Saturday, 20 September 2014

Birds & Bats in the garden

Overcast, 17º, light NE

A Chiffchaff in the garden today and 28 Goldfinch and a Yellow Wagtail over the garden.

Several Pipistrelle Bats hunting the garden tonight.

Bath time for one of the local Wood Pigeons

Friday, 19 September 2014

Everyday different!

Warm, muggy, thunderstorms, 20º, light NNE.

Every day seems different on the hill lately with today no exception with at least 53 Pied Wagtail (incl 2+ “White" Wagtail)  counted along the south face, also 2 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Meadow Pipit.

A field to the west that was in the process of being ploughed had 35+ Stock Dove plus a similar number of Wood Pigeon and over 100 Lesser Blackback Gull loafing nearby accompanied by a single Herring Gull again.

A Tit flock on the north side consisted of 40+ birds (c25 Long-tailed, 9 Blue and 6 Great Tit) with 2 Goldcrest and at least 3 Chiffchaff present.

8 Chiffchaff in total today, 8 Yellowhammer, a Hobby, a Grey Heron, 1 Great-spotted and 1 Green Woodpecker.

A Stock Dove, Moorhen, Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail in the garden today.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker and 1 Southern Hawker (in garden).

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 4 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kite flying

Cloudy with a little sun, 24º, light NE.

Another warm and muggy day with a lot of farming activity around the hill today with 3 fields being worked.

Again quite a few raptors in the air with 24 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard and a Hobby over the hill area also around 200 Lesser Blackback Gull, 1 Herring Gull and 20+ Black-headed Gull on a field being ploughed.

6 Chiffchaff in the area, 1 Blackcap, 6 Yellowhammer, a small flock of 12 Swallow overhead and 2 Kingfisher nearby.

Dragonflies; 2 Migrant Hawker, 1 Southern Hawker, 2 Brown Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 1 Large White.

Hoverfly sp (Loren)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Warm hazy sunshine, 24º, light NNE.

2 Wheatear on the hill today along with 4 Chiffchaff and a Kestrel but that was about it.

Sparrowhawk in the garden briefly today.

Dragonflies; 1 Southern Hawker, 2 Migrant Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, 5 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Large White.

Yesterdays ♂ Kestrel appears to have lost all it's tail feathers.
A distant rubbish shot of one of the Wheatear.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A little movement

Mostly cloudy with hazy sunshine, light ENE.

A couple of hours and a different feel to the hill today with a Yellow Wagtail over, 23 Meadow Pipit and 21 Swallow all moving south.

A single Chiffchaff and 2 Jay noted.

Over 20 Red Kite and 14 Buzzard counted in the area, also 2 Kestrel.
8 House Martin flew over the garden when on the way out.

Dragonflies; 1 Southern Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Meadow Brown.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A few migrants

Sunny, 22º, very little wind NE.

Just a couple of migrants around on the hill today, a single Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaff.

50+ Linnet present, 5 Yellowhammer, both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, several Buzzard and Red Kite overhead and a Grey Heron nearby and at least 5 Robins around.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker & 1 Brown Hawker.

Butterflies; several Small White, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 1 Meadow Brown & 1 Gatekeeper.

At least 3 Tawny Owls present around the garden most evenings and very vocal!

Spotted Flycatcher

Speckled Wood

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Egyptian Goose invasion!

Sunny spells, 16º, breezy NE.

At least 32 Egyptian Geese stood on river edge, they then flew and more counted, perhaps 40 along the river Thames adjacent to Cholsey Marsh, also a Common Sandpiper along the river bank (per MA).

The highest count of this goose species in Cholsey as far as I am aware! 

Egyptian Geese (archive pic taken c70miles dowstream as the goose swims)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pretty quiet here!

Sunny spells, 22º, light NE.

No change in the weather, fairly sunny, warm, dry, light north to east winds and very little bird movement at least around here also the grass was being cut on the south face so nothing there. Where are all these scarce migrants that the east coast is getting along with Scilly, Bardsey etc that's on the other side of the country?...............................Ah hang on a minute, this is Oxfordshire................................! We can dream though.

A few hours spent on the hill and again little to show for it, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Meadow Pipit (first of the autumn), 6 Yellowhammer, 30+ Stock Dove, 1 Green Woodpecker, a few Buzzard and Red Kite overhead and the fields around that were being worked had a good number of Rook, Lesser Blackback Gull and a few Jackdaw present.

A Grey Heron seen nearby.

2 Goldcrest in the garden this morning.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood and 1 Brimstone.

Crane Fly (Loren)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A little better than yesterday!

Sunny spells, 22º, light NE.

Another warm day and not much change on the hill since yesterday although after scouring many of the hedgerows in the area I managed to find 5 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 1 Green Woodpecker, a couple of Yellowhammer, 2 Kestrel and a small Tit flock of Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tit.

The south face of the hill was also quiet, 1 Sparrowhawk flew over, up to 8 Red Kite at times soaring overhead and 10+ Buzzard overhead.

100+ Swallow over the village this morning all moving in a southerly direction and a single Jay flew over Honey Lane.

Dragonflies; 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

Common Darter

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Not a single migrant on the hill

Sunny, 22º, light S.

Not a single migrant noted on Lollingdon hill today, quite a contrast from the last few weeks and Portland!
Several Buzzard and Red Kite in the area and several Lesser Blackback Gull overhead was about all.

20+ Linnet, 1 Song Thrush and a few Yellowhammer noted nearby.

A Willow Warbler noted in the garden today.

Dragonflies; Several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker (in the garden).

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock.

 Green-veined Whites
                                            Wren dustbathing 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Migrants a Whooper and a Cuckoo

During the past week TW has been visiting Lollingdon hill and has noted Redstart still present plus Wheatears and Whinchats passing through. 

Lots of common migrants also seen on the downs.

I had an email in the week referring to a bird heard “whooping” around the centre of the village. As I was not around I got word to a couple of local birders to check it out and as I have not heard anything I assume it did not come to anything.

Email; “I am getting reports of an unusual bird call in the village in the last three days. The latest report was from Little Lane yesterday - when an unusual whooping sound was heard. This is similar to the report of Tuesday when a similar sound was heard behind The Forty and close to the Rec”.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Cholsey
Juv Cuckoo with a Fox Moth caterpillar or a Fox moth caterpillar with a juv Cuckoo, Cholsey. (Courtesy Roger Wyatt).

Sunday, 7 September 2014

They go South, we go North

Misty with some sun, 20º, very light NNE.

Last day on Portland, sultry day weather wise and some good Viz-Mig.
The sea watching has been dire this week however a single Balearic Shearwater seen today.

As for the land a noticeable increase in a couple of species with c250 Wheatear and 30 or so Whinchat noted. Swallow was also noted in good numbers with a steady flow most of the day and a few large flocks seen c500 birds through the day, 5 House Martin, 40+ Yellow Wagtail, 7 Grey Wagtail, 12 Tree Pipit, 3 Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 50+ Willow Warbler, 3 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 juv Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Little Ringed Plover, and at last a flyover Ortolan Bunting!

A noticeable tail off on passage after midday.

A stop off on Ferrybridge on the way back produced 20+ Wheatear, 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, several Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Dragonflies; Common Darter.

Butterflies; Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and 1 Clouded Yellow.

Pied Flycatcher 
Spotted Flycatcher
Small Copper
Crab at Ferrybridge with incoming tide (Loren)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Long legs & Spoons

Misty at first then sunny spells, 20º, very light breeze.

The day started well with an Osprey flying high overhead at 06:30 (3rd one of the week) and lots of Yellow Wagtail moving around and a trip in to Lodmoor later.

Lodmoor; 2 Spoonbill, 5 Little Egret, several Black-tailed Godwit, 10+ Dunlin, 2 Raven, 8 Bearded Tit, 6 Cetti’s Warbler, several Sedge & Reed Warbler.

Portland; 5 Grey Wagtail, 80+ Yellow Wagtail, 8 Tree Pipit, 20+ Robin, 12 Wheatear, 2 Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 20+ Common Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 20+ Willow Warbler, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine.

Dragonflies; Common Darter & Migrant Hawker.

Butterflies; Small White, Red Admiral, Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper.

 Little Egret
 Spoonbills & Little Egret
 Grey Heron
 Common Whitethroat
 Common Whitethroat
Willow Warbler
 Tree Pipit & Grey Wagtail in the hand

Friday, 5 September 2014

Icterine Warbler; Portland

Overcast and warm, 20º, misty, reduced visibility and no wind!

A steady day with birds turning up throughout the day. Missed a very elusive Ortolan Bunting but saw the Icterine Warbler that was trapped, ringed and released.

A   Great-spotted Woodpecker turned up briefly in the garden.

Early afternoon an impressive 1000+ Swallow had accumulated over the Bill area, maybe reluctant to leave given the visibility? They were initially feeding low over the fields (also 3 Sand Martin and 1 House Martin noted with the flock) but later they started to gain altitude and by 16:30 all had gone.

1+ Oystercatcher, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Curlew.

2 Buzzard, 4 Kestrel and 4 Sparrowhawk.

60+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Tree Pipit, 50+ Meadow Pipit, 25+ Robin, 29 Wheatear, 4 Whinchat, 3 Redstart, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Icterine Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 7 Common Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 28 Willow Warbler (incl a northern race bird), 2 Goldcrest, 8 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Pied Flycatcher.

Dragonflies; Common Darter.

Butterflies; Red Admiral, Small White, Common Blue.

 Icterine Warbler

 Recently fledged Goldfinch
 Adult Goldfinch
Poplar Hawk Moth Caterpillar 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Dawn 'til Dusk

Misty at first then sunny, 20º, light N to E.

A quieter day than yesterday, however, 70+ Yellow Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, and a couple of “White” Wagtail, 6 Tree Pipit, 30+ Robin, 100+ Swallow, 30+ House Martin, 6 Whinchat, 40+ Wheatear, 6 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 1 Reed Warbler, 20+ Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Buzzard, 4 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine and 1 pos 2 Curlew, 1 Little Owl.

Dragonflies; Common Darter.

Butterflies; Red Admiral, Small White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell.

 Dawn Sun
 Small Copper