31 Aug A
Garden Spider had rather inconveniently spun a web right across the gateway outside the flat when I got home
this evening, so rather than spend the night outside I reluctantly passed through it, ruining the web. I'm not sure whether
spiders learn from past experiences and build their webs in different places/angles/heights to avoid disturbance from mammals
walking or birds flying through them - perhaps someone is doing a PhD on that subject even as we speak!
a Square Spot Rustic (the first for a couple of years) was attracted into the kitchen.
|Square Spot Rustic|
|Forest Bug (deceased)|
30 Aug Today
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I've got a new insect for the patch - a Forest Bug.
The bad news is that unfortunately it was dead having drowned in my bath! Apparently they are reasonably common animals but
difficult to see in the wild. This one must have been attracted by a light and come to a sad end.
A windy and mainly dull morning gave way to late sunshine. A Holly Blue was still in the garden
and a Garden Spider was eating a fly in the centre of her web near Hurlingham Road. A few unidentified hoverflies
near Fairlawn Road proved rather elusive, and the only birds to report on the patch were Blue Tits and
28 Aug A warm sunny day - at least 1 Speckled Wood
was at the top of the railway path. Birds nearby included a Robin and Blue and Great
Tits, while a Coal Tit called from the Old Ashley Hill area.
Last night despite cool
temperatures 3 Willow Beauty and a Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing were attracted
by my kitchen light.
26 Aug Despite drizzly conditions at the station this morning, a sizeable
flock of some 20 or so House Sparrows was a welcome sight. A fly-over Goldfinch, an over-excited
Magpie (probably alarmed at the presence of a cat), a couple each of Woodpigeons and
Collared Doves, a Starling or two and singing Wren and Robin
were also at the station.
23 Aug In Montpelier Park this morning there were a couple
of juvenile Woodpigeons distinguished from adults by a lack of a white 'collar'. There were also
Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits feeding busily in the trees at the
play area, a Jay, 2 Carrion Crows, a Magpie and a Robin
singing from the very top of the pine near the lower entrance to the park.
22 Aug A
beautifully warm sunny day. A Southern Hawker dragonfly was patrolling the railway path area this morning
and there were a minimum of 5 Speckled Wood butterflies between here and Fairlawn Road - this species has
been a but thin on the ground this summer so it was good to see so many today. Some Large and Small
Whites were in the same area feeding on Buddleia. Calling Chiffchaff and Blackcap
plus Blue and Great Tits were heard and seen.
A Holly Blue
butterfly was once again in the garden.
21 Aug On
a dull and overcast but very warm day there were a few Long-tailed Tit flocks around including one in the
garden and another at the railway path. The latter location also produced a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff
plus Blue and Great Tits, while at the junction of Ashley Hill and Fairlawn a Coal
Tit was calling. A Jay flew over the railway line at the station.
Butterflies today included
a Holly Blue in the garden, a Large White at the railway path and a Speckled Wood
near Hurlingham Road.
Near the railway tunnel the Moth Mullein was still in flower and several
plants of Great Willowherb were growing nearby. Does anyone know what gall or other disease this
sycamore leaf is suffering from?
19 Aug Terry reports
a sighting by his friend of a Swift today - I haven't seen any since the beginning of the month so this
is a good record.
At St Pauls Park this morning there were 4 Goldfinches, a Greenfinch,
2 Robins, a Great Tit, 3 Blackbirds plus one juvenile heard calling (quite
late, must be a third brood), a singing Wren and a Magpie.
16 Aug A
good collection of moths last night: 2 Willow Beauty, 2 Brimstone, 1 Copper Underwing
(first of the year), 5 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, 1 Garden Pebble (a micro
but distinctive enough for even me to identify) 2 Marbled Beauty, 1 Heart and Dart,
1 Large Yellow Underwing and a Yellow Shell (the latter I've never caught before but
which occurs on Narroways).
|Small Copper (photo by Harry)|
15 Aug Harry
has been out and about on Narroways and had some good butterflies today. Painted Lady on Cut Throat Lane,
several Speckled Woods in Orchard and Stoney Lane. 3 or 4 Common Blues in Church Field and
several on Narroways Hill and cutting, also Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns and this Small
Copper in Narroways Cutting. I haven't seen any Painted Ladies all summer!
14 Aug At
the station at lunchtime there was an impressive count of 11 Collared Doves and about 15 House Sparrows.
Other birds noted were a Greenfinch, 2 Carrion Crows, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Robins,
a Dunnock, about 5 Woodpigeons and a flock of Blue and Great Tits.
Near the tunnel was a good showing of Moth Mullein flowers.
In the garden area there was
a Herring Gull eating bread just the other side of my window, 4 Magpies and 4 Starlings
flew over the flat.
12 Aug A Robin singing his autumn song at the station
this morning - it'll soon be Christmas! Also a Blackcap calling and a Greenfinch flying
Last night in the kitchen there were 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, and this
morning a Willow Beauty was sat on the outside of the front door!
11 Aug Still
very quiet, with St Pauls Park producing Blue and Great Tits, a Wren,
a couple of Robins, several Woodpigeons, 3 Blackbirds and a Greenfinch.
9 Aug Yesterday
there was a Double-striped Pug in the kitchen. Think it's the only one I've seen this year but I
could be wrong.
8 Aug The
butterfly count today included Holly Blues at Hurlingham Road (1) the station (2) and the garden (1). A Green-veined
White was at Fairlawn and 4 or 5 Small Whites (including a mating pair) were at the station. Another
Volucella zonaria hoverfly was at the railway path.
Birds were quiet as can be expected at this
time of the year, although a calling Chiffchaff at the top of St Andrews Road and Blackcap
at the station were notable. Also at the station were a couple of Dunnocks, a Blackbird
and a Greenfinch.
Last night there was a Brimstone moth in the kitchen.
|Sparrowhawk (photo by Jim)|
7 Aug Some fabulous
pictures of a couple of Sparrowhawks seen by Jim over Narroways this afternoon - many thanks Jim. I had less
luck finding anything exciting today, although the 2 Holly Blues were still in the garden and I noticed strange
puffball-like fungi on my roof - will try and get them identified.
|Sparrowhawk (photo by Jim)|
5 Aug Slightly
more bird activity this morning, with a Coal Tit singing in the park and 5 Starlings, 3
Greenfinches, 2 Blue Tits, 5 House Sparrows and a Blackbird at
4 Aug Not an awful lot happening in the last couple of days - yesterday in Montpelier
Park just a Robin, Carrion Crow and Grey Squirrel and yesterday and today
the station hosted a mixed flock of feeding tits and the usual House Sparrows, Collared Doves,
a very confiding male Blackbird and 1 or 2 Greenfinches. I predict more interesting sightings
in the coming weeks, with the autumn migration getting under way!
2 Aug A spectacular sight this
afternoon at 5.30 - between 75 and 100 gulls congregating above St Andrews Road and drifting west as they fed on insects.
Most were Lesser Black-backed but smaller numbers of Herring and at least one Black-headed
Gull - the latter a Montpelier rarity. They spent about ten minutes hawking insects before dispersing - this was
as impressive an urban birding experience as you could hope for.
Less impressive was the moth count last night
- 5 Shuttle-shaped Darts, a Brimstone, a Marbled Beauty and a Lesser
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. Also a couple of Harlequin Ladybirds and the usual crew of
micro-moths I still have difficulty identifying.
|Large-flowered Evening Primrose|
1 Aug An
impressive count of Holly Blue butterflies this afternoon - 2 in the garden (including an egg-laying female)
and at least 3 more in the Fairlawn/railway path/Hurlingham triangle where there were also 2 Speckled Woods.
At the junction between Fairlawn and Ashley Hill there was a mixed flock of Long-tailed, Great
and Coal Tits. Surprisingly quiet at the station apart from 5 Collared Doves and a
Robin and some nice Large-flowered Evening Primrose flowers near the tunnel.
Doing a bit of weeding in the front garden I disturbed a couple of Harvestmen species.