28 Feb I checked briefly into the station
this afternoon and noted that the Starling flock now numbers around 30 birds and they dominate the feeders.
Also the House Sparrows were very noisy again. Not much else to report, however.
27 Feb Good
and prolonged views of a soaring Sparrowhawk this morning from the railway path - this species is very frequent
on the patch at the moment. At St Andrews Park there were about 10 Redwings, 20 Starlings and
a couple of Goldfinches all feeding on the grass, and a Jay was searching for food in one
of the flower beds. At Montpelier Station, several Starlings, House Sparrows and a few Blue
Tits and Long-tailed Tits were active near the feeders and in the trees.
Feb In Montpelier Park this morning 2 turbo-charged Coal Tits were pinging around the trees like
a pinball machine - it was bizarre as they never settled for any length of time. This must have been some kind of courtship
but I've never seen this behaviour before. Also Blue and Great Tits were in the park.
In Ashley Road, Long-Tailed Tits were calling and St Pauls Park was once again full of activity from Greenfinches,
Goldfinches, 3 Blackbirds, 3 Blue Tits, a Great Tit, 2
Carrion Crows and a Robin.
25 Feb I was in such a rush
I didn't have time to make any meaningful observations this morning but a Blackcap was calling in the
garden and a couple of Great Tits dropped in. The usual suspects were at the station including the House
Sparrows which chirped away noisily.
A Grey Wagtail and a Goldfinch flew over Picton Street this morning, and a couple of
Starlings flew over the flat. At St Pauls Park there were a couple of Collared Doves, a
Blue Tit, a Robin, a few Blackbirds and 1 or 2 singing Greenfinches
21 Feb The first bird walk of 2010 in St
Andrews Park was excellent with both signs of spring and reminders of winter to entertain us. Birds seen were as follows:
Goldfinch - at least half a dozen showing well as they fed in a birch tree
- including males singing and another having a bath!
Redwing at least
6, maybe more, feeding on the grass
Mistle Thrush - not seen, but song
heard rather distantly
- lots, very noisy!
Carrion Crow - including one gathering nesting material
a confiding male was seen sat in a tree near the play area after the meeting ended. Simon and I wondered if it was injured
but it flew well so it must have been OK
20 Feb Despite a glorious sunny morning,
there was not much to report other than a briefly-calling Chiffchaff at the railway path which remained frustratingly
elusive - I'll try to look for it again tomorrow. A Sparrowhawk shot along the railway nearby and a party
of Long-tailed Tits were also present. At the station were the usual collection of birds including the singing
Blackcap, a few Chaffinches, some Starlings and up to 5 Blackbirds.
19 Feb A few goodies at the station this morning in bright sunshine. The Blackcap was
singing, and nearby was a Goldfinch on the feeders. There were half a dozen Starlings and
a similar number of Chaffinches of both sexes. A female Sparrowhawk caused a rumpus as she
flew over the station and landed briefly in a tree. There were also 2 Dunnocks, 3 Blackbirds,
a couple of Magpies, several Collared Doves and Woodpigeons and last but
not least the Brown Rat was performing well near the feeders!
A Pied Wagtail
was in Montpelier Park.
17 Feb A wet morning, but despite the miserable conditions a Blackcap
was singing at the station where there were also a couple of Chaffinches and the Starling
flock numbered an impressive 26 birds.
15 Feb Still quiet around the patch - in St Werburghs
there was a mixed flock of Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Great and Blue
Tits at the Community Garden. At Narroways there were 8 Magpies and a clump of Velvet Shank
fungus. At Montpelier Station, 3 Goldfinches were around the feeders.
|Common Gulls at Backwell Lake|
I popped down to Backwell Lake today, hoping to see the Bittern that's been around for a few weeks but, although it was
seen by others today, I drew a blank. There was a nice male Goosander, a Little Egret and a Kingfisher as compensation, and
it was nice to see these Common Gulls - one of my favourites of the gull family.
I heard a Coal Tit
singing in Montpelier Park and there were several singing Goldfinches in the Dove Street South area of Kingsdown.
13 Feb All very quiet today, with just some Long-tailed Tits near
Hurlingham Road and a few birds at the station including 14 Starlings, a female Chaffinch,
singing Great Tit, a Collared Dove, 7 or 8 House Sparrows and 2 Dunnocks
looking frisky and chasing each other around.
I have another spider sp. in the kitchen -
it amazes me how long they can live in the cold environment and with little or no food.
|Collared Doves (photo by Jim)|
A lovely photo of a couple of Collared Doves in Jim's garden today - many thanks.
Meanwhile, I'm sorry to say I completely missed a Fox at the station this morning - a kind
young woman told me it had been showing well and she assumed I'd seen it but no! I'm definitely losing my touch, if
I ever had it in the first place that is... Compensation of sorts came in the form of the usual Blackcap,
a female Chaffinch, several Starlings and a Grey Squirrel.
10 Feb A
thrash around St Pauls this morning in bright winter sunshine produced a couple of Greenfinches singing away
in the trees, a pair (presumably) of Dunnocks chasing each other through the Leylandii hedge (or was it a
territorial dispute between 2 males?) and a Great Tit inspecting a nest box all in St Pauls Park. A
good show of Snowdrops in Portland Square and a Chaffinch, a group of House Sparrows
and some nice lichens on tombstones in the cemetery. A Herring Gull was feeding on the grass in Brunswick
Nothing exceptional to report today, but it was interesting to see how the dozen or so Starlings that have
been frequenting the station in the last few weeks now dominate the bird feeders and are keeping other birds away. This is
particularly noteworthy because they are otherwise not at all common in Montpelier - usually only winter visitors here.
7 Feb At the station today there was a very noisy and aggressive male Blackcap throwing
his weight around near the feeders together with a couple of Chaffinches, a Dunnock, a
Robin, 6 Starlings, a few Great and Blue Tits, a couple
of Collared Doves and about 4 Blackbirds, including the illustrious 'Patch'!
At Fairlawn Road, a distant Mistle Thrush was singing in the direction of Ashley Vale, and a Jay
was in Ashley Hill. Some Long-tailed Tits were feeding near the railway path.
5 Feb A
lovely sunny morning. Two unusual birds were seen within ten minutes of each other - a Cormorant flew over
Montpelier Park (sporting its white thigh patch meaning that it was potentially a breeding adult) and a Common Buzzard
was circling over Portland Square. The raptor tried to briefly land on the church tower but was so harrassed by
gulls and corvids that it gave up and left the scene! Soon after, a Grey Wagtail flew over the square. Back
at Montpelier Park there was also a Pied Wagtail, a female Chaffinch, a singing Coal
Tit and 2 Jays.
4 Feb Despite dull and drizzly weather, St Pauls Park
was alive with birdsong this morning. Top of the bill was a sub-singing Blackcap which also showed well as
he sat out in the open. The supporting cast of singers included Goldfinch, Greenfinch,
Robin (2), Dunnock, and Collared Dove (there were about 5 of the latter
in and around the park.) Also seen was a Wren, a few Woodpigeons, a Starling, 1
or 2 Herring Gulls, 2 Magpies and 4 Blackbirds.
1 Feb Some
nice bits and pieces in Montpelier Park this morning - yet another male Blackcap feeding in a tree with a
Great Tit and a female Chaffinch, 2 Redwings, a Blue Tit,
1 Pied and 1 Grey Wagtail, a Wren and 2 or 3 Collared Doves.
Also in the park was the fungus I see this time every year and in the same place, Velvet Shank.