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
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
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
|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:
- four or five birds in and around the park
Carrion Crow - two or three seen feeding on the grass
- several calling and singing birds
Wren - one giving its grating alarm call near the play area
Tit - at least one bird heard and seen
Great Tit - one or two
- associating with the aforementioned species
Woodpigeon - several birds flying or feeding on the ground
Pigeon - a couple around the cafe area
On the way home I heard a Goldcrest calling near
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 Jays, Blue
and Great Tits and fly-over Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
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|
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|
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!
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.
|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
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.
|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.