Wild Monty

March 2011
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30 Mar Montpelier Park produced a single Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff with at least 2 singing Blackcaps nearby. A singing Greenfinch was also in the park. The Starlings at the station have almost all gone - just a couple around the feeders seen this morning. There were more Greenfinches singing this evening at St Pauls Park.

29 Mar The only birds of note this morning were 3 Jays sat in a tree in Montpelier Park. Not much else in the drizzly conditions.

28 Mar The first 2 Willow Warblers of the spring turned up in Montpelier Park this morning together with a Goldcrest, a Chaffinch, a Robin and a few Long-tailed Tits. Nearby at the allotment gardens were a couple of Great Tits, half a dozen House Sparrows and a Dunnock.

The female Blackcap was in the garden again and a male was in song at the station this evening.

Holly Blue

27 Mar The first Holly Blue of the year - a female - was in the garden this lunchtime. Also in the garden and surroundings was the female Blackcap and a pair of Blackbirds looking like they are feeding young in the nest judging by repeated visits. A Jay also flew over the flat. I could hear the singing Mistle Thrush again from my window this morning.

The Chiffchaff was still singing at Fairlawn Road/railway path and highlights at St Andrews Park included a singing Goldcrest, a Mistle Thrush and a few Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches.
26 Mar A female Blackcap was in the garden this morning - whether she was a newly arrived migrant or a wintering bird I'm not too sure. A definite migrant, however, was a Chiffchaff along the railway path - singing and showing well. Also nearby was a Jay. A Carrion Crow was breaking off twigs, jiggling them around in its bill then discarding them - a very fussy builder of nests! Goldfinches were heard near the Ashley Road/Picton Street junction.

Harry reports 5 Common Lizards on Narroways this morning - an excellent count.   

Chiffchaff (photo by Jim)

25 Mar A Siskin flew over Montpelier Park this morning - quite low and I hoped it might settle in a tree - but it carried on towards Cheltenham Road. Also in the park was a Coal Tit and the Carrion Crow gathering beakfuls of nesting material and flying to the pine at the back of the park again.

Jim saw and photographed this Chiffchaff singing away on Narroways this afternoon. Lets hope this is a taste of things to come this spring!
24 Mar Montpelier Park produced a Coal Tit, a singing Blackcap, a Chaffinch and a couple of Long-tailed Tits this morning, and a Carrion Crow was seen carrying a stick into the pine tree at the back of the park so is presumably refurbishing a nest from previous years.

A Jackdaw flew over the station and a Wren showed well. A Harlequin Ladybird was trundling along the footbridge even though it was still only 8.50am!

23 Mar A thrash around St Pauls this morning was pretty unproductive but at least the weather was lovely.

St Pauls Park: a Chaffinch, 2 Wrens, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Great Tits. I discovered a whole load more Turkey-tail fungus too.
Portland Square: Lots of not-yet-in-flower Alexanders.
Brunswick Square Cemetery: Goldfinch, Robin, House Sparrow.

22 Mar Highlights at the station this morning were a Jackdaw flying over, a Long-tailed Tit carrying nesting material (a feather) and the 2 singing Blackcaps. Still about 10 Starlings and half a dozen House Sparrows knocking around.

Red Kite

21 Mar A Red Kite drifting SW over the station this morning - a first for the patch. Also 2 singing Blackcaps and a Goldfinch along with 10 Starlings.

Buzzard (photo by Jim)
20 Mar Where to start? The monthly bird walk in St Andrews Park was brilliant today with a couple of Buzzards and a Peregrine flying over (and thanks to Jim for the photos). The complete list is as follows:

Coal Tit
- at least 3 birds singing, calling and showing well

Blue Tit - 1 or 2 singing

Great Tit - a few around the park

Long-tailed Tit - small groups noted

Chaffinch - thin on the ground, but at least 1 heard

Goldfinch - 3 or 4 singing

Greenfinch - 2 or 3 in song

Carrion Crow - 1 or 2 noted

Jackdaw - 2 mobbing a Buzzard

Buzzard - 2 within a minute or two of each other drifting over, possibly in a westerly direction

Peregrine - 1 flying purposefully over the park

Collared Dove - 2 or 3 heard and seen

Woodpigeon - several birds seen and heard

Dunnock - at least 1 heard singing

Robin - at least 4 birds in song

Blackbird - a good showing of male and female birds

Thrush sp. - there were brief views of what was probably a Mistle Thrush

Herring Gull - at least 1 drifting over

Peregrine (photo by Jim)
Coal Tit (photo by Jim)
Harlequin Ladybirds

Meanwhile in Montpelier, my first local Brimstone of the year flew through the garden and at the station a 'white' butterfly (probably a Green-veined White) was flitting around. At least 10 Harlequin Ladybirds were on ivy near the footbridge.

Harry reports seeing a Common Newt, 2 Commas and a Peacock at Lynmouth Road allotments yesterday.

Trametes versicolor

17 Mar For the first time in years I could hear a Mistle Thrush singing from my flat theis morning - it was lovely to hear it among the Robins and Blackbirds.

In St Pauls Park there was a male Blackcap feeding high in the trees plus a couple each of Blue and Great Tits, a few Blackbirds, 3 singing Greenfinches, a Dunnock and a Robin. Nearby some nice Trametes versicolor (Turkey-tail fungus) complete with green algae growing on it.

Hebrew Character

16 March Right on cue there was at least 1 Chiffchaff in Montpelier Park this morning, with intermittent song - the first spring arrivals, hurrah! Also in the park were 3 Chaffinches, a singing Coal Tit and a Goldfinch. At the station at least 10 Chaffinches and 5 Starlings were noted.

The first Hebrew Character of the spring was in the flat this evening.

15 March Guy reports 2 Brimstones at Mina Road today. There were sub-singing Blackcaps this morning at the station and the top of Station Road.

Juvenile Blackbird

14 Mar A Coal Tit was singing lustily in the park this evening. Outside the patch, I was very surprised to see a juvenile Blackbird just behind the BRI - this seems very early!

13 Mar It was great to see a Wren building a nest in ivy near the railway tunnel this lunchtime. Also at the station were the male and female Blackcaps, a few Starlings and Chaffinches and a Robin.

Along the railway path there were 2 Jays, a Coal Tit showing well, 3 Long-tailed Tits and a few Blue Tits while at St Andrews Park a Jackdaw flew over and a Mistle Thrush was singing. Plenty of Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Chaffinches singing in the park too.

Harry reports that he saw a juvenile Slow-worm near Narroways today - the first of the year.

Outside the patch, there were no fewer than 14 Magpies mobbing a rather bemused tabby near Cotham School!
12 Mar I had no time to do my rounds today, so my only observation was of a Siskin flying over Richmond Road this morning.

10 Mar A repeat performance this morning with another Jackdaw over the station. A Mistle Thrush was a singing at dusk in Montpelier Park.

9 Mar How many Jackdaws did I see this morning? One flew over Montpelier Park, five minutes later one flew over the station, a minute later over it went again! I reckon it was the same bird doing a circuit but I can't be sure. Also at Montpelier Park there was a singing Blackcap and a Greenfinch, while at the station there was a Jay, 2 Greenfinches, 4 Chaffinches and a Wren which shot across the track. From the station footbridge I could hear a Mistle Thrush singing from beyond the park, possibly originating in Cheltenham Road.
8 Mar A Blackcap in song in Montpelier Park this morning and another male Blackcap showing well at the station along with 8 Starlings and the usual Chaffinches and Robin. Single Grey Squirrels noted at both locations.

7 Mar A whopping great Bumblebee was looking very annoyed as she tried to get out of the bathroom window this morning - almost certainly a Buff-tailed Bumblebee although I didn't have any time to ID her before releasing her!

6 Mar A Raven over the station this afternoon giving prolonged views as it soared overhead. Also 2, possibly 3 Blackcaps at the station feeders along with 5 Chaffinches, a Robin, 3 or 4 Starlings and a single Greenfinch.

About 4 Long-tailed Tits plus a couple of Great Tits in the garden this morning.

Red Deadnettle

5 Mar Highlights from around the patch today included a single Raven over Narroways together with a Coal Tit, a singing Song Thrush, a Jay, Greenfinch and a fly-over Black-headed Gull. Some Common Field Speedwell and Red Deadnettle in flower.

In St Andrews Park there were 4 Redwings, 2 Mistle Thrushes, a singing Goldcrest, a soaring Sparrowhawk, a Pied Wagtail, and several Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches.

At Montpelier Station there were 2 Blackcaps (male and female) on the feeders, plus 12 Starlings, 2 Great Tits, 1 Coal Tit, a Robin, 2 Blue Tits and 4 Chaffinches.

A Jay flew over the flat this morning. 

Blackthorn blossom, St Andrews Park

3 Mar A flock of 13 Waxwings dropped into St Pauls Park this morning and stayed around for 10 minutes before flying off towards Portland Square. Also a singing Greenfinch, a Great Tit and at least 1 Chaffinch.

2 Mar Lots of common bird activity and song this morning - in Montpelier Park there was a singing Coal Tit and Greenfinch, a couple of Great Tits and a Chaffinch or two.

At the station there were at least 10 Chaffinches flying around, plus 2 Greenfinches, the usual House Sparrows and a sub-singing Blackcap.

1 Mar A male Blackcap was hanging around the feeders at the station this morning along with the usual Chaffinches, Starlings, Collared Doves, Feral Pigeons and at least 1 Grey Squirrel.

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