30 Apr More
hot insect action with a Large Red Damselfly the highlight at Fairlawn Road plus a nice selection of hoverflies
- the first Myathropa florea and Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade Fly) of the year and
a probable Syrphus ribesii. Also seen along the verge were a pair of mating Dock-leaf Bugs,
a Pisaura mirabilis spider, a Harlequin Ladybird and several annoying flies and bees that
I couldn't ID! Butterflies included a Speckled Wood and a couple of Holly Blues. A Blackcap
was singing and a Jay showed itself briefly. A brief burst of song that sounded like possible Garden Warbler
|Large Red Damselfly|
|Possible Leaf-cutter Bee|
29 Apr Despite
the rather cloudy conditions there was some insect activity - at St Andrews Park a Large Red-tailed Bumblebee
was visiting flowers and at the station 7-Spot and Harlequin Ladybirds were seen,
also a possible Leaf-cutter Bee and a Eupeodes luniger hoverfly.
Birds at St
Andrews Park included Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow (including a
female collecting nesting material) and Dunnock. The Chiffchaff was still singing at the
28 Apr The
only bird of note this morning was a Chiffchaff singing at the station. All very quiet.
27 Apr A
quick look around St Pauls Park produced a couple of singing Greenfinches, a Blackbird,
a Wren and a Dunnock. Some King Alfred's Cakes Daldinia concentrica
fungus was growing on one of the logs.
26 Apr At the station the only birds of note were 4 Starlings,
4 Goldfinches and a singing Blackcap.
News that there is a colony of Ashy
Mining Bees Andrena cineraria in Montpelier Park - haven't seen them myself, but will look for them
if it gets warmer. This attractive species occurs in Castle Park and College Green but this is the first I've heard of
them on our patch.
|Large Red Damselflies|
25 Apr A
stroll around Narroways produced at least 1 singing Common Whitethroat, a couple of Chiffchaffs,
a Blackcap and a Jackdaw. A Wren perched on a branch and sang just a metre
away from me. Bush Vetch and a Speckled Wood butterfly were noted in the wooded area.
A Jay was seen at Fairlawn Road, while in St Andrews Park a Mistle Thrush was noted
carrying food, suggesting successful breeding. The pond produced the first Large Red Damselflies of the year
and a Red Mason Bee and Holly Blue butterfly were nearby.
23 Apr Despite
the warm weather it was rather quiet on the patch, with the highlight being a Brimstone butterfly at the
station along with an Orange-tip and Holly Blue. A Blackcap was
singing nearby. At Fairlawn Road a 2-spot Ladybird made a nice change from the usual Harlequins and there
was much activity from Dock Leaf Bugs. Birds at Fairlawn included singing Chiffchaff and
Apr My first Double-striped Pug of the year found its way into the kitchen last night. At least
1 Holly Blue still in the garden this afternoon.
21 Apr Great to see a juvenile
Blackbird in the garden this evening - it looked healthy too.
At the station this morning
a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were singing. Four Starlings flew over Portland
Square this evening and a Goldfinch was singing in nearby Argyle Road.
20 Apr That
hidden gem, St Pauls Cemetery, produced a pair of Mistle Thrushes carrying food this morning, so presumably
a nest with young was nearby. Also around the gravestones there was a Robin, 4 or 5 House Sparrows,
2 Starlings, a Blackbird and a Goldfinch. In nearby Portland Square there
was lots of Alexanders in flower plus an unidentified Ladybird species. Nothing much in
St Pauls Park other than a couple of Blue Tits.
19 Apr The
highlight today was Jim's sighting of a Peregrine over his Montpelier garden this afternoon - I'm
At the station this morning was a Willow Warbler in song and a pair of displaying
Robins. Montpelier Park was quiet apart from a Grey Squirrel, a Red Mason Bee,
3 Blackbirds and a couple of Chaffinches.
Good to meet and have a chat with
Terry this morning on the train.
18 Apr A
Willow Warbler could be heard singing from my flat this morning and a juvenile Woodpigeon
was feeding in the garden. Also in the garden was at least 1 Holly Blue and a Speckled Wood.
At Fairlawn Road the Chiffchaff and Blackcap were still around and insects included
an Orange Tip, a Holly Blue, a Dock Leaf Bug, a pair of mating Green
Shieldbugs and a Syrphus ribesii hoverfly. A nice display of Green Alkanet near
the rainbow bridge.
Yesterday's bird survey results in full: Lesser Black-backed Gull 11, Woodpigeon
12, Collared Dove 6, Wren 12, Dunnock 4, Robin 9, Blackbird 12, Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1, Long-tailed Tit 1, Blue Tit 19 (a
record!), Great Tit 8, Magpie 6, Carrion Crow 4, Starling 2, House Sparrow 13, Chaffinch 1, Greenfinch 1, Goldfinch 3, Feral
|Mating Green Shieldbugs|
|Syrphus ribesii|17 Apr Lots
happening today with the monthly bird walk in St Andrews Park and the first of my Breeding Bird Surveys around the Ashley
area - regarding the latter, I haven't collated all the results yet so will post them when I can. Here's the St Andrews
Blackcap - at least two seen and heard
- rather thin on the ground, with just one heard singing briefly
Goldfinch - one or two
- one or two
Blackbird - several seen and heard
Robin - many singing birds
- at least one
Carrion Crow - a few seen and heard
Lesser Black-backed Gull
- one or two cruising overhead
Magpie - one or two
Woodpigeon - lots seen and
Collared Dove - two or three
Chiffchaff - one near the pond was probably
passing through but picked up a feather and flew off with it so nesting cannot be ruled out!
- at least three seen and heard
Blue Tit - several
Great Tit - several
Tit - three or four seen
Wren - two or three singing
- at least one male near the pond
Speckled Wood and Holly Blue butterflies were
This afternoon the sun brought out lots of insects around the patch - 2 or 3 Holly Blues in the garden
and another at Hurlingham Road. Along Fairlawn Road there were at least 3 Pisaura mirabilis spiders sitting
on leaves waiting for prey to land. Also there was an interesting looking Plant Bug which could be one of
a number of species I can't ID. Chiffchaff and Blackcap were both singing at Fairlawn
The Tuberous Comfrey (found by Chris a few years ago) is looking healthy along Station Road.
16 Apr Butterflies
at the station this morning included a Peacock (the first of the year as far as my own sightings are concerned),
an Orange Tip and a Holly Blue. A Blackcap was singing nearby. At
Fairlawn Road a Chiffchaff was singing. In the garden was another Holly Blue and a Chiffchaff
was audible from my window.
Halfway up Ninetree Hill was a singing Willow Warbler.
Apr Still rather quiet. At the station a Blackcap and distant singing Chiffchaff
along with a Goldfinch, a single Long-tailed Tit and a couple of Starlings. I was delighted
to see a male House Sparrow just a few inches from my window this morning gathering nesting material.
14 Apr A Coal Tit and a Goldfinch were singing in Montpelier Park
this morning and a Chiffchaff was heard near Belvoir Road this afternoon.
12 Apr Not
much happening in the last couple of days, although a Jay visited the garden briefly yesterday morning and
there was a lovely Greenfinch display flight over Station Road/allotment gardens this morning.
10 Apr Narroways
produced a Willow Warbler, a couple of Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps and a fly-over
Redpoll. I was delighted to see a Bee-fly Bombylius major in the orchard - these are fab
insects. There were also 3 Speckled Woods, a Green-veined White and a Holly Blue.
At Fairfield Road there were another couple of Holly Blues. At the station yet another 2 Holly
Blues and an Orange Tip. In the garden at least 1....yes, you've guessed it...Holly
9 Apr The
first Orange-tip butterfly of the year was at the station this morning along with 2 Holly Blue
and a Green-veined White. Also at the station was a Chiffchaff and a singing Blackcap
and a gang of House Sparrows were busily collecting nesting material.
Along Fairlawn Road there
was a colony of Yellow Archangel (garden variety ssp. argentatum) which turns up every now and again
on the patch but I've never seen it at this location before. Nearby there was a Red Mason Bee Osmia
rufa basking on a leaf - my first for the patch - while a Harlequin Ladybird was also seen. Birds in
the Fairlawn Road area included a Chiffchaff and a Jay. Cow Parsley was
in flower near the Hurlingham Road end of the footbridge.
8 Apr A
couple of Chiffchaffs on the patch this morning - one in Montpelier Park and another at the station where
a Blackcap was also singing. A Willow Warbler was still singing in the park too. Drone-flies
(Eristalis sp) were hovering at head-height in the park in the sunshine.
|Willow Warbler (photo by Jim)|
|Willow Warbler (photo by Jim)|
7 Apr Jim
took these fab pics of a Willow Warbler on Narroways this afternoon - beautiful stuff.
much at St Pauls Park this morning other than a Jay and a couple of Greenfinches. A fabulous
display of Forget-me-nots in the churchyard - these are presumably the garden form of the Wood Forget-me-not
but I could be wrong.
There are now 2 Holly Blue butterflies in the garden.
of the immediate area, a Buzzard was being mobbed by gulls over Temple Quay this afternoon.
6 Apr Up
to 3 Willow Warblers in Montpelier Park this morning, plus Blue and Great Tits.
This evening a Blackcap was singing nearby.
|Mistle Thrush (photo by Jim)|
4 Apr Jim
took this great photo of a Mistle Thrush singing at Fairfield School. Strangely I heard a very distant one
singing from my bathroom window this morning - I wonder if it was the same bird?
A Siskin flew quite
low over Portland Square this morning and there's a report of 15 Waxwings
near the Co-op in North Road, St Andrews yesterday and today - which means I must have walked past them yesterday.....very
3 Apr The
female Blackcap was again in the garden this morning. A Chiffchaff and a pair of Long-tailed
Tits were noted at Fairlawn Road. St Andrews Park produced a couple of Goldcrests, a Mistle
Thrush, a Chaffinch, a few Goldfinches, 3 Starlings, 2 Carrion
Crows, a Robin and several Blackbirds. A House Sparrow was
near the pond collecting nesting material. Pond-skaters were noted on....yes you've guessed it....the
There were 2 or 3 singing Blackcaps around the patch and the Willow
Warbler could be heard in Montpelier Park.
Nice to see Herb Robert in flower along
2 Apr A
Chiffchaff was again at Fairlawn Road along with a Jay this morning. Another 2 Jays
were halfway up Station Road.
1 Apr There was still at last 1 Willow Warbler
singing in the park this morning and a Blackcap was singing near the station. This evening a Carrion
Crow was attending to a nest in Ashley Road.