock
fed from the guttering of a building. Meanwhile at the station/allotments a second Chiffchaff was calling
and a Greenfinch was flying around. In the archway between Richmond and St Andrews Road there was a good-sized
party of Long-tailed Tits.
This evening a juvenile Woodpigeon was begging food
from a parent in the garden, so I took this video:
14 Sep Bath Buildings was invaded by a large flock of Blue, Great
and Long-tailed Tits this morning, feeding in the Rowan in the Health Centre car park, perching on wires,
and investigating the junction box at the top of the telegraph pole where they appeared to be finding lots of food!
|Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings|
13 Sep A Red Admiral was nectaring on Ivy flowers in the garden this morning
- also a Robin and a Great Tit in the garden. At the station an extremely flighty Chiffchaff
was calling and showing very briefly.
This evening 2 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings were
attracted by the kitchen light - this has been the most abundant species of moth in the flat this summer.
12 Sep A
very fresh Small Tortoiseshell was a delightful sight along Fairlawn this morning, nectaring on
Buddleia - is this the first one I've seen in Monty this summer? I'm sure it is. Also nearby was a Speckled
Wood and an 'Eristalis' hoverfly which didn't settle long enough to photograph. A Green
Shield Bug was sitting on a high leaf - I could only see it well with binoculars!
|Lesser Yellow Underwing|
11 Sep Last night a Lesser Yellow Underwing moth was attracted
to my kitchen light - this is the third 'yellow underwing' species I've had in my flat this summer.
I was eager to get to work this morning I didn't have time to do any birding, but a Grey Wagtail
over Portland Square was notable.
A fantastic crimson sunset this evening.
10 Sep I
stopped off at St Pauls Park on a beautiful sunny morning and the trees were jumping with groups of
Long-tailed and Blue Tits, feeding busily and flying from tree to tree. Also a Dunnock
sat on a high railing, 4 or 5 Blackbirds and a singing Woodpigeon.
I have had
the Crab-apple question from yesterday answered - it is a case of Brown Rot (Monilia fructigena) attacking the fruit.
A Robin was singing in the garden this evening - the first time I've seen or heard one here since
9 Sep A
beautiful day, with some good insects in the sunshine. Two Speckled Woods at the railway path and a whole
load of Dock Leaf Bugs at Fairlawn Road, while at Narroways there was a Comma, 3 more Speckled
Woods and a Common Blue butterfly. Also at Narroways were 2 good Hoverflies - a Myathropa
florea and a possible Eristalis arbustorum, while 3 Harlequin Ladybirds basked
Birds were again quiet, just a couple of Jays at Fairlawn Road, a Grey
Wagtail at Ashley Vale and Long-tailed Tits calling from a garden in St Andrews Road.
strange-looking Crab Apples along Fairlawn Road among healthier-looking specimens - I thought at first they
were some sort of gall but I don't think they can be.
Had a great couple of days in North Devon, one of
the highlights being good views of Grey Seals.
|Dock Leaf Bugs|
|Odd Crab Apples|
|Grey Seal, North Devon |
6 Sep Another
sunny start to the day. On Narroways I noticed that there were good numbers of the umbellifer Burnet-Saxifrage
in flower in the cutting along with Yarrow and Wild Carrot. One or two Chicory
flowers were still on show nearby.
At St Andrews Park a group of at least half a dozen Coal Tits
were restlessly feeding among the trees near the pond, calling constantly.
I will be in Devon for a couple of
days so the next update is likely to be Wednesday - stay tuned!
5 Sep A lovely sunny morning but cloudy in the afternoon. A Speckled Wood
was at the top of the railway path as usual. but little else to report other than a Dock Leaf Bug nearby
basking on a leaf.
At St Andrews Park there were a few Common Darter dragonflies at the pond and
a Grey Squirrel nearby.
Very quite bird-wise, but a Goldfinch flew over Albany
4 Sep Yet another juvenile Blackbird
in St Pauls Park this morning - so many late broods around - along with a singing Collared Dove and a Magpie.
In Montpelier Park the flock of Great and Blue Tits were feeding in the trees and a
Coal Tit called in the pine near the lower entrance.
2 Sep At the station this
morning a Greenfinch was perched on a dead tree along with 4 Woodpigeons,
and a Jay flew over. A couple of Dunnocks were calling and I was pleased to see half a dozen
House Sparrows in the bushes - I had started to get worried because I hadn't seen or heard them in the
last few weeks.
1 Sep In Montpelier Park this morning a party of Blue and Great
Tits were flying up to the brick walls of one of the industrial units at the back of the park, searching
for invertebrates, then diving back into a Buddleia bush. Also Coal Tits were calling nearby, there were
a couple of juvenile Woodpigeons feeding near the weedy area and a Jay flew from the
trees at the back of the park. The only addition to the bird list was a Blackbird in St Pauls Park.
I've just brought in my organic recycling bin and it was full of Garden and 'Cepaea'
Snails of all ages and sizes, no doubt enticed by the wet weather!