|Chiffchaff on Narroways (photo by Jim)|
28 Mar Jim has taken this fine photo of a Chiffchaff on Narroways this morning.
Another couple of these birds were still around from yesterday, at the station and the top of St Andrews Road/railway path
area. Also at the station the two Blackcaps were still singing.
There were 3 Buff-tailed
Bumblebees on flowers in Leopold Road, and I noticed some clumps of Hairy Bittercress
along Richmond Road grwing at the foot of a wall, while lots of Grape Hyacinths are coming into flower in
27 Mar Two
more Chiffchaffs have arrived on the patch - one at the railway path and the other at the station this
morning. Also a pair of Carrion Crows building a nest at the former location provided fascinating viewing
- one was in the nest while the other bird patiently with some twigs in its bill. The first bird then vacated the nest and
the onlooker immediately hopped in and continued the building process. Also nearby was a Jay. More corvid
activity at the station with a Magpie nest-building, while at the park a Coal Tit was
calling and another Jay there, mobbing something along with other corvids but too distant
for me to see what it was - probably a cat.
The weirdest sighting today was of some 40 gulls, at least one of which
was a Herring Gull. flying north over Hurlingham Road in a tight flock. God knows where they were headed
and with such purposeful flight. Very strange!
At the community garden at the top of St Andrews Road, the first
Spanish Bluebells were in flower and lots of Euphorbia plants in bloom - can't work
out the exact species though.
25 Mar A female Blackcap turned up in the garden
this morning together with some Blue Tits. Nothing much happening at St Pauls Park other than singing Greenfinches
and Dunnock, a couple of Blackbirds and a Pied Wagtail.
|Cow Parsley at Narroways|
24 Mar At
last, the first Chiffchaffs of the spring were seen and heard singing on Narroways - up to three of
them! Lovely. Also at Narroways were 2 Grey Wagtails, a Song Thrush singing at
Ashley Vale and the first flowering Cow Parsley nearby.
Terry has emailed
me to say he has seen a Grey Heron today and yesterday over St Andrews Road - yesterday it perched on a roof
for several minutes! These are unusual records for Monty given the lack of standing water anywhere.
At the railway
path there was much corvid activity with a Carrion Crow building its nest and 4 Magpies and
a pair of Jays nearby. Long-tailed Tits were seen at the community garden in Mina Road and
St Andrews Park. A Blackcap was still singing at Montpelier Station.
blossom was on show near the junction of Fairlawn Road and Ashley Hill.
Finally, last night I had the first
moth of the year attracted by my kitchen light - a Hebrew Character.
23 Mar Nothing
new to report - in the park there were a couple each of Blue, Great and Long Tailed
Tits, a Collared Dove, plus a Robin and 3 or 4 Blackbirds. At
the station just one singing Blackcap, a few Starlings, 2 displaying Dunnocks
and the usual gang of House Sparrows.
21 Mar A
highlight of the monthly bird walk in St Andrews Park this morning was a Peregrine flying over Effingham
Road and then circling over the park. Also seen and heard were Blackbird (one collecting nesting material),
Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Dunnock,
Robin, Mistle Thrush (2), Redwing (9), Jay, Carrion
Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Chaffinch,
Goldfinch, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Starling,
There were 3 singing Blackcaps in Montpelier this morning, one
at the top of Richmond Road and two more at the station. Also at the latter location were a couple of Dunnocks,
the usual Starlings and a couple of Collared Doves.
in Montpelier today included a Brimstone butterfly in the park. Some Common Field Speedwell
was growing profusely along Fairlawn Road and there was a small patch of Common Chickweed also in the park.
|Greenfinch at St Andrews Park (photo by Jim)|
|Common Field Speedwell|
20 Mar A
male Sparrowhawk was sat on the roof opposite my window this morning - staying there for some 20 minutes.
A Woodpigeon was just along from him, keeping him under surveillance but otherwise not too bothered! At the
station was the usual singing Blackcap and a Jay flew over.
18 Mar A pair of Carrion Crows were collecting nesting material
in Brigstocke Road this morning while in St Pauls Park there was activity from, among others, a singing Goldfinch,
a Robin, a Collared Dove and this Dunnock.
Fergus tells me he heard a Song Thrush on Tuesday in York Road - dare we hope that this species has
returned to Monty's mean streets after so many years? Fergus also reports a singing Blackcap
and mating Foxes in his garden!
At the station this morning there were 2 Mistle Thrushes
briefly perched in trees near the feeders before flying over Cromwell Road, also 2 singing Blackcaps nearby.
16 Mar Notable at the station this morning was a female Blackcap (additional to
the singing male) and a Mistle Thrush flying north, calling. Also the usual Starlings, Greenfinches
and Collared Doves. This evening there was a party of Long-tailed Tits in Picton Street.
15 Mar A quick look around the station produced the usual birds, but spring was definitely in the
air. Two Carrion Crows were sat on a branch together and appeared to be doing a little 'dance' which
consisted of taking it in turns to spread and un-spread their tails. The Blackcap was still singing
and there was a pair of Chaffinches, 9 Starlings, a couple of Blackbirds
and a Dunnock.
14 Mar An
unusual sighting of 2 Jackdaws on the roof of the Cadbury this morning - they usually only fly over and rarely
settle for any length of time. Not much else to report as I had an awayday to Tickenham, but there was a Grey Squirrel
in the park.
At Tickenham the sun brought out about 7 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies which was lovely to see.
|Small Tortoiseshell at Tickenham|
13 Mar An absolutely gorgeous spring day, and the first Brimstone butterfly
of the year was flitting around the disused platform of the station - lovely. Another highlight was a Song Thrush at
the railway path which flew past me and landed on a low branch giving brief but good views. I won't get too excited
about the possibility of the bird staying and nesting as it could be just passing through - but I hope not!
stuff included 2 Jackdaws over the allotment gardens, 3 Dunnocks doing a courtship dance
with much flicking of wings at the station, and at least 1 male Blackcap showing well and singing. Also
at the station, a Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds
and Starlings at the feeders.
11 Mar A male Blackcap in
the garden first thing and another (or conceivably the same bird) was feeding in shrubs in Montpelier Park an hour or so later
- it was very confiding and allowed a close approach. At St Pauls Park was a single Long Tailed Tit, a Blue
Tit and a Great Tit along with about 4 Blackbirds and 3 Collared Doves.
10 Mar The Blackcap was singing at the station this morning. Also a few
Greenfinches and 8 or 9 Starlings.
|Leucistic Carrion Crow|
9 Mar All
rather quiet. At the Fairlawn/Hurlingham Road area there were some Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits,
Great Tits and a female Chaffinch, while at St Andrews Park the highlights were 2 Jays,
a Coal Tit and a couple of Carrion Crows showing a degree of leucism in their primaries.
A third of the pond in the park was covered in Frogspawn.
|Frogspawn at St Andrews Park|
6 Mar As
I stood at he station this morning I heard a Song Thrush singing some distance away. This is the first I've
recorded in Montpelier for a couple of years and, of course, it is not at all common. The song seemed to be coming from the
area of the school/poplars - I will see if I can nail the bird down in the next couple of days. Also a Jay
flew over the station and the Starlings were dominating the feeders, although a Grey Squirrel
was also at the peanut feeder.
At last a Lesser Celandine in flower in the park - last year the first one I noted was almost a month earlier
on the 10th February! Better late than never I guess.
I was amazed to see at least 30 Pied Wagtails
roosting in just one young tree in the central reservation at the junction of Newfoundland Street and Bond Street, Cabot Circus
this evening at 6.20 - a very impressive sight as they all flew in while the traffic passed by on each side of the the
tree, buses and lorries only inches away!
4 Mar Rather quiet at the station this morning, although
the Blackcap was singing continuously. Notable were 4 or 5 Blackbirds, all males, trying
to get onto the feeders and fighting amongst each other. Also at the station were the usual Starlings, a
female Chaffinch, a Robin and several Collared Doves and Woodpigeons.
|Robin, St Pauls Park|
2 Mar A
beautiful spring morning. A single Jackdaw flew over Montpelier Park and a party of Long-tailed Tits and
a Great Tit were feeding in the trees. At St Pauls Park, the Greenfinches were looking really
smart and singing boisterously - up to three males involved. Also a couple of Goldfinches, a Dunnock,
a Robin, a Jay, Collared Doves and Woodpigeons in
the park. In nearby Portland Square, 2 Herring Gulls were feeding on the grass.
|Herring Gull, Portland Square|