Wild Monty

June 2010
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Cabbage moth

29 Jun A new moth in the flat last night - a Cabbage! Plus a Heart and Dart, a Riband Wave, 2 Flames and a Common Marbled Carpet.

Orange Ladybird

28 Jun The only things to report today are an Orange Ladybird in the flat and a Greenfinch singing from an aerial in St Andrews Road.

7-Spot Ladybird

27 Jun Near the tunnel at the station the habitat is looking really good with lots of rank vegetation - there was a good showing of 7-Spot Ladybirds - adults and larvae - which is good news in the face of the Harlequin invasion. A frustratingly brief glimpse of some kind of solitary wasp or bee in the flowerbed on the platform was only just about compensated by some Scarlet Pimpernel growing among the blooms. Birds at the station included a Coal Tit which sang and called briefly then flew off towards the park (it was probably the same bird I heard in the park a day or so ago), a singing Blackcap, a Blackbird, a Collared Dove and several House Sparrows. Two Swifts were also notable.

At St Andrews Park pond there were good numbers of Azure Damselflies and a flying Volucella pellucens hoverfly.

Scarlet Pimpernel
Scarlet Tiger moth

26 Jun Up to 6 Ringlets and at least 1 Meadow Brown butterfly along Fairlawn this morning, and a Jay nearby.

Some good moths last night - 6 Scarlet Tigers, 2 Common Emeralds, a White Ermine, a Flame Shoulder and a Riband Wave.

White Ermine moth

25 Jun In Montpelier Park this morning there was a singing Blackcap, Chaffinch and Coal Tit along with an adult and 2 juvenile Blackbirds feeding on the children's play area.

Seven-day-old Swift chick (photo courtesy Terry)

24 June Terry has updated me on the Montpelier Swifts - there are now two chicks, 5 and 7 days old! Here is a screen grab - beautiful stuff. Terry also saw 10 Swifts flying around the Arches this evening and a young Fox yesterday off Effingham Road.

This morning at St Pauls Park there were up to 6 Blackbirds including at least one juvenile bird. Lots of Selfheal growing near the church/Circomedia.

Small Magpie moth

21 Jun Moths caught last night included a Small Magpie, a Heart and Dart, a Setaceous Hebrew Character, a Riband Wave, a Flame and a Minor species, very difficult to tell Minors apart - three similar species. There again they are rather boring.

Riband Wave
Mystery Minor

Hedge Woundwort

20 Jun Now this might be boring for many readers of this blog but I find it very exciting. I found a sedge on the station near the tunnel - only the second ever species for the patch I think. It looks to me like Spiked Sedge (Carex spicata) which is common enough but I still had to have a lie-down with all the excitement. Nearby there were several flowers of Hedge Woundwort and Moth Mullein. In the front garden the first blooms of Enchanters Nightshade have appeared.  

Probable Spiked Sedge

Common Spotted Orchid at Goblin Combe

19 Jun Harry from St Werburghs reports a Scarlet Tiger Moth at Lynmouth Road allotments and at least 5 Marbled Whites and a couple of Meadow Brown butterflies at Narroways.

Had a day at Goblin Combe today - a good selection of butterflies and some Common Spotted Orchids.

A Dunnock in the garden this evening.

18 Jun A quick check of the station this morning produced a singing Blackcap, at least 1 juvenile Blackbird, some Starlings and several House Sparrows, some of which were also feeding in the allotment gardens.

Setaceous Hebrew Character

17 Jun Two nice moths in the kitchen last night; a Setaceous Hebrew Character and a Common Marbled Carpet.

16 Jun A colleague at work who lives in St Pauls showed me a photo of a couple of Scarlet Tiger Moths he took on his mobile. I haven't seen any yet this year so it's good to know they are around. This evening at dusk I heard Foxes on the railway along Fairlawn Road - they were making a real racket - maybe cubs playing?

14 Jun In and around the garden today were a few birds that normally give it a wide berth, including a couple of House Sparrows, a Greenfinch and fly-over Starlings. Two male Blackbirds were fighting each other and there were visits from a Collared Dove as well as the usual Woodpigeons.


13 Jun Disaster strikes Wild Monty - my camera's on the blink! Sadly there won't be any more photos until it gets fixed or I get a new one. Before it conked out I was able to take this photo of one of two Jays on the railway line along Fairlawn Road. They were very noisy and chased each other around several times.

Harlequin Ladybirds are very noticeable at the moment - 2 adults were in vegetation at the station and a larva was along Station Road. A Blackcap was also singing at the station.

While calling my cat in during a shower this evening I saw a small moth fly from vegetation in the front garden and land on a wheelie bin. It turned out to be a Small Dusty Wave. Their larvae feed on Ivy, of which there's plenty hereabouts, and are well known for being disturbed during the day. As I couldn't take a photo, you can see one here.

Perforate St John's Wort

12 Jun In the Better Food Company car park this morning were a couple of flowering Perforate St John's Wort. Also a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds and a Rose Chafer. At Old Ashley Hill there was a party of Long-tailed Tits and the Chiffchaff was still singing at Fairlawn Road. Three Collared Doves were at the station and a couple more Rose Chafers were nearby. This seems a very good year for this striking beetle.

Helophilus pendula

11 Jun A Speckled Wood butterfly was perched on the wall opposite my bathroom window this morning! Lots of mini-beast activity along the railway path/Fairlawn Road area with 3 Azure Damselflies (miles away from any water - well maybe not miles but you know what I mean), a couple of Helophilus pendula hoverflies (whose larvae are aquatic), a Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and a Sawfly species. I rescued a Green Shield Bug from the middle of the pavement much to the amusement of a pedestrian - it left a strange smell on my fingers (the bug, not the pedestrian), reminding me that it is in the Stinkbug family!  

Birds at the Fairlawn site included the singing Chiffchaff, a Jay and 2 fly-over Jackdaws

Speckled Wood
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee
Cardinal Beetle

10 Jun Despite the overcast conditions today there were a few invertebrates on show, including a Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serreticornis) on the station which, if my memory serves, is a patch 'first' - very exciting. Nearby was a 2-Spot Ladybird and 3 or 4 Rose Chafers on the Hogweed on the disused platform. Meanwhile I found a Garden Carpet moth in the kitchen this morning.

Birds heard and seen included several Swifts over the patch - numbers are down I would say - and a singing Blackcap at the station. There were 2 singing Goldcrests at St Andrews Park along with a Mistle Thrush and a couple of Goldfinches.

A garden at the top of Richmond Road has an impressive display of Bird's Foot Trefoil on the lawn.

Bird's Foot Trefoil
Ichneumon Wasp on the bedroom ceiling!

6 Jun Last night I caught only my second ever Small Ranunculus moth - I caught one last year when there had been only a handful of records for the Bristol region, but as the summer progressed, it became clear that the moth was quite widely distributed in this area and could be a bit of a stronghold for it. Also caught: 1 Knot Grass, a couple of Heart and Darts, 2 Flames and a Silver Y. Also attracted was a large and rather fearsome-looking Ichneumon Wasp (probably a species in the Netelia or possibly Ophion family) which insisted on clinging to the ceiling - it took me ages to remove it as I didn't want it to visit me in bed (apparently females can actually pierce human skin with their ovipositors!)

In the last few days there have been visits from House Sparrows in the garden and they have flown to a house in St Andrews Road where they are nesting under the eaves.

Copulating Green Shield Bugs

5 Jun Along the railway path this morning 2 Green Shield Bugs were copulating and several Rose Chafers were seen. Also a Large White butterfly and a Jay seen here.

The area behind the Period Fireplaces workshop, with all the brambles in flower, was full of bumblebees including White-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees.

3 Jun Not much to report in St Pauls Park this morning apart from a pair of Jays and singing Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

2 Jun This evening I recorded my first bats of the year - a Noctule flying high while it was still light, and a couple of Pipistrelle species later as darkness fell. At the station this morning there was a singing Blackcap and 17 Starlings plus a Swift overhead.

A Rose Chafer was hurtling around Richmond Road early this evening, buzzing loudly! 

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