Wild Monty

Sep 2010
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30 Sep A much better morning with evidence of migration over the station in the form of 1 Siskin, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail and 1 Greenfinch all flying south. Also on the station 2 very agitated Dunnocks (one of which was in full song) and a couple of Blackbirds. A party of Long-tailed Tits was at Station Road.

28 Sep All rather quiet on a drizzly morning - just parties of Long-tailed Tits at the park and station, and a few Starlings and a Dunnock at the latter location.

27 Sep I didn't get a chance to tour the patch today but a confiding Jay was sat in a small tree along Station Road this afternoon.

26 Sep An impressive count of 8 Magpies and a Jay at the top of Richmond Road this morning. At the railway path a 'hawker' dragonfly showed briefly but I wasn't able to ID it down to species level. Nearby there was a party of Long-tailed Tits and lots of Dock Leaf Bugs basking on bramble leaves.

Moving on to Narroways the tail-end of a rave was making its presence felt but a couple of Meadow Pipits flew over the church field and a Goldcrest, some Goldfinches and a Coal Tit were heard in trees near the community garden in Mina Road.

Back in Montpelier, another Meadow Pipit flew calling over St Andrews Road and a Chiffchaff was calling at the station. A Blackbird was also seen at the station - they've been very thin on the ground in the last few weeks.

Eristalis tenax hoverfly

25 Sep Warm sunshine this morning produced some hot hoverfly action - they seemed everywhere, most seemed to be Syrphus and Eristalis species basking on leaves and flowers mainly at the community garden at the top of St Andrews Road but also along the railway path. A Chiffchaff was also calling at the latter location, while 2 Jays were at the station and a few Large White butterflies were flying up and down the disused platform. Moth Mullein plants have been spreading on the station this summer, and a plant was still in flower on the disused platform near the footbridge today.
23 Sep Things were hotting up this morning in Montpelier Park with a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling but well hidden in the trees, a Chiffchaff showing really well near the lower entrance, at least 1 Goldcrest, plus Robin, Dunnock, Great Tit and, most intriguing of all, a passage of pigeons flying high to the south which looked very much like Stock Doves. Also in the park was a very noisy Grey Squirrel.

Another Chiffchaff was calling in Richmond Road.
22 Sep At last something interesting this morning at the station - some visible migration - hurrah! There was a steady trickle of Swallows flying south and very high at 8.20am - in the couple of minutes I had time to watch them some 20 birds in small groups passed overhead. This was no doubt just the tail end of a movement which probably started at dawn - and it was humbling to think that these birds flying over my flat would, in a couple of weeks, be feeding among elephants and giraffes in southern Africa! Also at the station up to 2 Chiffchaffs calling in the bushes.

21 Sep
Apart from parties of Long Tailed Tits at the bottom of Richmond Road and St Pauls Park this morning, the bird famine continues!

Wolf Spider
19 Sep It was a struggle to find any birds this morning in St Andrews Park during the monthly bird walk, but we did manage to see and/or hear the following:

Magpie - four or five birds in and around the park

Carrion Crow - two or three seen feeding on the grass

Robin - several calling and singing birds

Wren - one giving its grating alarm call near the play area

Coal Tit - at least one bird heard and seen

Great Tit - one or two

Blue Tit - associating with the aforementioned species

Woodpigeon - several birds flying or feeding on the ground

Feral Pigeon - a couple around the cafe area

On the way home I heard a Goldcrest calling near the pond.

This afternoon at the station there were several Long-tailed Tits, a calling Chiffchaff, a couple of Starlings on the large mast, 2 Collared Doves and a couple of Woodpigeons.

Near the tunnel some Wolf Spiders were basking while 3 or 4 Large Whites were patrolling the disused platform.

18 Sep It still seems a bit quiet bird-wise - at the Fairlawn Triangle today just a couple of JaysBlue and Great Tits and fly-over Goldfinch and Chaffinch.

17 Sep Despite cool temperatures this morning at 8.50, a Large White butterfly was flying in the autumn sunshine on the disused platform at the station. Nearby a Chiffchaff (looking a bit grey and washed-out) was feeding among the trees and there were also a couple of Dunnocks, a Blackbird, a Robin, a Wren and a Collared Dove at the station.

16 Sep A Chiffchaff was calling in the trees outside the flat when I let the cat in this morning, and at Montpelier Park at least one Coal Tit and a Goldcrest were heard.

In St Pauls Park an impressive flock of 15 Goldfinches was flying around. Also 1 Blackbird, a Long-tailed Tit, a Blue Tit and a couple of Robins in the park.

15 Sep At the station this morning there was a bit more bird activity with a Sparrowhawk flying over, a Chiffchaff calling and a Greenfinch, 4 Robins, a Starling and a Collared Dove.

13 Sep Not much to report in the last couple of days other than some Long-tailed Tits in the front garden this morning, a Goldfinch over Picton Street/Bath Buildings also this morning, and another Small Dusty Wave in the flat today.

Yesterday a Robin was singing in the garden so presumably it is part of his/her autumn territory.

Probable 'Syrphus' Hoverfly on Michaelmas Daisy

11 Sep Warm and sunny weather today brought out some interesting insects - a couple of Syrphus hoverflies (possibly S. ribesii) were visiting flowers at the railway path and the top of St Andrews Road, a Green Shieldbug was basking on a leaf in Fairlawn Road and 2 Speckled Wood butterflies were spiralling high over Station Road. A dead Rose Chafer was on the stairs in the communal hallway of the flat!

In the car park in Sevier Street there were lots of confusing Hawkweed plants in flower and still some Lady's Bedstraw, Yarrow and Field Scabious

The only birds of note were Long-tailed Tits in the railway path area.

'Hieracium' (Hawkweed) species
Green Shieldbug

10 Sep A nice selection of birds heard and seen at the station this morning including Long Tailed Tits, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, a fly-over Chaffinch, 2 Jays, 2 Carrion Crows, a Collared Dove, 2 Woodpigeons, a Blackbird, a Dunnock and a briefly-calling Chiffchaff.

Last night a Lesser Yellow Underwing moth was in the kitchen.


9 Sep As I left for work this morning I noticed a Snout moth perched on the outside of the front door! At St Pauls Park there was a Speckled Wood butterfly basking in the sunshine, a Goldfinch or 2 overhead, a Blue Tit and Great Tit, a Carrion Crow, 3 Blackbirds and singing Robin and Wren. Nearby an impressive display of fungi which a mycologically-inclined friend thinks is a Coprinus species.

Prob. Coprinus species

8 Sep I'm very sorry for the lack of news but the last two mornings I've been getting up late and hardly making it in time for the train, so I've only had a couple of minutes to watch birds! This morning a flock of Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tits were very vocal at the station and a Robin was singing. Two Starlings were on the big TV mast.

7 Sep There seemed to be an influx of Coal Tits this morning with 2 or 3 calling in the park and at least 1 more at the station. Also Blue and Great Tits in evidence, feeding in the trees.

Tame Fox in Cotham

5 Sep In St Andrews Park this morning there was a mobile flock of some 20+ Goldfinches flying between the park and gardens in Effingham Road. Also in the park a couple of calling Coal Tits and at least 1 Goldcrest which showed well as it fed in a pine tree.

Very little at the station, the only birds noted being a single Starling and the usual Collared Doves.

A Square Spot Rustic was in the kitchen last night.

In Cotham this afternoon a very tame Fox actually came to me when I called!


4 Sep  The annual haycut on Narroways diplaced 3 Common Frogs and a Slow-worm today. Also noted: 2 Swallows over Narroways Hill, a Chiffchaff calling nearby and a Grey Wagtail on the brook. Plants still in flower included Vervain and Birds Foot Trefoil. Some nice Robin's Pin-cushion galls were noted on wild roses.

Back in Montpelier, a Jay was calling at the railway path and a Speckled Wood butterfly was also there. At the station, a calling Chiffchaff, 5 Collared Doves and a singing Great Tit.

In the flat today was a Small Dusty Wave moth. Another unidentified moth was found drowning in the dregs of some tea I had left on the windowsill - I rescued it but its wings were not really functional even when they'd dried out so I don't think it will survive. The wings had lost all markings so it could not be identified. That's what tea does to our stomachs as well I expect.

Common Frog
Small Dusty Wave
Robin's Pin-cushion gall
Large Yellow Underwing

3 Sep A Willow Beauty in the kitchen last night and a Flame Shoulder, a Lesser Yellow Underwing, a Large Yellow Underwing and 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings this evening.

2 Sep Two moths in the kitchen last night: a Brimstone and a Lesser Yellow Underwing which is the first of the year for me.

Brimstone moth
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner damage

1 Sep For the second year running the Horse Chestnuts in Montpelier Park are seriously affected by the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner moth - this morning the tiny moths were flying around the leaves in the sunshine. Also in the park a Wren was singing.

At the station a Chiffchaff sang briefly, a flock of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits were very conspicuous and a Chaffinch flew over (the first I've seen for some time). Also seen and heard were a couple of Greenfinches, 6 House Sparrows, 3 Magpies, a Robin and 3 Starlings.

A small spider was in the kitchen this evening - not sure but I guess it might have been a baby Tegenaria species.

Unidentified Spider

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