Wild Monty

Oct 2010
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31 Oct Despite an extended ramble around the patch taking in the delights of Lower Montpelier, there was surprisingly little to report apart from a Goldfinch at Old Ashley Hill, cracking views of a Goldcrest and Wren along the railway path and a party of Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits at Fairlawn Road.

Dark Bush Cricket

30 Oct Still plenty of insects around in the susnshine today, including a fine Dark Bush Cricket and a Green Shield Bug at Fairlawn and a Drone Fly at St Andrews Road along with plenty of Wasps!

Birds today included a Chiffchaff, a Jay, up to 2 Goldcrests and fly-over Chaffinches and Greenfinches at Fairlawn Road. In St Andrews Park there was another Jay, a Pied Wagtail, a couple of Goldfinches and a Skylark flying north east.

Drone Fly
Fungus in St Pauls Park

29 Oct A couple of intriguing fungi species in St Pauls Park this morning both of which are in the process of being identified by a mycologist colleague. Will let you know when they have been identified.

Fungus in St Pauls Park

28 Oct The Starlings at the station numbered 12 this morning - double figures, hurrah! Also an apparent passage of pigeons to the north west - not sure if they were all racers or if the odd Stock Dove was involved. A Jay with a nut in its bill posed on the top of a shrub and nearby there were 6 Blue Tits, 4 Long-tailed Tits and a Great Tit. A Greenfinch, 4 Chaffinches and a Pied Wagtail flew over.

27 Oct Not much to report over the last couple of days - this evening a Goldcrest was calling from a conifer in St Pauls Park and a Wren was singing plus a Pied Wagtail flew over. At the station this morning a Jay flew over and a about 5 Starlings were on the large telecom tower on the embankment above Station Road.
24 Oct I can thoroughly recommend sticking your head out of the window of a morning and seeing what you can see or hear. This morning I recorded the following:
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Chiffchaff - calling from a neighbouring garden
Goldfinch overhead
Chaffinch overhead
Pied Wagtail overhead
Jackdaw overhead

23 Oct A wet morning but sunny this afternoon. Fairlawn Road/Old Ashley Hill was alive with Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits and at least 1 Coal Tit as they fed restlessly in the trees. At the station a Chiffchaff was calling and Grey Wagtail flew over. There were at least 6 Collared Doves attacking the bird feeders.

In Cotham at lunchtime there were 2 Jays, a fly-over Jackdaw and a party of Long-tailed Tits.

22 Oct At the station a Sparrowhawk flew overhead and sent a flock of Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits I had been watching into panic mode! Also a Red Admiral braving the cool conditons.

Birds in, over and around the garden today included a Jay, fly-over Jackdaw and Chaffinch, 3 Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, a Robin, a Wren, a Dunnock and a Magpie

At Fairlawn Road a Jay made four trips back and forth over the railway, with a nut in its mouth on at least one occasion!

St Andrews Park produced just a couple of Carrion Crows, a Goldfinch, a calling Coal Tit and a Grey Squirrel.

20 Oct I had an awayday watching the Red Deer at Ashton Court doing their rutting thing - very spectacular - so didn't spend any time on the patch. A Jay and a Coal Tit made brief visits to the garden first thing this morning though. About 10 Long-tailed Tits were feeding in the trees at Dove Street this morning and a Grey Wagtail flew over the same area this afternoon.

Burnet Saxifrage

19 Oct On Narroways and Ashley Vale today:
Robin 1
Great Tit 1
Coal Tit 1
Long-tailed Tit 5
Blue Tit 3
Blackbird 2
Jay 1
Starling 15
Mistle Thrush 1
Greenfinch 3
Chaffinch 1
Skylark 1
Jackdaw 1

Still plenty of Burnet Saxifrage, Yarrow and Wild Carrot in flower.

17 Oct I managed to drag myself out of bed in time to do a spot of migration-watching this morning from 7.15 to 8am, choosing Hurlingham Road as my vantage point. I had the following birds heard or seen, most seemed to be flying north-east.

Chaffinch 5
Pied Wagtail 7
Woodpigeon 45
Skylark 1 (plus another at 9.50am)
Jackdaw 1

Meanwhile, the monthly bird walk around St Andrews Park this morning produced:

- 1 or 2 flying around
Jay - 1 heard calling
Carrion Crow - 2 or 3
Magpie - several birds in and around the park
Wren - 1 or 2 birds heard, uttering their grating alarm call
Robin - 3 or 4 birds singing or calling
Dunnock - 2 or 3 including a very obliging individual near the pond
Goldfinch - 1 heard near the pond
Blackbird - 4 or 5 birds
House Sparrow - heard from surrounding houses
Pied Wagtail - 1 heard calling overhead might have been on migration
Skylark - another migrant heard calling overhead
Blue Tit - several heard and seen
Great Tit - 1 or 2 birds
Coal Tit - 1 giving good views
Long-tailed Tit - 1 or 2 in with the other tit species
Goldcrest - heard calling and seen briefly feeding high up in a conifer

The most intriguing insect today was some sort of planthopper which was climbing up the outside of my window but which I was unable to catch in order to identify - very frustrating!

Green Shield Bug nymph

16 Oct During a work party on Narroways this morning it was good to see at least one Raven flying low and cronking away - my first for a couple of years on the patch. Also a Skylark overhead and a few Goldfinches and Long-tailed Tits nearby. Still lots af flowers in bloom including various umbellifers and a fine display of Michaelmas Daisies.  

In Montpelier there were Chiffchaffs at both Fairlawn Road and the station and more Long-tailed Tits, a fly-over Chaffinch and a Jay at the former location.

The sunshine brought out some interesting insects at the station, including a Harlequin Ladybird, a (probable) 'Syrphus' hoverfly, a Green Shield Bug nymph (I think a 3rd instar) and a Dock Bug

Michaelmas Daisies
Dock Bug

14 Oct This morning was a little quieter on the migration front but 3 Siskins flew north-east over the station and another was heard a few minutes later. A group of 5 thrushes species, flying high and distant, contained a couple that were larger than the others and these were most likely Fieldfares flying with their smaller cousins, Redwings. A few Woodpigeons flying high were also probably migrants. The Chiffchaff was still at the station as were about 5 Chaffinches, a couple of Robins, 2 Blackbirds and 6 Blue Tits.
13 Oct Still some visible migration over the station this morning with 3 Skylarks flying NE and a Siskin and Pied Wagtail heard calling overhead. A Chiffchaff was also very active in the bushes together with 6 Chaffinches, 2 Dunnocks, 3 Robins, 3 Blue Tits and a Wren. A Goldcrest was calling in trees in the park/Station Road area along with a nearby Grey Squirrel.

12 Oct What a splendid autumn for visible migration! At the station a flock of 7 Siskins flew south east followed shortly by a group of 10 Redwings to the south. Also on the station a Goldcrest, a Jay, and 5 Chaffinches. A strange sight was a Red Admiral flying around at 8.50am in rather cool overcast conditions!

10 Oct More birds on the move this morning, with two seasonal 'firsts' in the form of 15 Redwings and a Skylark flying south over Hurlingham Road.  Also in the general area, a Chiffchaff, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Great Tits, a couple of Blue Tits, a Goldfinch and a Jay.  

In the garden today there was an invasion of 10 Blue Tits, half a dozen Long-tailed Tits, 2 Coal Tits, 2 Great Tits and a Goldcrest. Within minutes they had all moved off! Also a Red Admiral this afternoon in the sunshine. There was a Jay showing well at the station early afternoon.

The Cotham Grammer School Fox was asleep in the middle of the car park this afternoon!

9 Oct St Andrews Park yielded a Goldcrest, several Blue and Coal Tits, a few Goldfinches and a couple of juvenile Woodpigeons feeding with adults on the grass. A tantalising glimpse of a couple of thrushes flying overhead made me wonder if they were Redwings - they were too small for Mistle Thrushes. Interesting....

8 Oct Birds on the move at the station this morning included fly-over Chaffinch, Greenfinch (3), and Pied Wagtail (2 flying south). Also seen and heard were a Chiffchaff, 9 Starlings, a Jackdaw, a couple of Collared Doves, a Woodpigeon, a Robin and a Wren.

The Rustic. Probably.

7 Oct This morning, St Pauls Park really delivered the goods, with cracking views of some great birds. A fabulous male Sparrowhawk was perched on the top of a tree in the Little Bishop Street/Beggarswell Close area before flying off. A Chiffchaff sat in a tree near Circomedia preening and a charm of 6 Goldfinches were perched atop another tree. A party of about 8 Long-tailed Tits showed well as they fed among the foliage, and there were Blue and Great Tits everywhere. A supporting cast of Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Jay, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon and Herring Gull made for some fine urban birding.

Last night I had what I assume to be The Rustic moth in the flat, although it could be The Uncertain which is very similar! Also a Large Ranunculus and a couple of Large Yellow Underwings which are much easier to identify!

6 Oct The station produced a Grey Heron flying low towards St Andrews Road at 8.15 this morning, plus a fly-over Greenfinch, a Chiffchaff, a calling Goldcrest, a Robin or two, some Long-tailed and Great Tits and a couple of Blackbirds.

Black Rustic

5 Oct Last night I found my first ever Black Rustic in the flat, and a Shuttle-shaped Dart was in the kitchen this evening.

At dawn a Dunnock was singing in the garden, but little to report from the station other than the usual Collared Doves, Robins and Blue and Great Tits.

4 Oct Sadly on such a beautiful day I didn't have time to check out the patch but I did see a Jackdaw - the first for a few months - flying over Picton Street this morning. A party of Long-tailed Tits and a Robin were in the garden at dusk.

My correspondent Jim reports that he had a couple of Chiffchaffs in his garden yesterday.

Large Ranunculus

3 Oct During an all too brief spell of sunshine this afternoon a fresh-looking Red Admiral appeared in the garden nectaring on ivy flowers. It was interesting to note that after the rain it only took a few seconds of sunshine to coax the wasps and hoveflies out of their hiding places and onto the ivy.

Last night, I had a Large Ranunculus in the kitchen.

Chiffchaff. Well, what do you expect with a compact camera and 3x zoom? Nice apple though.

2 Oct More marvellous migration this morning, with 2 Swallows over Fairlawn Road and at least 5 Siskins flying overhead plus another group of 10 finches that may or may not have been the same species. A couple of Chiffchaffs around the same area, one sitting on an exposed perch. Other birds here included several Coal Tits, Great Tits, a Jay and a Dunnock. Invertebrate interest was provided by several Garden Spiders in their webs and a Speckled Wood at the railway path. A 'white' butterfly was at the station.  

Birds at St Andrews Park included a Jay, a party of Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Coal Tits.

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